If you are content with the job you have but ready to take the next step, this year promises to be very exciting indeed. Young professionals sometimes underestimate the commitment required to advance internally — earning a promotion in any field or industry is a significant achievement, no matter how trivial it may seem when all of your friends from school seem to be getting promoted left and right making you feel downright left behind. Recognize the fact that nothing is given to you in this city and moving up in your company is definitely earned. Here are three things you can do starting today to position yourself to secure a promotion at the end of the year.
Network hard with people in your organization
If those people have been promoted — even better. Those folks are in a good position to give you insider information regarding what it takes to get ahead. If you are part of a large company, the path to promotion should be pretty straightforward. In smaller companies, the promotion path can be more subjective. The best thing you can do starting today is to get in touch with as many as you can who were promoted in the past. Find out what their experience was like, what they went through and follow the common bits of wisdom that can help you get there yourself.
Confirm and clarify ALL the objectives you need to hit to earn the promotion
Do not go through a promotion year without knowing exactly what you need to accomplish to achieve your goal. If your manager can’t get his stuff together to tell you in plain English, you might need to get HR involved. Take control of your career and hold your employers accountable. The minimum milestones you need to earn a promotion should be crystal clear. Don’t give your manager an excuse not to promote you due to a technicality. Eliminate all doubt.
Lobby. Lobby. And lobby some more
Earning a promotion is 50% actual achievement and 50% political savvy. Leverage your network and relationships with team members, former bosses, internal stakeholders, and let them know that you want that promotion. Tell them how you plan to get there, why you deserve it, and then rinse and repeat. This will only work if you continue to deliver and exceed expectations. If you want the promotion, put your money where your mouth is, and walk your talk.
What are you waiting for? Pick up your phone, find that guy who got promoted last year and e-mail him! These easy steps can go a long way in setting you up for a happy 2015 with a new title and new salary! Good luck.
Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.