The simplest way to get a promotion at work? Earn it.
But the world is not fair, and sometimes you may miss out on a well-deserved rise in profile at work. As competitiveness often beats seniority and even merit in terms of a promotion at work, one needs to know how to sell oneself better.
But remember to maintain utmost professionality in such conversations with your boss – be blunt, but truthful. The following are a few tips to help you not bow out in the face of better future prospects.
1. Data does not lie
First of all, showcase your achievements so far and don’t be too modest about it. Have clear data ready on the targets you have achieved in your key responsibility areas (KRAs) and how you can possibly take up higher targets or different responsibilities in the future.
Don’t forget to own up to your shortcomings too – explain why you were not able to fulfil certain duties or meet a target if any, and what you have learnt from your mistakes. This will give your bosses the confidence that you can be trusted with better and bigger things.
2. Be a leader by showing ownership
The world can debate as much as it wants on whether leaders are born or made, but all your employer cares about is whether you own up your tasks and achieve what is expected of you. An employee who regularly takes ownership of new projects and meets its targets will always be a leader in his/her boss’s eyes.
Owning and leading are often the same in this context. One need not be dominating to be a leader, but command the respect of people around you to make sure that the job gets done. In short, don’t make people hate or fear having to work with or under you.
In your performance review, explain how you can change or make things better where needed, in a different role.
3. Be a mentee and a mentor
Being a team player is probably the most important quality for climbing up in any organisation. Anyone who is pushing down her colleagues or throwing her juniors under the bus for mistakes is not someone who will be considered for bigger or better roles. On the other hand, anyone who is seen helping others – especially mentoring younger employees – would command respect.
During your annual appraisal meeting, elaborate on how you have empowered those working around you, and how it makes you stand out. Also, it is important to be open to being mentored; one is never too old or too good to learn more.
4. Upskilling for more tasks and responsibilities
Without exception, every industry has gone through massive transformations in the past few years, thanks to the advent of new technologies. Hence the skills required for jobs in these industries are changing, and competition means that there is always someone with better skills than you out there.
For instance, a software engineer who is skilled at UI/UX design and development has an edge over a web designer or a regular web developer.
While some employers take an effort to upskill their better employees, very often one has to take the effort herself. What better way to prove to your boss that you are ready for more and bigger duties? Highlight the new skills you have achieved in the past year or so during your self-appraisal too.
5. Social media for building your profile
Without fail, keep a good record of your doings that promote your company, whether online or offline. Since social media offers more visibility, your posts on LinkedIn and Twitter itself can prove your diligence, commitment, and loyalty to the betterment of the organisation.
If people know little or nothing about how good you really are, you would soon become invisible and your career stagnant. So leave no stone unturned in telling the world about your own and your organisation’s accomplishments. Most importantly, keep the Imposter Syndrome out from your head and your social media, and especially during your review meeting.