Love your job? Great! Got promoted? Now we are talking! If there is one thing bigger and better than doing the job you love, then it is this bit around being recognized for it. From grand bonuses to flashy new titles, promotion is that little incentive that brings a spring to your step as you walk into office every Monday.
But this euphoric event does not come easy. Apart from all the perseverance, you also need to play it smart. Not sure how to do that? We have some ideas.
1. Don’t just meet your KPIs, exceed them
The first step here would be to know your key performance indicators (KPIs). If you are unsure of what exactly your company expects from you, it isn’t possible to meet them well. So, have a discussion with your manager and your HR to understand what your role demands. And remember, while you can achieve an average performance appraisal by meeting your KPIs, a promotion calls for more. Since a promotion means more responsibilities, it would be nice if you could not restrict yourself to your job profile. Lead team meetings, help out colleagues from other teams and constantly innovate.
- Get the success metrics you need to meet in writing. And what you need to exceed should be in there too.
- Make the goals tangible, from sales targets to partnership wins. Anythings that can’t be measured is very subjective.
2. Document your hard work
A recent study by online jobs portal JobStreet indicated that firms in Singapore are the slowest in the region to offer promotions. Our firms take an average of 46 months to extend an offer, over a year longer than the region’s average of 33 months. Ouch! That hurts.
Hence, it is really important not to wait for your work to speak for itself but instead start documenting your contribution. How? You could use your organization’s internal social networks more effectively to send regular updates to team groups or alternately use your appraisal form to keep a record. Wondering how to start the sensitive topic of promotion with your manager? Here are a few suggestions.
- Ensure you have quarterly check-ins with your boss to see how you are faring. Do not wait until the end of the year.
- Look at case studies of colleagues who have been promoted sooner than others. Request them for mentorship or learn from them closely.
3. Be visible
It’s nice to mind your business sitting at your desk from 8am to 5pm every day and then leave. While this may give you a quiet day, it will sadly not give you anything more than that. To get a promotion, you need to make your presence felt at your workplace. Interact with people around, know what’s happening in other departments and participate actively in meetings (it’s time to give up doodling!). Also, if your company is organising any events, celebrating CNY or Christmas dinners, or taking you on an offsite, you must make an effort to blend in.
- During the next town hall, when the floor is open for Q&A, ask that question that has been bothering you. It shows an intention to know more.
- Join social committees or other office groups that help organise internal events, work on social causes or anything else that might be of interest.
- Change your lunch partner! We all get into a comfort zone when it comes to office groups. Some colleagues become friends, and then regular lunch partners. Make an exception once a week to know more people around.
Most companies offer ample learning opportunities to their employees. Whether it is an in-house business writing training or a power yoga class post work, make sure you find something that interests you and pursue it.
If it’s a paid course you are interested in, have a chat with your manager and check if he/she can accommodate it in the company’s L&D budget. Taking courses not only helps you grow, but it also indicates that you are willing to learn more. This enthusiasm will play a pivotal role in enabling your promotion.
5. Be consistent
When you read an encouraging article (like this one!) or have a positive chat with a friend, it is natural to bring in more zest to work for the next few days. However, the key to being promoted is consistency. If you have chalked out a set of rules that will help your promotion, make sure you put in constant effort to follow them. It’s easy to let the positivity and excitement fizzle out in a few weeks; don’t give in.
What not to do, if you would like a raise or promotion:
- Be desperate: There is a thin line between being excited to work towards your promotion and being desperate for one. Remind yourself constantly that your promotion might be the most important thing on your mind, but it’s not the same for your manager. Since your manager has a hundred other things going on at work, you cannot boggle him/her down with repetitive discussions around promotion. Trying to prove your capabilities frantically will only risk putting off your manager as well as colleagues. All you need to do is work smartly towards your goals and be sincere.
- Turn a whiner: Everyone hates a whiner. Don’t turn into that person who cribs about late hours, bad traffic, horrible deadlines or painful clients. The list can go on! Be the one to find solutions and not problems. However brilliant you may be, whiners are the last to be promoted.
- Indulge in office politics: This one is easier said than done. Coffee conversations about team leads, pregnant colleagues, office romances are interesting and sometimes hard to avoid. But don’t be the one to start rumours and indulge in harmful gossip that can jeopardise careers and lives. It can all circle back to you sooner or later, and this characteristic will never make you a team lead. People who can’t be trusted, can never make chief!
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