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November 5, 2007

8 Ways To Get Promoted

By Jennifer Towers

If you’re like most women, you have drive and ambition, and you are not satisfied with cubicle life. No - for you, it’s corner office all the way. You want to get promoted.

Of course, a promotion won’t happen overnight and if you want to get promoted for all your efforts, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to ensure that the right people are watching you make all the right moves.

So whether you want to go from VP to CEO or from senior editor to editor in chief, here are the steps you should take to get promoted.

Get promoted tip #1
Make or save money for the company

When all is said and done, your boss and your boss’ boss care most about dollars, so it is your mission to either make the company some money or save it a load of cash.

If you can figure out a way to save five digits on office supplies by using a new company that offers the same goods and services, or if you can close a deal that results in six figures, you can bet that the right people will take notice.

If you can pull these numbers off more than once, someone will eventually call you into their office to commend you and, if you play your cards right, you can transform that office meeting and get promoted.

Get promoted tip #2
Take on extra tasks & keep records

If you’re going to help Sheryl with her proposal or take on Mike’s tasks for the month because he’s away on business in China, make sure to keep records of all your extra work by placing headers on documents created, and noting dates and specific details for your year-end review.

It’s not necessary to spend your time boasting about taking on a million other tasks and patting yourself on the back; you should, however, try to get other people in on these extra tasks. That way, they can say they contributed, but it will be clear that you are the woman who headed each project.

Get promoted tip #3
Network at work
If you work in a big corporation, make it a point to befriend colleagues in other departments. When your name begins to spread throughout the company (in a positive way) alongside what your specialties are, you will become the go-to gal that everyone wants to work with.

As well, ask others for small favors once you become acquainted with them. People tend to convince themselves that you must be a nice, worthy woman if they’re willing to do something for you.

Get promoted tip #4
Befriend the messengers
If there’s an administrative assistant (AA) that directs everyone’s phone calls, make that person your best friend. AAs see and hear everything that happens at work, and they are your “in” when it comes to the higher-ups in the company.

If you befriend the AAs, you get an “in” on the scoop and, if they overhear someone discussing you, they can put in a couple of good words on your behalf. Of course, this is not to insinuate that you should brownnose (nobody likes the smell of that), but a professional compliment (I wish I could be half as organized as you, and look just as good doing it) or a flower as gesture of appreciation will be remembered.

Get promoted tip #5
Look great
There will no doubt be days when you wake up feeling lazy and tired, but, as much as you want to, you cannot skimp on self-presentation. It’s not only clients that will notice that you have mooncrust stuck in your eyelashes, but your coworkers will take note as well.

Take care of your body; keep your skin soft, your nails neat and trim, your hair clean and proper, and your clothes wrinkle free. You are, and will constantly be, judged on your looks and no one wants to promote someone who looks a mess.

Get promoted tip #6
Prepare yourself for the future

If you know where you want to climb to with your company, prepare yourself for the future by learning the traits associated with it.

For example, if there’s a special computer program you need to master, take a class beforehand. In the same vein, do your best to get to know other people who already hold such a position and pick their brains in order to get a full understanding of what the job will entail.

Get promoted tip #7
Ask for it

It would be great if you were simply recognized for all your efforts and hard work, but chances are you’re going to have to ask to get promoted - it may never be offered to you otherwise.

You could work at a 110% all the time, but everyone’s busy and it’s up to you to make sure that you not only get noticed, but that you make it clear why you’re doing all this hard work.

Of course, you need to ask at an appropriate time, during a performance review or a private meeting with a decision-maker, for example.

Get promoted tip #8
Work late & socialize
It is a well-known fact in business that most dealings take place in the off hours and, if you want to get promoted, working late might help. Most top tiers employees work late due to the demands of their jobs, and if you're working just as late, it leaves the impression that you also take your tasks very seriously.

And although you need to tread carefully because you don't want to be perceived in a negative way, heading out for drinks with the people who matter can also work in your favor when it comes time to call upon someone to take the lead in your department. So whenever there is a planned event or last minute invite, do your damnedest to attend. You do not have to talk shop the entire time, but do stay sober and leave a positive, lasting impression.

Get promoted now

It’s not an easy climb to the top for most, but if you couple hard work with determination, there’s no way that you won’t get promoted. You just have to envision it and seize the moment.

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