How to get a promotion

Are you ready for a promotion? You may be wishing for a better title and a bigger paycheck, but if your boss hasn't indicated that you'll be moving up any time soon, you may need to make some changes.

From improving your wardrobe to changing your behavior in the office, here are five proven ways to grab your boss's attention and get the promotion you want.

Adjust your attitude

Before you can even think about getting a promotion, you need to make sure you have the right attitude. If you want to advance in your career, you'll have to ditch the "glass half empty" mentality and be more positive and optimistic.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 62 percent of employers said that having a negative or pessimistic attitude hurt an employee's chances for promotion. Having a bad attitude was considered just as egregious by employers as regularly showing up to work late, and worse than using vulgar language, regularly leaving work early and taking too many sick days.

Of course, no one can be sunny and smiling every minute of every work day, but if you know that you're the type to complain frequently, you should be more aware of how negative you come across and try to make some changes.

Dress for success

You've probably heard the phrase "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" and research shows it's true. The way you dress definitely plays a part in how others form their first impressions of you, and it can do the same when you're looking to advance in your career.

Research from OfficeTeam shows that 80 percent of executives think clothing choices affect an employee's chances of earning a promotion. Of that 80 percent, 72 percent said an employee's style of dress mattered somewhat, while 8 percent said it mattered significantly. The survey also found that the extent to which clothing affects an employee's chances of being promoted has decreased over the last several years, but with only 20 percent of employers saying that clothing doesn't matter, it's not worth the risk.

That said, if you work in a very casual office, showing up in an expensive suit every day may not be the best option, but you can still find ways to dress to impress. Just observe what your supervisor or those who work in your dream department wear and follow their lead. It's all about dressing appropriately for your work environment and finding ways to incorporate your personality into your wardrobe, too.

Plus, according to research by University of Hertfordshire professor Karen Pine, your clothing can have a huge impact on your self-confidence, Daily Mail reported. And if you're feeling confident, you're definitely more likely to impress your boss. [How to Ask Your Boss for a Raise: 5 Tips for Success ]

Act like a leader

No boss will promote an employee who doesn't demonstrate good leadership skills, especially if a promotion means you'll be in a more managerial position. According to Harvard Business Review, if you want to move up in your career, you have to "act, think, and communicate like a leader long before that promotion," and that doing so will ultimately make you more likely to get promoted.

So how can you prove your leadership capabilities without a team to lead? Harvard Business Review had some suggestions: First, you need to make sure you're not so distracted by your ambitions that you forget to excel at your current role. Get your work done, and do it well. From there, look for extra tasks, neglected business needs and smaller leadership roles that aren't being filled and volunteer to take them on. Be sure to also build relationships with important figures at the company. And definitely don't let your ego get in the way — instead, focus on what the company needs and maintain some modesty.

Be sociable

Another way to prove yourself to your boss is to socialize with other employees. Attending after-work events or joining group activities like a company softball league or trivia team shows that you're invested in company beyond just putting in your 40 hours per week. And, building relationships with other employees can show your boss that you're well liked and can also add to the idea that you can be a strong leader.

A study by professor Timothy Judge from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business found that extroversion is the best predictor of leadership effectiveness, Business Insider reported. And according to CareerBuilder, building positive relationships at work both encourages teamwork and employees who build these relationships have a better chance at getting a promotion because they make the workday more pleasant, CNN reported.

When you're socializing with co-workers, just make sure you're doing so appropriately. For example, attending a work happy hour is fine, but drinking too much could seriously hurt your reputation. In addition, when you're talking to your co-workers, you should avoid complaining and venting, because you never know who it will get back to. Stick to keeping things light and positive, and avoid controversial topics that could upset people or get you in trouble.

Just ask for it

If you don't talk to your boss about growth opportunities and your career trajectory at the company, your boss might not even realize you'd like to get a promotion. You should make it clear to your supervisor that you're looking to take on a bigger role so that you won't get passed over for a promotion simply because no one knew you were interested.

An Accenture study found that only 44 percent of women and 48 percent of men said they have asked for pay raises, and only 28 percent of women and 39 percent of men said they've asked for promotions, CBS News reported. But of those employees who did ask, the majority got a positive response. Seventeen percent were promoted to a new role that was even better than they'd hoped to land, and 42 percent got the role they asked for. Another 10 percent got a new role, but not the role they asked for, 5 percent got new responsibilities but no promotion, and only 10 percent got nothing in response.

