‘Anything is possible it’s just hard work and grafting’ Mo Farah

It might get you double Olympic Gold but will it get you promoted? Probably not. Too many people think that doing a good job is all they need to get a promotion or exciting new assignment but it’s unlikely to be enough. I’m going to share advice that has worked for me, and my clients.

Know your goal

Do you want a promotion within your current job or are you looking for something else? Get clear on what you want so you can take the right action to help you get there. You can’t just want a promotion because you think you are worth it! You must understand and clearly demonstrate how you meet the requirements.

Get your boss on side

If you are aiming for a promotion within your current company you are going to need to get your boss onside. Schedule a one to one review meeting and let him/her know that you want to find out how you can be more effective at work.
Seek honest feedback from your manager on how you match up to higher levels within an organisation. You may need to learn to take a more strategic rather than tactical view of your organisation. Too many people only see their organisation through the view of their own department or profession. Look broader into IT, marketing and do some competitor analysis.

Help your boss

Set up a meeting with your boss to find out more about their objectives, so you can focus on helping him or her be successful. Volunteer to stay late if an urgent task needs completing, it demonstrates commitment to the job and organisation.


You can help your boss by anticipating what they will need. While Fran’s boss was on holiday a new project request came in, with a deadline just 2 days after her boss’s return. She collected relevant research and made suggestions for how to work on this. Her boss was very impressed and Fran was taken along to the meeting and was involved in developing future project proposals.

Keep your boss informed

Our bosses are often unaware of the mini successes we have in our jobs each week, so make sure you document them and send your boss a summary each month. If you have people who work for you, give your boss an update on their successes as well. Make sure you are on LinkedIn and start to get recommendations from your boss and the people you work with.

Demonstrate commitment to your own professional development

What courses could you take to increase your knowledge/experience? It doesn’t have to be a masters level qualification, a short course may be useful. Make sure people within your organisation know when you have qualified. I was featured in my company newspaper after gaining an OU degree part time alongside my full time job.

Identify trends and look out for new opportunities

In a competitive world your organisation will be seeking new projects, so if you notice a gap in the market make sure to let people know. You can produce an internal white paper based on research you have undertaken. Make sure your name gets known by including your name on the cover and some brief bio data at the end.

Get Known

Offer to write for the company magazine, your details will be seen by many and this is a good way to get known. Get chatting to people from other parts of the organisation and find out about their work and challenges. You never know when this will prove useful, and there is often a need for cross functional project teams, the more you are known the more likely your name will be suggested.

Look the part

If everyone else dresses casually you will stand out through being a bit smarter. Sound advice is to dress as if you are doing the job the level above, it helps others to visualise you in a different role. This also can help to increase our confidence, it makes us feel better and thus act better.

Be willing to speak to the MD

Should you ever find yourself in the lift with your MD/ CEO start talking. It’s not just about being out to impress but in asking a couple of intelligent questions.

Seek out a mentor

Find someone who can help you learn how to navigate workplace politics. It doesn’t have to be within your organisation. seek out someone whose career you admire and ask if they would take on this role.

What one action will you take today to help you move towards this goal?

Why not make a note below
Denise Taylor is a double award winning career coach and Chartered Psychologist with Amazing People, established in 1998. When you are unsure of your career future, need help with job search or seek to improve your presence in an online world, Denise can help. Denise is the author of 7 books including How To Get A Job In A Recession, Now You’ve Been Shortlisted and Fat to Fantastic

Published On: May 13th, 2015 / Categories: Career Management /

One Comment

  1. Mervyn Queeley May 16, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Recently did a Business Admin course, level 2, and an IT course. Got a lot of satisfaction from doing them. Just need to work on my confidence and belief levels. I keep kicking myself down way to often.

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