3 Essentials to Get Promoted in 2017

Most won’t get promoted… but you will!

Get A Promotion

I had a great conversation with an outstanding young leader in Chicago this week. He’s a high potential employee who is working to expand his leadership capacity. And he’s hoping for a promotion this year. If you or someone you know are in the same boat, make certain to keep reading.

Too many employees work hard all year only to be disappointed when they are passed over for a promotion. They complain about the “unfairness” of the situation. They defend themselves and they feel embarrassment that they didn’t get what they were hoping for. Perhaps they just don’t understand:

Once you realize and accept that fact, here are three important steps that you can take.

“You don’t get paid for the hour, you get paid for the value you bring to the hour.” That Jim Rohn quote reminds all of us that employers want more than work, they want for results. I’ve had countless conversations with employees about areas for improvement. Sometimes they’re “shocked.” They want to share areas where they believe they are excelling. But those were not the important areas to me. What’s best for the company?

If you want to get promoted, tell your boss. Your boss isn’t a mind reader. Some people don’t get promoted because their supervisor didn’t know they really wanted to. You think all people want to be promoted, right? That’s definitely not the case! It’s important for your boss to know so she can let you know what skills and behavior will be needed for the next level. But she doesn’t know—that’s her fault. See this new Harvard Business Review article to see why you should always let others know.

Redefine Above & Beyond. SPOILER ALERT! Bosses do NOT promote the hardest worker! The exception would be if the new position required an incredibly hard worker. Usually supervisory slots require management skills and (super excellent) people skills. Here is the BIG PAYOFF: ALWAYS remember that executives promote for their reasons, not yours!

You’re only a question or two away from excelling in this area. Be consistently asking these two questions:

  1. “What is most important and meaningful to my boss right now?
  2. “What extra work can I do to move the company forward?”

THE BOTTOM LINE: Many people want to get promoted—but most of them never will. At least not until they stop seeing everything from their own perspective. Bring value, tell your boss about your aspirations, and redefine “Above & Beyond.” If you do those three things you’ll set yourself up for a great 2017!

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  1. Yes! I had a mentor teach me these lessons when I was a young administrative assistant at AT&T. Somewhere (probably from novels & movies) I got this idea that if I worked hard enough, someone would be impressed with me, pick me to become a leader, and help me “up the ladder”. I got so frustrated when that wasn’t happening! Later I learned to identify a career goal, get busy doing the footwork to acquire the skills needed to meet that goal, and enroll my peers and leaders in helping me reach that goal. I have had some pretty amazing opportunities come out of that learning!

    Now I have a class I love to teach called Driving Your Development, which emphasizes those lessons, lots of self-awareness, and telling your boss. Since part of a great leader’s role is secession planning, we can make their jobs easier by thoughtfully designing our own path and asking for their help and guidance.

    1. Wow Susan!

      I wish I had learned some of these lessons earlier like you have. And now you have the privilege of teaching them to others! I think I’d recommend that just about everyone I know get behind me in line to sign up for your class on taking responsibility for your own development, progress and growth. We all need caring friends along the way, but those friends usually won’t show up unless we ask them. Great comments; thanks!

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Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. ~ Bill Gates

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. ~ Bill Gates