While you might have impressed the hiring manager during the interview process, once you’re hired you still need to prove your worth—especially when you think that you deserve a promotion. Although some organizations have certain criteria that an employee must meet in order to be eligible for a promotion, there are other areas of your performance you can draw on to justify the advancement. For example, highlighting some of your intangible strengths and personal attributes that allow you to excel in your role can show a manager that you’re prepared for a promotion. However, if you’re unsure of what else you can do to stand out as a strong performer, here are some proactive steps you should start taking now to ensure you aren’t overlooked for the next round of promotions:
- Do more than your job description
Every once in a while it can be helpful to take a step back from your regular responsibilities to think about the ‘big picture’ and how your role fits into the team’s goals. For instance, volunteering to help in areas outside of your core responsibilities can be one of the best ways to show your manager that you care about the team’s accomplishments rather than just your own individual contributions. For example, if a team member unexpectedly resigns, this would be a perfect opportunity to personally ask your manager what you could do to ease the load for the rest of the team.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should go out of your way for the sole purpose of impressing your manager. Instead, make sure you are strategic about the types of additional projects you take on to ensure the quality of your work—for both your normal and voluntary tasks—doesn’t suffer. Helping coworkers you normally wouldn’t may encourage your manager to rethink the type of influence you bring to the team and organization. Ultimately, you want to show your manager that you’re not only willing to go above and beyond your job description, but you are also a team player who cares about helping others.
- Think for yourself & openly test your ideas
How often do you find yourself presenting problems without suggesting solutions? Managers deal with these types of issues on a regular basis, but having an employee who is able to think for themselves can be extremely helpful. Therefore, proactively try to find new ways of solving problems or improving processes without being instructed to do so. Your manager should see this as a sign that you’re constantly trying to find ways to help the organization grow and stay competitive; a key quality that every star employee should possess!
Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to speak up! If you disagree with something and can present a better alternative solution/explanation, make an effort to offer your feedback. However, you always want to come across as respectful, so keep an open mind about the types of suggestions you choose to make. Speaking up more often will show your manager that you’re confident in your skills and ability to add value.
- Showcase strong emotional intelligence & interpersonal skills
Does your stress level ever tend to have a negative effect on how well you work? If so, you’re not alone. While this may be a common occurrence in the workplace, one of the biggest skills employers are looking for these days is emotional intelligence, which is also a great indicator of whether or not someone can excel in a leadership role. Demonstrating how well you manage stressful situations in a productive manner can show your manager you possess the mental strength to take on additional responsibilities that may come with a promotion. Similarly, exercising strong interpersonal skills on a regular basis can go a long way in highlighting certain leadership qualities that would go along with a promotion. For example, exuding genuine enthusiasm about the work you produce, or the energy you bring to business meetings and conversations, can prove to your manager that you’re motivated and passionate about the work you do.