5 Tips for Winning a Promotion

CareerProfessionalTips & Tools

You may be the world’s best venue negotiator, but do you know how to position yourself for a step up the career ladder? Here are some helpful tips.

1. Know thyself.

Lisa Quast, author of the award-winning book, Your Career, Your Way, advises a personal SWOT analysis to understand your differentiators and the special skills or experiences that make you a more valuable employee. Use this self-assessment to build on strengths, seize opportunities, correct weaknesses and nullify threats. When the time comes, your action plan is evidence of your readiness for career advancement or a salary hike.

2. Do a great job—of making your boss look good.

If your boss wins, so will you. “Find out how your boss is judged and how he gets a bonus,” advices Larry Myler, author of Indispensable by Monday: Learn the Profit-Producing Behaviors That Will Help Your Company and Yourself. To the extent you can help your supervisor hit bonus targets, which are generally financial, do so.

3. Make sure the boss knows.

A corollary to our first tip, be self-assured in letting your boss know what you’ve accomplished. “You can’t underestimate the art of the humble-brag,” said Blair Decembrele, a career expert at LinkedIn, in the The New York Timessurvey sponsored by LinkedIn of more than 11,000 workers in 19 countries last year found that only 35 percent felt confident talking about their achievements. Practice summing up quickly and concisely, as in, “By analyzing the potential savings of in-house catering instead of another restaurant visit, our team saved $15,000. Let me tell you how we did it.”

4. Embrace the lifelong learning curve.

“The number one, most important thing you can do to elevate your career will only take you 30 seconds to accomplish,” says Bethany Smith, an event planner who runs a blog called “The Planner’s Process.” “The only thing you need to become a better planner is a willingness to learn. It doesn’t matter what job you’ve got—an open heart and an open mind are, without a doubt, the keys to unlocking the next level of your career. Event planning especially relies heavily on technology, and thus is constantly changing. Planners who are determined to do everything their way, as opposed to being open to learning the best way, are doing themselves and their attendees a disservice.”

5. Truly embrace the team.

Smith puts it this way: “Making sure that you have the right team around you—a good group of dedicated, creative and passionate people—does the same thing for you that an event planner does for clients. Events have a lot of moving parts, and the best event managers understand that they are a part of a team, and that nurturing that team is crucial to their success.”

Most of all, stay positive. Try to enjoy yourself every day. Don’t worry about the future at the expense of being fully present in the moment. If your efforts are not recognized and rewarded, it may be time to move on.