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The Art and Science of Getting Promoted

Feeling restless in your current position and eager to move up? We all know the importance of doing more than expected and doing it exceptionally well to get noticed. But there is more to it than that. Sure, it’s a great start, but there are several other factors at play that you ought to consider before diving in for that promotion.

Be passionate
Why do you want a promotion? The added benefits? Or do you believe you have something special that position needs? You are more likely to put in your best effort if you love what you do. To keep moving up, you need to have a little passion. Take pride in what you do — even in the smallest of tasks.

Have a good attitude
Don’t complain about the projects, your clients or your colleagues (including the higher-ups). A good rule to follow is to refrain from complaining about your job in general. Even if you are assigned to work on a tedious task or with a grating client, maintain a positive attitude. View it as a worthwhile challenge to overcome. Why would anyone want to promote you if you seem to hate the job you are doing now? 

Use negative feedback to your advantage
Instead of getting defensive when given negative feedback, reflect on what was said. That criticism is the best advice you can get. So put it to good use.

Expand your skills
Constantly challenge yourself to take on tasks with which you may lack experience. View those challenges as opportunities. Use every task as a way to grow on a personal level and to develop new skills. If you fail, you still learn something — even if it is what not to do. But if you do excel, it demonstrates that you are always getting better. And that will get you noticed. 

Know your strengths and weaknesses
Are your strengths useful in the desired position? Or do you lack the necessary strengths to be successful in a higher position? Will your weaknesses hold you back? Are they doing so now? Take the time to focus on the things you don’t do as well. If you don’t deal with them in your current position, they may make your desired position a lot more difficult.

Find a mentor
Connect with someone in a higher position, preferably the one you are seeking. Gathering their insight and advice will be invaluable in preparing yourself for the job you seek. They can offer you expert (and personalized) advice on how to get the job, how to do the job well and what is expected.

Take initiative
Volunteer to do work from the next level up. It demonstrates to your manager — and you — that you are already capable for this position and that you are beginning to outgrow your current one.

Don’t expect what you don’t deserve
Finally, be realistic. Be honest with yourself. Do you just expect the job? Or are you putting forth your best effort with your current work? Are you continuously making an effort to get better? 

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Greg Bentley is a human resources specialist who has worked for several large scale companies. 

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