Even if you don't think you're ready to outright ask for a promotion, talking to your supervisor about your goals and ambitions is still a good idea. If you're lacking in certain areas, your boss can tell you what you need to work on in order to be considered for a promotion or a pay raise. Not only will it give you an idea of changes that you need to make in your work and your behavior, it will show your boss that you're actively trying to improve, which will definitely get you noticed in a good way.

How to get a promotion

At one point or another, we’ve all wanted to know how to get promoted. Let’s lay out a plan that will help put you at the front of the pack for the next promotion that you know you deserve. This is a simple 3-step process that will help ensure that your superiors know who you are and what you can do for the company.

1. Stay Aware of Upcoming Promotions

One of the most important things you can do to make sure you are on the short list for an upcoming promotion is to stay informed. To do this, you need to stay in the loop – and by this we mean socialize.

There’s always a ton of information floating around a How to get a promotioncompany, especially “around the water coolers.” If you are not engaging with your company peers, then it will be very difficult for you to find out what new decisions are being made and how you can contribute to the process.

Company parties are a great place to hear what’s going on as this is a place where your peers, both superiors and subordinates, tend to let their hair down.

If you can find out what opportunities are on the horizon, you can also find out who will be making the key decisions that can have a dramatic effect on your future.

2. Always give 110%

Even if there’s not a promotion being talked about, you should always give your job responsibilities your undivided attention. Remember that there is always someone keeping tabs on your performance – you should never wait until a promotion is being advertised to step up your game.

Your superiors will be able to tell if you are a self-starter that always gives 110% effort or if you’re only working hard because a promotion was mentioned.

This is the classic story of the tortoise and the hare. We do not mean to imply that you should work slowly, rather this analogy centers around working smartly and consistently. Employers want people at the top that they can rely on, not someone who barely manages to pull through at the last moment every time (i.e. the hare).

If you give it your all every day on the job, your superiors will notice and that will be taken into account when they are trying to decide who’s management material.

3. Improve yourself consistently

This is where the benefits of continuing education come into play. You should never become complacent with the knowledge you’ve obtained throughout your life.

How to get a promotion

There is always a topic of study we can pursue, which can help us to become better at our job. Sometimes this can require some outside-the-box thinking. You might be surprised at how beneficial taking a History of Business course can be – as we have all heard at some point in our lives, “History tends to repeat itself.”

You could be the best accountant out there, but how would you rate your leadership skills? Once you’ve studied something new, you should look for opportunities to demonstrate that newfound knowledge to your superiors.

In most cases, they will greatly appreciate your drive for self-betterment and want you to be a model for other employees. Thus, putting you on the short-list for a promotion.

Albeit, this model on how to get promoted may seem quite remedial, but you might be surprised to know how many of your peers fail to implement a strategy to move up in the world. It’s a matter of Human Resources. Put this 3-step process into play and you will be on your boss’s radar for a promotion before you know it!

How to get a promotion

Promotions aren’t just handed out at random, so if you’re looking to progress in your organisation you need to show the right people why it’s worth their while promoting you. If you properly prepare, and fully understand what is required of you in order to be promoted, you’re more likely to be in the right position to advance.

Take note of the following points when you’re considering how to get a promotion:

A company with potential

When initially looking for jobs, make sure you choose somewhere that is likely to have frequent promotion opportunities. A growing organisation is often a good place to start, as they expand new career prospects will arise.

Does your boss know you’re looking to be promoted?

Discuss your aspirations with your manager, they should be aware of your objectives and can help you reach them. Show them you’re willing to take on more responsibility by volunteering to do extra work, including the unappealing tasks that everyone else avoids doing. You will gain extra experience, not just for the high profile projects, and stand out from the rest of the team.

Talk to someone in the position you’re aiming for

This has a dual purpose; you can find out how they progressed to the position – which will show you if there’s anything you need to learn – and you can draw on their valuable experience. Having a mentor can prove to be a very useful career tool. It shows managers you’ve taken initiative to learn the ropes by building a relationship with someone higher in the company. Plus, if you do get promoted, you might find it easier to settle into the role if you know someone you can ask for advice.

