3 Steps to Give Yourself a Job Promotion

How to get promoted

There’s little more frustrating then waiting on a job promotion.

In fact, the very definition of a getting a job promotion is a source of pain — “the action of raising someone to a higher position or rank”.  This definition shows the essence of the problem – a job promotion is something done to you.

While you certainly can influence whether or not you get a job promotion, the reality is that a job promotion isn’t within your control…at least until now.

Job Promotions have a Lot of Problems

But before I talk about the solution, let’s dive into the problems with job promotion.  Here are three that scratch the surface:

  1. Scarcity – Job promotions are scarce.  You can’t climb the corporate ladder if there are others standing on the very next rung.   There used to be an abundance of jobs so if you worked hard or just worked long enough you’d move up by default into the next position. Now with people living and working longer than ever before it’s hard to see where your job promotion will come from.
  2. Extra Baggage – Job promotions often come with a lot of baggage.  The promotion opportunities might only be available in the most difficult and frustrating areas that have a high turnover already, or maybe the job promotion is only available in an area that doesn’t play to your strengths.  So when you’ve got a job promotion opportunity you’re faced with less than ideal decision to take a promotion for the sake of more money or a bigger title or stay put…kind of a Catch-22.
  3. Uncertain Money – Promotions don’t always mean more money. This is especially true if you’ve worked yourself into the upper part of your current job band where you may already be close to your salary if you were promoted.

But the Biggest Problem with Getting a Job Promotion Is Waiting to Get Picked

The biggest problem with getting a job promotion though is the waiting around to get picked. After you’ve put in a few years at a company it can start to feel like you’re the kid standing on the sidelines waiting to get called into the bigger game.

This can take a long time, or it may never come.

Instead of Waiting on a Job Promotion – Promote Yourself

So instead of waiting on a  job promotion, consider promoting yourself.

“Promoting yourself” is when you identify opportunities to make a bigger impact outside of your job description, then you take action.

It increases your value to your organization exponentially as well as loads your annual review with powerful going-above-and-beyond successes.

It also results in a much more interesting and exciting work day, and helps you make a bigger contribution regardless of your job title.  The best part though is that promoting yourself can lead to a job promotion handed down from your organization even faster.

Giving Yourself a Job Promotion Involves Initiative

Giving yourself a job promotion looks like:

  • The logistics analyst that identifies a major problem and takes time to calculate the impact for the entire organization, then calls an urgent meeting with peers as well as more senior leaders.
  • The HR Director who tackles the deepest problems in Operations because she sees a leadership void.
  • The government program leader who volunteers to lead the interview committee now that his coworker is leaving for another job.

The common ingredient in all of these examples is that they show up at work in the mindset that the own the place…a lot like an employeepreneur.

3 Steps to Giving Yourself a Job Promotion

Give yourself a job promotion by following these 3 steps:

  1. Bust through the Limiting Belief – Challenge the belief that you have to wait on a job promotion to make a bigger impact.  Don’t limit yourself because its “not your job”.
  2. Discover Your Opportunity – Brainstorm a list of opportunities by asking yourself these questions.  What’s the problem plaguing everyone at the office?   What do you frequently hear your coworkers complaining about?  What’s the biggest  problem costing the organization?  Then, spend a little time calculating how much the pain is costing your boss and organization, as well as the benefit if you solve it.
  3. Start a Project…not a Responsibility – Start solving the problem by creating a mini-project around it. Instead of owning the whole thing and absorbing all the responsibility, try creating a supportive team. Take some pressure off by building support from your coworkers.

Promote yourself by trying these three steps above.  See how it impacts your workday.

So what’s your story about getting a job promotion?  Please share in the comments below.

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