How to: Get promoted


Fast-forward 12 months in the job. You’ve settled in, made friends in the office and worked hard to meet all of the objectives set out in your first week. What’s next? How about getting a promotion…

As an employer, promotions are generally based on demonstrable and tangible contributions you’ve made in the last year. You don’t get a promotion ‘just because’ – you have to prove your worth and really sell yourself.

For example, I ask my staff to send me a weekly report detailing the progress of all the projects they are working on. By doing this, they have a chance to reflect on their progress every week and keep track whilst I’m up to date with how things are going. This is a great way of knowing whether you’ve had a good or bad week and makes it much easier for me to offer constructive feedback.

It’s easy to let things slide the longer you are in a role. Don’t let this happen. I recommend keeping a calendar of each task you complete where you feel you’ve added value. That way, when it comes to your review, you already have a detailed account of everything you have done to benefit the business. Think carefully about this, it can’t just be a list of your day-to-day tasks, you need to go above and beyond if you really want to impress.

This is a great discipline, it will help you keep on track of your progress and encourage motivation at the same time. It’s worth understanding the skill gap between where you are and where you want to be. Make sure your list of demonstrated achievements fulfill this and you’re showing your employer that you understand what it takes to get from A to B.

Make your boss feel like there’s no way they can’t give you a promotion because everything you outline suggests you definitely deserve one. Not promoting you would be silly – it’s the obvious next step.

Don’t underestimate the review. Treat it the same as an interview and enter the room ready to sell yourself all over again. In a way, the ‘promotion interview’ can be more difficult because nerves can’t really be an issue. You’ve worked with each other for too long to use that excuse.

I’d recommend creating a presentation based on your last 12 months. This will not only show professionalism but great communication skills too. During the presentation, talk your boss through your 12-month journey and highlight key areas bearing in mind the objectives you set at the start of the year. In my 30 years’ experience it’s rare that I see someone so well organized and planned which surprises me because, with this technique, you will most certainly be in the best position to secure a promotion.

When I think of memorable reviews, there’s one that always comes to mind. The person in question did exactly as outlined above; they identified their development growth and quantified what they had done month to month to prove their worth during a well thought out presentation.

More than this, they went that one step further and added commercial value to each of their achievements. Knowing I’m a numbers man, this really impressed me. When they finished their pitch, it was so natural for me to promote them because it was the most compelling review I’d ever experienced.

The trick is to believe in yourself – however cheesy that might sound! If you believe you really deserve this promotion and you’ve done all you can to prove your worth, so will they.

Follow this process, show how you can master and improve the role and you will not be disappointed.