Learn new skills

Staying up-to-date with industry requirements is vital when trying to advance your career. Your boss won’t want to promote you if you haven’t made an effort to learn new skills. You should aim to learn skills that go beyond your current position, consider additional certifications that are relevant to the promotion you have in mind. Employers will see these new skills as an added bonus as well as the level of commitment you have to getting the role.

Your current value

While taking on board all of the above, you should also be convincing employers that while you’d add more worth to the company in a higher level role, you’re not irreplaceable in the position you currently hold. You don’t want to risk them not promoting you because you’re too valuable where you are. By working as part of a team, you can ensure that everybody carries their weight and at the same time you can excel in your own work. If you have a deadline, don’t just meet it: beat it.

Here are a few things to remember when wondering how to get a promotion:

Always take responsibility for any mistakes you make, it’s professional and you can learn from them

Improve what you do, there are always ways of gaining extra skills or experience

Provide insight to those above and below you with innovative solutions

Work as part of a team and don’t show reluctance to get involved with projects

Get yourself noticed by senior people

Apply your expertise to help others with their problems

Show you’ll go the extra mile in your own role and for your team

Commit yourself to every job, no matter how small

Have belief in yourself and get behind the goals of your team and organisation

Keep applying

Promotions won’t just come to you unless you proactively seek them. When an opportunity comes up, apply for it even if you’re up against other candidates, you must show dedication at every turn. Don’t get upset or threaten to leave if you don’t get the promotion, stay positive and keep working towards bettering your professional self.

If you decide that staying in your current organisation will hold back your plans for career progression, browse the current Michael Page jobs for other opportunities.

How to get a promotion

What’s the best way to handle a situation where you apply for a promotion, but don’t land that new job? It’s not easy to ask for a promotion or a raise at work, regardless of whether you formally interview for a position or simply inquire during a conversation with your manager. It’s terrific if you get it, but what happens if you’re passed over and your request is declined?

Being passed over for a promotion—particularly when you feel like you deserved it, or if someone you believe is less qualified receives one instead—can be demoralizing and discouraging.

One thing to keep in mind is that this decision isn’t necessarily personal or a reflection of the level of work you’re doing for the company. Sometimes, decisions are the result of budget limitations, office politics, staffing levels, other employees with a longer tenure at the company, or other factors.

It’s a gutsy, ambitious move to ask for a promotion—and although it’s not always the case, you may find yourself rewarded with valuable feedback and new opportunities that will ultimately further your career.

Here are six things to do after you ask for, but do not receive, a promotion.

Let Yourself Feel Your Feelings

If you need some time to wallow and complain, that’s understandable. Your feelings are legitimate, and totally justifiable. Being passed over for a promotion is disappointing. And, if you had to interview for a position, it’s also time-consuming.

Give yourself some time to process all of your emotions. Tell a friend, perhaps, and let that person buy you a drink or a cup of coffee and listen to your story. It can be easier to accept a difficult situation when you have an understanding listener to help you handle the situation.

Assess Your Own Request for a Promotion

You may also want to think through what's behind your feelings, whatever they may be. Would this promotion have been your dream job, or just a better title? Or is your disappointment due to not getting a salary bump or positive feedback?

Self-assessment can help you think through your next steps:

  • If you’re happy with the type of work you’re doing, but want more money, it may make more sense for you to switch companies.
  • If the promotion would have required you to have new, different skills that you want to develop, you might look for ways to add those skills to your toolbox.

Finally, try to look at the situation from an outsider’s point of view. Did you deserve the promotion? If you’re doing the work that’s in your current job description—but aren’t going above and beyond—it may make sense why you didn’t get promoted. And if you asked in an entitled way and did not provide a solid case for why you merit a promotion, that might be a clue as to why you did not get it.

Stay Professional at Work

If you want to complain, cry, or whine, do it with your friends and family. At work, and in conversations with your manager, do your best to keep things professional.

If you hear the news in an in-person conversation with a manager, be polite in response. You might want to say, "Thank you for considering me."

This situation has the potential to be awkward for everyone, and your graceful response will be appreciated.

Request Feedback From Your Manager

In the days following the news, try to reach out to your manager or other higher-ups involved in the decision to see if they can offer feedback about why you didn’t get the promotion. Find out what you can do to make yourself eligible for one in the future.

