How to Get Promoted at Work: 7 Tips for Career Advancement & Growth

Nobody likes stagnation, but how to move ahead in your career? Here are some top tips on climbing the ladder and how to get promoted at work.

The next ladder rung is at your fingertips, but how to get promoted and reach that next level in your professional career? 

39% of employers regularly offer promotions without raises. Promotions with raises are not as common, but nearly every employer offers one at some point. 

You shouldn’t let the statistics fool you. The process of how to get promoted is a long one, and it requires a lot of commitment from you. Yet you can learn how the process works right now. 

What do employers like to see in employees? How can you show that you are engaged in your job and company? How can you take care of yourself while you are looking to earn a promotion or get a raise? 

Answer these questions and you can climb the job ladder in no time. Here is your comprehensive guide.

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1. Know Your Job

You should understand the ins and outs of your job well. Talk to your supervisor and get a clear understanding of what your responsibilities are. You should also understand how they will assess your job performance and give you feedback. 

Do some research on other people who have similar jobs as you, both in and out of your company. Think about the steps they take to improve their performance and stay motivated in the workplace. 

After you complete a major project, you should ask your supervisor for feedback. They may need a little time to look at your work, but they should get back to you as soon as possible. 

You must be willing to take positive and negative comments. Don’t panic if you get negative critiques. Think about how you can improve your performance and match the qualifications in your job description. 

When you are looking toward getting a promotion, it can be easy to forget what is right in front of you. You can spend some time thinking about how to get a promotion, but you should never lose sight of your current responsibilities. 

2. Set Goals for Yourself

“I want to earn a promotion” is an okay goal to set. But it can be hard to assess where you are in the process of how to get promoted at work when you are not more specific.

“I want to move into a management position within the next three years” is far better. You need to impose a timeline on yourself and think of a specific position you want so you stay focused and keep track of your progress. 

You should have smaller goals that you can hit. You may want to take charge of a project, make connections with the head of your company, or hire a certain number of clients. Develop a few small goals with deadlines that you can hit in quick succession. 

You should also try a few self-improvement projects. Tackling these projects indicates to your bosses that you are ambitious and hardworking. Try picking a project like learning a second language, especially one you can use at work.

Write these goals out on paper or in a computer document. You can talk to others about these goals and encourage them to make their own ones.

Related Read: 10 Best Cover Letter Tips & Tricks Sure to Score Job Interviews

3. Take Initiative at Your Company

Supervisors want to promote employees who step up to challenges. If they offer you a chance to head a project, you should take the opportunity. If they ask for comments during an all-hands meeting, you should raise your hand and say something. 

You should keep an eye out for problems at your company. Talk to your supervisor if you notice something that needs improvement. 

Try attending as many company events as possible. Events let you form connections with others in a casual and fun atmosphere. Just attending the events shows you care about what the company is doing and want to contribute to the company culture.

Taking initiative does not mean taking on everything that comes your way. You should say no if you are too busy with your current tasks or don’t have the skills needed to carry something out.

Try suggesting someone else who would be a better fit for the project. This indicates that you know your employees and can assess their skills.

4. Have a Positive Attitude

Employers want to promote people who come to work eager and satisfied with their job. You should take pride in your accomplishments and express happiness in your current position. 

You should thank your supervisor for any feedback you receive, positive or negative. You should also be thankful to your coworkers for the work they do, and you should do favors for them. 

Having a positive attitude does not mean being happy all the time. A coworker may come to you with a problem, and you should not ignore it or project inappropriate happiness. You should listen to what they have to say and help them overcome the issue.

It is okay to feel stressed or concerned about something. You should not ignore your feelings, but you should not let them overwhelm you. You should talk to someone about what is going on and brainstorm solutions to the problem.

Related Read: 25 Best Interview Tips: Expert Advice for Acing Interviews & Landing Jobs

5. Make Connections

The more connections you make in your company, the more you can get out of your company. Try to be friends with everyone, including people in lower positions than you. Introduce yourself to new employees and supervisors and give them your contact information.

While you are on group projects, you should be a great team player. Talk to your teammates about what they are doing and give them your trust. Let them take care of tasks they can manage and help them when they need it, but don’t bother them or imply you can do a better job than them.

You should put your team’s performance over your own performance. Make sure to praise your teammates for the work they do. Be willing to put in a little work after hours so you can meet deadlines.

Your connections don’t have to be confined to the office. You can go out to dinner or attend events with your work friends. Use icebreaker questions and conversation starters to learn more about the interests and hobbies of your coworkers.

6. Develop Yourself 

You should spend plenty of time developing your work skills. But you also need to become the type of person who deserves a promotion. Learning how to be promoted is one way you can develop yourself. 

You should be someone who people like and trust. Doing favors for other people and being open about your feelings can establish this. Try to create joy in the workspace by bringing in food and decorations.

You need to be a natural and able leader. You must be able to assess what other people’s skills are and delegate tasks appropriate to those skills. You should be able to handle difficult situations with grace, even if you struggle with resolving those situations. 

Employers like employees that have good emotional intelligence. You should have empathy for other people and find simple ways to resolve conflicts. You should practice good listening skills, taking notes and making eye contact when other people are talking.

Your company needs to know that you are reliable and trustworthy. You can communicate with your supervisors right away and you can handle sensitive information without telling others. 

Related Read: 55 Resume Tips, Hacks & Expert Advice to Help You Score a Job Interview

7. Take Care of Yourself

Getting a promotion should not come at the expense of your health. Never take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Do not take on projects when you are dealing with something big in your personal life, as you may not be able to give them your full attention.

Study the signs of burnout and take steps to improve your health when you experience them. You may need to take time off or talk to a therapist in order to deal with them. 

Make sure you get plenty of sleep every night. Put away your phone and computer before you go to bed so the light from your screens doesn’t keep you up. 

It’s okay to work a little bit after hours, but you should impose a time limit for how much you will do. You should spend a couple of hours every day decompressing from work and doing something else with your time. 

You should also recognize the signs of a toxic workplace. You can take steps to mitigate these signs like opening communication lines and encouraging a work-life balance. But if the toxicity is prevalent, you should look for another job instead of looking to get promoted.

Start the Process of How to Get Promoted

You can figure out how to get promoted. You need to fulfill your job description and a series of goals you set for yourself.

Tackle projects at your company and take advantage of opportunities, yet never overwhelm yourself with work. 

You should show a human side to yourself. Make connections with others and try to promote a positive attitude. Develop your skills in and out of the workplace, and make sure to decompress from the stress. 

Related Read: 10+ Job Search Tips & Tricks to Up Your Chances of Landing an Interview

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Goodwall Team
Written By Goodwall Team
This article was written by the Goodwall team or by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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