12 Tips to Promoting Yourself (and Not Waiting for Your Supervisor to Do It)

Written by  //  October 13, 2013  //  CAREER & MONEY  // 

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By Dena Bilbrew
www.denabilbrew.wordpress.com

No one else really can promote you – you have to “promote yourself.”  Sure the physical promotion may come through your supervisor filling out the paperwork, but you have the power to ignite that process.  Think about where you want to be in the future and start working towards your goals NOW.

1.  DO YOUR CURRENT JOB WELL

Of course, you must be performing satisfactorily in your current role if you’d like to be promoted.  Having a positive attitude might be a great add-on as well!!

2.  GET A MENTOR

80% of people who get promoted have someone higher up on the “food chain” who speaks favorably of them.  Identify a mentor who you can learn from.  Your mentorship can be as formal/informal as you make it – maybe a set time each month with questions written down or a lunch or phone chat.  Ask them to keep your conversations confidential.

3.  COME TO WORK EARLY / STAY LATE

If you’re supposed to be there at 8:00, arrive by 7:45.  At 5:00, you shouldn’t be the first one out the door. Most managers work longer hours so you should adopt this practice. You want to show flexibility, which is viewed very favorably in the workplace.

4.  DRESS “UP”

You must look the part and dress a little bit more professional than what is required.  Take note of how management dresses and follow suit.  If male managers wear a shirt/tie and female managers wear heels, then you want to do the same.  Your supervisor has to already “see” you in your desired role and this is somewhat determined by how you dress and carry yourself.

5. TAKE ON ADDITIONAL TASKS

See if any of your team members need help and your manager will notice this.  Make sure when you take on additional tasks your own workload doesn’t fall by the wayside. (See tip #1)

6.  ASSIST YOUR SUPERVISOR

Assisting your supervisor is key as he will more than likely be the person doing the promoting and/or be your main cheerleader.   Make his workload lighter….WITHOUT being the “teacher’s pet.”  Just simply make yourself available to assist when needed.

7.  IMPLEMENT NEW IDEAS / PROGRAMS

The ultimate goal of every company is to save money while making more money.  Initiate an idea that does either of these and you’re well on your way to being promoted.  Companies normally identify some annual goals and a slogan for that year, center your idea/program around this.

8.  EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST TO BE PROMOTED

A lot of times people aren’t considered for promotions because no one knew they wanted to be promoted.  Don’t walk into your manager’s office on day 1 and announce it, but after a reasonable amount of time express your desire to move up.   Keep the lines of communication open and ask to meet monthly to discuss your strengths and opportunities for improvement. Be patient and persistent because most promotions don’t happen overnight.

9.  BE A DEPARTMENTAL LIAISON

When other teams/departments have an issue, you want them to think of you as the ‘go to guy.’   Learning a skill that no one else knows or being the best at something almost ensures this.  Other people outside of your immediate department will also recognize your value, which gives you more options for promotions.

10.  GET MORE EDUCATION / TRAINING / SKILLS

Look into the job you want and see what education/skills are required, then fill in any gaps you may have.  Get a certification, take a training course, get better at public speaking, join organizations, etc.  Oh yeah….as you’re doing all this, update your resume!

11.  GET LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Letters of recommendation from those whom you’ve done business with could prove beneficial for you….especially if they are your clients.  After successfully completing a project or closing a deal, don’t be bashful about asking for a recommendation.  Three letters of recommendation should suffice.

12. KEEP A PORTFOLIO WITH YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Your portfolio should include recommendation letters, certificates, awards, special projects, education, training, etc.  You’ll be ready to show your value to the team during your annual review.

Dena BilibrewHeadshot_bw_912

Dena Bilbrew has given career advice to 3000+ people nationwide.  Her keen ability to connect with people is due to the changes in her own career, which were the result of being laid off twice due to downsizing.  With each layoff she realized the value of “reinventing” yourself.

Dena began mentoring others as a Store Manager where she managed 40+ employees.  Later, she became a Career Planning Instructor and trained 500+ adult learners on various job search strategies. She eventually made the transition to higher education and currently serves as a Career Advisor, where she has 100+ advising appointments monthly.

Dena believes that people need 2 things – confidence and a chance.  Confidence comes from knowledge and a chance comes if you position yourself correctly.  She is a Mississippi native and a Jackson State University alumnus. She has resided in Dallas for 10+ years.  For more information, go to http://denabilbrew.wordpress.com.

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