It’s possible that you’ll just receive unhelpful platitudes in response. Often, people are uncomfortable sharing critiques. But, it’s also possible you’ll get actionable insight. Maybe you’re missing a core skill that you can get through taking a class or volunteering for a new project. Or perhaps your work in one particular area needs improvement.

If you find that the feedback is vague, you may try asking specific questions, such as, “Is there a specific skill you’d like me to work on?”

Resist the Urge to Make Comparisons

If you don’t get the promotion and a colleague does, it can be particularly hard to cope. Resist urges to make comparisons to others around you. This won’t get you any closer to a promotion and will make you seem petty if you bring it up to your manager.

Plan Your Career Strategy

Do you get the sense that a promotion might be in the cards for you at a future date, or does it seem more likely that you’ll always be passed over at this company? If it’s the latter, it might make sense to refresh your resume and begin a job search.

Even if it’s the former, you might want to establish a time frame for making changes that will make a promotion more likely, then set a date for when you want to meet with your manager again and make the request.

This is the year. The year where fantastic things will happen, especially at work and you find out how to get a promotion in 2022. You’ll put in the effort, smash your goals and, hopefully, land that promotion you’ve been hoping for.

Read on to explore and learn the different approaches you can take to get promoted and how to go about requesting your promotion in 2022.

How to get a promotion in 2022

When it comes to promotions, taking action is best. The greatest injustice you can do is trust in the old adage: good things come to those who wait. So if you’ve been waiting for progression, the problem is that you’re waiting rather than doing.

People who get promoted worked incredibly hard to get to where they are. They have planned and proven their capability. With this in mind, here’s a few things you can do to make sure your hats in the ring when a new position opens up.

  1. Discuss what’s expected of you to get promoted

It’s helpful to have a one-to-one with your manager and let them know that you’re pursuing a promotion. Ask about future opportunities and what you can do to achieve this. This will help strengthen your position when it does.

  1. Find ways to help your manager

Managers often have a lot of fingers in a lot of pies. There’s always something greater they need to be working on to continue proving their ability and climbing their own ladder.

Start by asking if there’s anything you can help with, and perhaps suggest something within your skill set. This will take one thing off to do list and give them space to focus on other projects. Plus, when you finish the entrusted task to an exceptionally high standard, you’ll look amazing.

  1. Take on a project from start to finish

This will prove that you can be trusted to handle things independently. Definitely ask for help if you need it, don’t struggle on your own. This will work in your favour, as it shows you can handle more responsibility but understand when you need assistance. Nobody can know everything.

  1. Take on additional training

Training is brilliant avenue if the role you want to step into involves managing other people. An accredited course in effective communication, office management or even a higher level course relevant to the position you want to move into will prove that you’re willing to put the time and effort into your professional growth and that you’re taking the journey seriously.

  1. Help your colleagues

Most employers look for team players. Showcase how you’ve helped other people in your department, or even better, have testimonials of colleagues singing your praises. positive testimonials guarantee that you’ll be looked on favourably.

How to get a promotion

How to ask for a promotion

When you’ve got a strong enough case, and a position becomes available, it’s time to make the official request to throw your hat into the ring.

The key here is to create a win-win situation. An instance where your boss can see the value you add and will continue to add in your new position, and you can step into your new role confidently.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your chances:

  1. Think about the time you schedule your meeting

Timing really is everything. When requesting a sit down with your boss, be sure to give as much notice as possible and let them know what you’re planning to discuss. It’s important to provide them with ample time to prepare.

If you’ve been working with your manager as we recommended higher up in this post, perhaps request that they join the meeting too; having someone else on your side can only help.

Also, think about the actual time you want the meeting to occur. For example, try not to schedule it before lunch or at the end of the day.

  1. Gather visual evidence

Of the contribution you’ve made to the company. You’ll make a more lasting impression if you can display this visually. In your examples, try to tease out evidence of the skills and knowledge required for the position you’re hoping to move into so that your boss can be confident you’ll hit the ground running.

Although if you can, showcase times when you’ve solved a problem and how you went about it.

  1. Showcase that you know it’s not all about you

It’s great to show evidence of how you’ve helped the company grow. This could be by increasing revenue, saving the company money (perhaps by creating processes that speed things up), expanding the client base or something else. Your manager will be able to advise on what evidence you should produce for this.

