There are quite a few articles out there on ‘interviewing technique’ that suggest you should put yourself in the employer’s shoes and think about what they want from a candidate, thus allowing you to provide much more attractive question responses. This article takes that concept one step further and looks at how to adopt the same principle when seeking a promotion at work.
What employers want…
If you think about it, most of us desire security in our lives. We desire to own a home, have a stable relationship, and have a steady income. Employers are no different, and the more secure they can make their workforce, the more content they will be with the ‘work’ element of their lives. Employers will frequently look to promote those who demonstrate stability and don’t look like they up-sticks in search of a better opportunity once they have been given a better job title. Being at a company for a number of years obviously implies a level of stability, but you can help bosses to view you in a more ‘secure’ light by being punctual, going beyond your job spec where you can, and perhaps starting some long-term initiatives within the company that imply you are in for the long haul.
Following on from the first point, an employer/superior will want to promote people who they can rely on when needed. There is no point moving someone up the chain of command just because they are an excellent salesperson, but are always off chasing a new lead and not supporting the team. You should remind your superior on a regular basis that you are available to help if needed, and even take work off their hands if you can spare the time. Before long they will begin to wonder how they did their job without you, and who wouldn’t want to promote an employee that is conscientious to the point of being invaluable?
If you’re not enthusiastic about your job and can’t demonstrate ways in which you can add to the company if you were promoted, you will find it very difficult indeed to move up the ladder. There are millions of unenthusiastic people who turn up for work each day, do their job, and then go home. Perhaps these people are necessary within a company, but they certainly won’t stand out as promotion material. You have to differentiate yourself from this unenthused crowd by doing your job to the best of your abilities, always looking for ways to improve productivity, and maintaining a good attitude in the workplace. Believe it or not, just smiling more can help you present yourself in a more enthusiastic way, and this will not only help you stand out, but give employers infinitely more confidence in you.
You’ve probably heard the saying “with more power, comes more responsibility”… well it’s true, and if employers are going to give you more responsibility, they will need to trust you. Admittedly ‘trust’ is a very broad term, but here are some key ways in which it applies. Employers need to:
· Trust you will not abuse your new position
· Trust you will work for the team rather than just yourself
· Trust you will represent the company well
· Trust you will respect any new staff under you
· Trust you will not look for personal gain at the companies detriment
There are other more subtle elements of trust that employers will look for before promoting someone, but just remember – if you can tick all their required boxes, the promotion will be yours before too long.
If you think you’re doing all the above, but still not getting anywhere in your job, there really is no harm in asking your superior outright, just what it is they’re looking for in their promotion candidates? Every employer is different and will have different requirements; it’s just a question of figuring out what they are.
Guest bio: Jane Moore is a small business owner and writes for a UK company that produces white chest of drawers. She also speaks at various employment events in the UK.