Everyone wants to succeed, but advancing takes more than just hard work. Armed with some simple, effective tips and tricks, you can stand out from the pack and get your boss’s attention—and the promotion you want—without even asking for it.
1. Study your manager’s work style.
What does she do particularly well and take pride in? Figure it out and then mimic it. Everyone loves to see their own best selves, and if you model her best traits, she’s sure to take notice.
2. Make yourself indispensable.
In contrast, what does she have trouble with—or seem most stressed about? Find a way to make yourself indispensable during her most dreaded projects or time of the year and she’ll be impressed and grateful.
3. Ask for feedback.
Don’t wait for the yearly review when everyone is stressed out and expecting the worst. Check in with your boss on a weekly (if possible) or monthly basis. Request to schedule these meetings, keeping them at a brief 15-20 minutes, and let him know you want honest, constructive criticism to help you do your job better. Being proactive—and not afraid of criticism—will position you as a go-getter with a strong work ethic and character.
4. Think outside the box.
Nail all of your assigned responsibilities, but go a step further. Consider the needs of your company and department and come up with a project that can help advance its goals. A lot of employees are good at what they’re supposed to do, but not everyone uses their imagination to problem-solve when they’re not prompted.
5. Be a good communicator.
Whether it’s writing an email that higher-ups are on, or speaking in a meeting, learn to make your points clearly and succinctly. In the constant churn of emails and frenzied meetings, the person who can cut through the chaos and deliver calmly and with clarity, will win big points from their manager—and maybe even their manager’s boss.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t ever ask for a promotion directly. If you deserve one, by all means, go for it. But your chances of actually getting one have a lot more to do with the simple suggestions above. Even just working on a couple of them should serve you well.
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