To get a promotion in 2022, you need to prove that you have and will help the company grow.

How to get a promotion

How long should you stay in a job without a promotion?

The structure of a company can affect how often people are promoted. It’s worth trying to get a feel and work off that. But if you’ve been in the same position for a while with no signs of progression, it might be worth considering taking your talents elsewhere.

It’s important to understand that job-hopping can be considered a red flag to prospective employers along with staying in one position for years.

If you feel like there’s no more progression available to you at your current company, our job ready pack can help to put you in a strong position for your job search. We’ll help you create a strong CV and provide interview skills training.

Do you want to get promoted at work this year? Maybe you’re ambitious and you want to get promoted into a management or leadership position.

Getting promoted at work is something that requires planning and strategy. Too many people rely on luck. Or they think all they have to do is work hard and they will automatically get promoted. These strategies rarely work.

If you’re serious about your career advancement, you need to approach every promotion intelligently. Just like the smart leader you are! You need to prepare, plan and strategise your promotion moves.

Don’t wait until you’re 100% ready.

This mistake is very common, especially with perfectionists or those with Impostor Syndrome. Waiting until you’re 100% ready will not make you any more prepared for the promotion. In fact, it will open up the opportunity for others to swoop in and get the promotion ahead of you! I urge you to apply for the promotion as soon as you can.

Identify the skills you need to get promoted.

In order to be ready for the promotion interview, you need to have identified the skills you need to be successful in that role you’re applying for. This can be the hardest part. You should use a combination of performance reviews, feedback and your own internal evaluation. Where is the gap? What skills are you missing that you need to develop?

Start building the skills you need for that role.

On top of identifying the skills you need, you also need to have developed those skills and you should be displaying them in your day-to-day role. Hiring managers need to see this so they can be confident you can do the job.

Network with the right people.

In leadership, your network is your net worth. You need to connect with, and get to know, like and trust people who can be beneficial for you in your career. Think of people who can help you develop your team, meet your goals, or advance your career. Networking is crucial to your career success.

Communicate your worth.

Don’t expect others to see your worth. People are so involved in their own lives, they rarely look up and notice the exceptional work of others. You need to be more upfront about the value you bring. Make it visible in the office. Communicate your worth to others so they can’t miss it.

At the end of the day, getting a promotion isn’t difficult. Many people think it’s impossible. But that’s usually because they’ve been going about it the wrong way. I hope this blog post will help you approach it with much more strategy so you can see better results.

Watch the below YouTube video where I explain in more detail about what you need to do to get promoted at work.


  • 00:46 Why you should stop waiting to be 100% ready.
  • 02:18 How to identify the skills you need to get promoted.
  • 04:00 How to start building the skills you need to get promoted as a leader.
  • 05:38 Why networking with the right people will get you promoted.
  • 07:39 Make it easier to get promoted by communicating your worth.
  • 09:35 Key to getting promoted in today’s competitive business environment

Watch the below video to learn about 6 tell-tale signs you’re not going to get promoted.

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Kara Ronin is the founder of Executive Impressions. She is an executive coach who specialises in leadership presence, social skills and business etiquette. She is also the creator of Bestselling Udemy course, Business Etiquette 101. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Muse, The Local France, The West Australian, and more. Kara works regularly with lawyers, investment bankers, and finance professionals to help them build presence, authority and influence in business. Get Kara’s insights delivered straight to your inbox

How to get a promotion

If you want to get promoted at work, become the powerhouse of your company.

You’ve been eyeing a promotion, but you’re also anxious because you have no idea if you’ve performed better than your colleagues. You wonder if there’s anything you can do to shift the odds in your favor.

Well, there’s good news. You can!

No matter how much you’ve accomplished in the past year, there are still practical steps you can take to make an impact and impress your boss. But do realize that there is no easy fix, and making your effort count will take an unwavering commitment.

Here are some proven methods top performers use to rise in their organizations. Once you implement the following tactics, your boss and colleagues will notice that you’re making a significant impact. And once that happens, it will become obvious to your boss that you deserve a promotion.

1. Give more value than ever

Everyone wants a promotion, but few employees ever seriously think about what the company wants from them. The secret to getting what you want is very simple — give value.

Improve your skills. One of the best things you can do is advance your skills. The more skilled you are, the better results you can create for your company — and your boss cares about results.

