Palmer Promotable
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Make Yourself Promotable

Don’t just wait for a promotion to come along. Here are five steps you can take now to set yourself up for your next career move.

By Cheryl Palmer

If you’re interested in a promotion, you should prepare yourself appropriately. Bosses are busy, and they don’t always have your career development and advancement in mind. That’s why you need to be thinking about where you want to go next and how to get there.

Here are some quick tips to position yourself for your next career move.

Show your contribution to the bottom line. Even if you’re not in sales, you should still be able to articulate how the work you do is valuable to your organization. As much as possible, quantify how much money you saved, what time-saving measures you instituted, and how you improved processes. This is information you can share with your boss at your performance review.

Joining organization-wide committees can be a good way to become known outside of your department and gain visibility with management.

Raise your skill level. In many fields, an advanced degree is becoming a necessity. Getting that degree can be a good reason for an employer to give you a raise and maybe even a promotion. Also, it is becoming increasingly common that certifications above and beyond a college degree are required for many fields. (In association management, consider pursuing the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential.) Obtaining a certification can mean more pay.

Look for opportunities to be involved in your organization at a high level. Joining organization-wide committees can be a good way to become known outside of your department and gain visibility with management. You can demonstrate your problem-solving skills as a committee member and get to know others in the organization.

Let management know about leadership experience you’ve gained outside of work. Even you haven’t had the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills on the job, other experience may be persuasive. For example, you may have taken on a leadership role in a professional association or community group. (For example, one of my clients, who worked in finance, headed the finance committee of his homeowners association.) This is relevant experience and can help build a case for a promotion.

Find an internal champion who can speak knowledgeably about your contributions. If you have a mentor who is well placed in the organization, he or she is in an excellent position to speak up for you. An internal champion can open doors by recommending you for opportunities as they become available.

Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed., CPRW, is a career coach at Call to Career. Email: [email protected]

Career Development