You have been at your current job for about 2 years now and you are very good at it. You have met and in most cases exceeded your targets. You understand the core business of your organisation, you identify with their values and you also enjoy working with your company. At the same time you feel it is time to get a promotion, how do you go about it without ruffling unnecessary feathers or causing unwanted anxiety for yourself. Maybe you are worried the other workers who have been with the company longer might object to your desire to be promoted and sabotage you. Or maybe your boss will not be very amenable to the idea of a promotion.
Here are four simple steps you can take to get that promotion you want.
1. Be Patient: Granted you are great at your job, you exceed your targets most of the time and perhaps the new opening in the company is a role you are confident you can easily take on, be patient. Take your time, this is not a sprint where the winner takes all. It is a more like a game of chess where being tact is very important. What is key is that you keep doing a great job. In most progressive organisations, your output is what will be focused on and with a stellar record, your case for promotion will be much better served.
2. Develop your networks: Create and maintain a good rapport between you and important personalities (people that matter) in your organisation. The HR Director’s secretary can easily be one of them as he may be privy to openings or opportunities and what is required in the organisation. But don’t limit is to her secretary only, get onto good terms with the HR Director also. Whiles you are at it, add the HR directors friends and colleagues (within the organisation) to your list of friends. These are people who can speak on your behalf behind the scenes.
3. Be aware of your communication: Use indirect ways of promoting yourself. While having a chat, you can easily make a joke of how for instance, “you had to swim 1km of icy-cold river, borrow a stranger’s bicycle by exchanging it with that watch your spouse gave you on valentine’s day, and how you about half way to the meeting with that important client you had a flat tire with your bicycle and had to walk the remaining journey. Oh, don’t forget to add that it started raining a block away to meet your client.”
In the above quite unlikely event, just share how you solved problems in the face of challenges without sounding like you have a trumpet to his ears. Importantly, you need to understand the cultural norms of the country or organisation you work in. In the USA, being straight-forward works better, in China and many parts of Asia and Africa, being subtle is what you need.
4. Move on: If your being patient yet producing excellent results, networks and subtle self-promotion doesn’t work, maybe you might want to change companies. You might want to move on to something more satisfying if staying on will make you feel miserable. Mind you, do not burn your bridges as you move on to your next expedition. Your soon-to-be old boss could come in handy some time in the future and you would want to be able to go back and ask a favour without feeling like you were carrying an aircraft carrier on your head, would you?