Take lateral roles. Exposing yourself to a variety of company activities can increase your chances of promotion. Think outside the box and make a lateral career move. Companies usually give employees opportunities to join new committees or task forces for activities such as web redesign committee and fundraising.

Working on a variety of activities will help you learn new skills, network with important people, and get new opportunities to grow.

2. Pay attention to who gets promoted

Look for the common themes. Situational awareness is important when you want to get promoted. Find the common personality traits, habits, and achievements of all who were promoted in the past couple of years. You will get clear indications of what you need to do.

For example, some bosses promote employees who socialize and attend all the office parties. In such case, even if you’re an introvert, make an effort to socialize. Some bosses want employees to be team players, so in this case, always be willing to help when working on a team project.

3. Ask your boss for feedback

Present your progress. Life is much simpler than we think. If you wonder whether or not your boss is considering you for promotion, it’s best that you just ask. Present your case professionally to your boss, even if it requires writing a cover letter. Put together a list of your responsibilities and accomplishments and include the skills and experience you’ve gained so far. Then, show the impact of your work on the operations of the company.

Seek clarity. Present this information in writing and ask your boss what it would take for you to get the promotion. This approach also works when you want to ask for a raise. Ask for a very specific answer and then simply do what they say to boost your chances of getting the promotion.

Asking directly helps in many ways: It makes things much simpler, shows your boss that you’re serious about your work, and gets you noticed.

4. Get noticed (for all the right reasons)

It’s important to work hard, but if you fly under the radar, your hard work may go unnoticed.

Here are some ways you can advertise yourself and get noticed:

Speak up and show your knowledge in staff meetings. If you’re an introvert, prepare in advance of meetings so that you can speak up and give suggestions. Be aware of the opportunities where your skills and talents can be showcased.

Volunteer to work in employee committees and on projects in other departments to expand your skills as well as gain visibility.

Build a relationship with your boss by checking in from time to time, giving suggestions on important projects, asking for advice, or sending an email when an important milestone is completed.

Dress for success. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.

5. Let your work ethic speak for itself

Aim for mastery. Become the hardest worker in the room. Be prepared to do everything it takes whether it is preparing for an interview or tackling a one-on-one consultation with your boss.

Be punctual and attentive toward deadlines. The only way to get a promotion is to actually be worth it. When you can handle your current responsibilities with diligence, it will be hard to deny your impact.

Remember, your efforts should reflect a mastery of your current role. Only then you can expect to survive in the role you’re given after promotion.

Know “why” you care. Recalling your “why” will help you give your maximum effort. Connect with your intuition to know why you want to succeed. Find meaning for yourself. Does the cause of the company matter to you? Do you want to prove it to yourself? Do you have a vision for your family in which getting a promotion is a critical milestone? When you care about your work, it’ll become much easier to work hard.

So now that you know what to do, it’s time to act! Start with these steps and soon you’ll reach your goal. Remember, nothing works unless you do.

Click on the following link for more advice on getting ahead.

Is your resume promotion-ready? Get a free resume critique to find out where yours stands.

Sometimes just doing your job really well isn’t enough to be considered for promotion.

These tips will help to increase your chances of being at the forefront of your manager’s mind the next time a higher position opens up.

How to get a promotion

How to get promoted

Get yourself noticed

You may have impeccable time-keeping and always get your work done, but this doesn’t help to raise your profile in the workplace. You need to display passion for the job and a strong work ethic, show that you have leadership qualities and be seen as a team player.

Put yourself out there and volunteer for projects. Approach your boss with new ideas. Speak up in meetings with solutions to problems. You will soon gain a reputation as an above-average employee. Remember – out of sight, out of mind. See get yourself noticed at work.

Present yourself well

Dress for the role you are seeking, rather than the one you are currently in. Always be professional, both in spoken and written word. Never engage in office gossip or get drawn into office politics. Remain diplomatic and fair at all times.

Consider your social media presence. How do you come across on your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts? Your employer can gain a true sense of who you are by reading your online conversations, so tread carefully.

Don’t give up

Promotion rarely happens overnight. The failure of previous applications is disheartening, but your boss will have noticed your ambition.

Work hard, meet your objectives, take on new challenges, expand your skill base and get involved in more colleague networking. All of this adds up and means when a position does open up, you will be well prepared to apply for it.

