Do you ever feel like some people are just lucky, especially when it comes to their professional life? Somehow they get all the attention and wind up getting promoted, all the while you faithfully show up every day, do what’s asked of you, and are still in the same position you started out in. It’s understandable why you may feel unlucky, but the reality is that the professional world doesn’t work that way. An article from the Huffington Post lays it out like this: “While many employees do fine work, exceeding expectations in one’s day-to-day activities is not enough to get ahead. Rather, those who capture promotions are driven internally to strive for more.”
However, when you’re in the trenches, it’s easy to assume that someone else’s promotion was for less admirable reasons. “She managed to land the hot projects and got all the glory.” “He only got his promotion because he’s friends with the boss.” “She was always given the leadership roles.” But, there may be more to the story than these natural assumptions, and chances are the promotion probably had nothing to do with luck.
Landed the Hot Projects
Maybe she did get handed some of the high-profile projects, but you need to ask yourself “why?” Most likely she acted and worked in a way that caused her manager to trust her with bigger and bigger tasks. So, you need to do that too. A Chicago Tribune article recommends anyone desiring a future promotion to “Show initiative by volunteering for projects, either within your department, on a cross-functional team, or a temporary job detail. Project work will give you an opportunity to gain more experience, showcase your skills to a broader group, expand your network, and gain even greater name recognition.” Sometimes it really is as simple as asking for projects and showing you’re a dependable, solutions-focused, hard worker.
Buddies With The Boss
Having a close relationship with top-level executives and learning from your boss can legitimately play a role in getting promoted. Generally, people recommend people they like, even if it gets labeled as “office politics.” “Much of what is dismissed as ‘politics’ is simply part of the job description – being a good communicator,” Forbes explains. “Being visible. Being helpful. Building relationships. You can’t be a leader without doing those things.” The Chicago Tribune suggests getting a mentor because that person “can also be instrumental in spreading positive press by championing your skills, talents, and abilities throughout the organization to the right people.”
Always The Team Leader
Once again, she was handed leadership roles in projects and within the team for a reason. Attitude, track record, dependability, passion, and drive all factor into whether or not a manager trusts you enough to give you a chance at leadership. And usually that leadership role will start out small, and then as you prove yourself the roles will grow. As the Forbes article states, “You don’t become a leader by being promoted. You get promoted because you are a leader.” It’s up to you to find a way to prove your leadership ability.
Getting a promotion rarely has anything to do with the luck and everything to do with hard work. “People who are recognized and promoted are those who make an effort and stand out in their organization,” affirms Huffington Post. “They are go-getters who are fearless in taking on a new challenge, and they constantly challenge the status quo.” So your best bet for landing that promotion is to stop wishing on a four-leaf clover and start hustling instead.
How have you worked hard to receive a promotion? Share your stories in the comments section below.
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