How to get promoted

Looking to make your next step up the career ladder? Here are some tips.

by Miranda Kennett
Last Updated: 29 Jul 2015

1. Get clear about your own priorities

What is the work you find most satisfying? Identify what you're good at and what's required to get you to the next level. The closer the fit between the job, your skills and personal goals, the more likely you are to succeed.

2. Do a great job in your current role

Go over and above the job description to show you're capable of more. The common mistake is focusing so intently on the next job that we fail to deliver on the one we've currently got.

3. See the bigger picture

Look beyond your current role. Know your stuff: the company, the products, the financials and the marketplace. Anticipate potential problems and provide solutions.

4. Manage upwards

Understand your boss's situation and help make her/him look good. Learn to influence people over whom you have no direct power. The larger your sphere of influence, the more successful you will be.

5. Unleash the power of your team

Surround yourself with good people, delegate, praise good work, prepare for your succession and prove you have leadership capabilities. Claiming credit for other people's ideas can do lasting damage to your career.

6. Grab development opportunities

Look out for training and additional projects that allow you to show your capabilities. Insist on appraisals, listen to feedback and act on it.

7. Be positive, no matter how difficult it is

If you're friendly and helpful, especially in a crisis, people will be on your side. Do your moaning in the privacy of your bathroom.

8. Build a (meaningful) network

Get to know senior people and your peers, and make sure you develop those relationships.

9. Look and act the part

If you wait until you get promoted to say and do the right things and wear the clothes appropriate to the role, you probably won't make it.

10. Ask for a promotion

Wait until you're really ready for it, and give evidence of why you have earned it. Typically, men demand the next job before they're ready for it, while women often never ask, assuming their talents will be spotted.

Miranda Kennett is an independent coach and these findings are taken from her survey of 150 high-flying business women. If there's a leadership issue you'd like her to address, contact her at Follow her on Twitter @mirandajkennett.

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