If you feel that you are purposely and unfairly being overlooked for promotion, contact your trade union who may be able to advise you on what steps to take next.

Consider a lateral move

Rather than always looking up the ladder, consider what roles exist in different areas within the company. They may be on the same salary, but can involve taking on new responsibilities or learning new skills. You will be increasing your network of colleagues and adding your value to the organisation.

Earning a promotion is a wonderful thing. It’s an acknowledgment of your hard work, a step-up in responsibility and salary, and a gesture that suggests confidence in your work style and strategy. However, securing a promotion can be challenging, as there will likely be competition over senior roles and other candidates determined to beat you to it. Here are some key strategies on how to get a promotion, no matter what role or industry you’re in.

Take initiative

Be bigger than your role, and never expect that just doing the minimum will earn you a promotion. Like asking for a pay rise, to be eligible for a promotion you’ll need to show that you’re capable of taking on greater responsibility, that you’re not afraid of hard work and challenge, and that you’re engaged with the wider organisation. Try the following strategies to exhibit initiative in your role, and to better understand how to get a promotion:

Pursue available learning opportunities

Does your company offer free Excel training? Maybe there’s a job rotation program in place? If it’s relevant to your role, then get involved. This shows enthusiasm and dedication central to getting a promotion.

Challenge people in your team, offering innovative solutions

Be a leader in your team during meetings, project planning sessions and any review periods. Don’t be afraid to speak up and challenge process. This doesn’t mean you need to be dominating or speak just for speaking’s sake, but if you can offer ideas and suggestions that are considered and well-researched, you’ll get recognised for these valuable contributions.

Join a working group

This might be a group dedicated to increasing women’s participation in executive roles at your organisation, or a team working to map the range of technical issues affecting customers. However varied their purpose, working groups are a great way to meet a range of people from across the organisation and show you’re committed to improving how it operates. If working groups don’t exist, propose starting one of your own that contributes to greater efficiencies.

Get a mentor

When learning how to get promoted, mentors are invaluable. Mentors are an excellent source of guidance and experience, and can connect you with their extensive and influential networks. They may also be able to act as a reference for you, spruiking your abilities and selling you as the perfect candidate for promotion to key decision-makers.

How to get a promotion – will it be in, out or across?

Promotions are no longer just a linear move up the company ladder, and there are several ways in which you could be promoted, each of which come with their own unique benefits.

Internal promotion

This is the most common form of promotion, where you take on a new title, responsibilities and staff at your organisation. You may remain in your team, or move to a different department to assume your new position.

Key strategies: While internal promotions are most common, that doesn’t mean they come easily. Your work, participation in meetings and contribution to larger projects will be considered as parts of an ongoing application that requires an always-on approach. Make sure you’re consistently thorough and diligent in your appeal for an internal promotion.

External promotion

This promotion would see you move to another company where your starting position is more senior than the role you left. An external promotion is a significant acknowledgment of your experience and potential. Prepare to hit the ground running.

Key strategies: Make sure your resume and application clearly details your ability to go above-and-beyond what the role demands. Provide concrete examples of your consistent success and make it clear that you have drive and ambition. These are key elements you’ll need if a new employer is to feel confident that you have what it takes to join their team.

Lateral or sideways promotion

These promotions are to roles with similar titles, pay, and responsibilities, and can be either internal or external. As role types evolve and an increasing number of skills are deemed valuable across different industries, lateral or sideways promotions have become more popular.

Key strategies: When looking to be promoted laterally, make sure you show how your skills will be relevant and applied successfully in this new role. When discussing your application, detail your success in managing change and challenge. Express your passion for learning new skills and your enthusiasm for diversifying your network.

Make sure people know you want a promotion

It sounds obvious, but if you’re working away blindly hoping someone will notice and reward you with that sought-after promotion, think again. Make sure your colleagues and manager know you’re eager to excel and take on more responsibility. This shows you as upfront and ambitious, two important qualities found in leaders, and allows them to provide as much support as possible.

There’s no single approach to take when establishing how to get a promotion, but success stories tend to have the above elements in common. Always seize opportunities when they’re presented, and if they’re not readily available, be willing to make them for yourself. Every effort counts when it comes to getting promoted.

Take a look at our career development hub for more career tips and advice.