Top Five Ways to Get Promoted

Article first published in “WH! What’s Happening Northshore!” Written by Lauren Blue Schifferdecker, MA, LCPC owner and founder of Inspire Counseling Center. 

Promotions are exciting. That is, when it’s your promotion. When colleague’s promotions are announced, it can leave you scratching your head—or worse—feeling overlooked. Promotions are no accident. There’s an art to getting to the next level. Here are five skills to advance your title (and paycheck).


 1.) Ask for a promotion.

It may sound obvious, but it’s often something people feel uncomfortable doing. Don’t wait for someone else to notice you. If there isn’t an official next level to be promoted to, create one. Be proactive. Showcase your hard work and let your supervisor know what you want. Schedule a meeting to discuss your performance, create a handout listing your accomplishments. Even if they don’t immediately give you a promotion, you’re more likely to be considered if you ask.

2.) Be Open to Feedback.

Knowledge is power. If you’re supervisor doesn’t initially agree with your desire for a promotion, ask what specific goals they want to see you accomplish. Be open to hear what areas you need to develop in order to secure your new title. Then, set up a monthly meeting with your boss to demonstrate specific examples of your progress toward those goals.

3.) Think like your boss.

Want to be noticed by your boss? Notice them first. Think about what would make their life easier, what would help them do their job better. What would you want if you were the boss? If you meet their needs, they’ll notice. If you’re having trouble imagining what would make your supervisor’s job easier, just ask.

4.) Do a good job for yourself.

Everyone likes to be noticed and acknowledged for their achievements. This is a fundamental human need; however, it can be a set-up for failure if you’re only doing a good job to be noticed. Work hard to satisfy you first. My dad taught me to ask myself if I would be proud to sign my name on my work. Ironically, when you’re not working simply to get attention, people notice. They see you have ownership and care about your work.

5.) Notice your feelings.

We’re all human. That means we experience basic feelings throughout the day – sad, angry, scared, happy, excited and tender. If you’re having difficulty at work, ask yourself: “What am I feeling?” When you’re in tune with your feelings, you’re more connected to yourself, which translates into increased personal power. For example, if you’re scared or nervous and recognize that feeling, you can choose to make friends with fear and dive in, instead of sabotaging yourself by procrastinating or not doing your best work.
The bottom line is that it’s up to you to get your promotion. Once you’ve made up your mind that you’re ready, don’t give up. With honest, hard work, initiative, increased self-awareness, and an open mind to receive feedback, you can succeed at work and life.
Lauren Schifferdecker MA, LCPC is the owner of Inspire Counseling Center (847) 313-9490 or [email protected].