How You Can Stand Out For A Promotion At Your Place Of Work

Self Made: NASE's Blog

Blog With Us

Welcome to the Self Made. This is a blog focused primarily on the self-employed and micro-business and full of fantastic posts by not only our team of experts but by YOU!  We realize that there are many ways to help the small businesses out there which is why we invite other business minded individuals to post here and help the rest of the community as well.

How You Can Stand Out For A Promotion At Your Place Of Work

Nov 28, 2023
World Map

Getting promoted requires more than working hard and hoping your efforts get noticed. You need to craft a strategy that positions you as management material to decision-makers. You need to show that you have presentation skills, confidence, and vision. Here are proactive ways to prove you are ready to advance to the next level:

Define The Next Role You Want

Determine specifically which open position or created role you are aiming for next. Outline the responsibilities and qualifications needed. This provides a blueprint to strategically gain the right experiences and demonstrate the required strengths. You can't work toward unclear goals. You’ll be able to get off to a good start if you know where you’re going!

Enhance Your Visibility 

Make sure that you’re getting in front of people by volunteering for cross-department projects, company events committees, speaking engagements, or community outreach. Handle each opportunity professionally. Becoming known as a contributor willing to take on new initiatives gets you on directors’ radars.

Speak Up In Meetings 

Don’t let shyness hold you back from voicing thoughts during team meetings. Everyone suffers from a bit of shyness, even the really loud people. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have something valuable to say. Offer concise, insightful points that move discussions forward. Prepare ahead of time if you tend to get nervous. Consistently contributing meaningful perspectives showcases your leadership potential.

Position Yourself As An Asset

Keep a document of your major accomplishments, praise received, specialized skills and talents cultivated. Ideally, you should also be able to back these achievements with data. Having a reminder of all you currently contribute builds confidence to pursue that bigger role while also providing proof points.

Solve Problems

Managers fix problems. Demonstrate this same initiative by proactively identifying issues within your current authority, like process bottlenecks or team conflicts. Then drive solutions through data analysis, brainstorming and consensus building. Show you already think strategically.

Master Your Current Role

You’re not going to get ahead if you’re not doing a good job! Make sure that your performance is excellent in your current position before you start looking for ways to get to the next rung up the ladder. Become the team’s go-to expert and the person leadership knows will get quality outcomes consistently. Mastery of your current responsibilities means that you’re going to have a platform to take on greater challenges. 

Align With Company Values 

Understand your organization's cultural values and visible leadership behaviors. That means looking online at the kind of language the company is using, and listening to what your bosses are saying about where it’s going. Find sincere ways to embody these, like mentoring newcomers or digging into data to guide decisions. It’s easier to be a good choice for your bosses if you’re obviously on board with what the company’s doing.

Seek High-Impact Assignments

When interesting special projects arise, step forward enthusiastically to contribute. Handling unique assignments with skill proves adaptability beyond your daily workstream. It also builds relationships with leaders directing these initiatives who may influence promotion decisions later.

Network Broadly And Strategically  

Get to know colleagues beyond your immediate team. While organic connections matter most, you should also identify and build bonds with key players like parallel department heads and emerging talent. It might sound a bit like Game of Thrones, but having in-house allies willing to vouch for you means that you have a good chance of standing out. 

Obtain Relevant Training

Ask your manager about training opportunities to fill skill gaps a move up would require like budget management, coaching, Six Sigma, or software proficiency. Proactively acquiring new knowledge exhibits drive. The investment in you is noted.

Seek Feedback Regularly

Ask managers, mentors, and trusted colleagues for honest feedback at least quarterly. Listen graciously without getting defensive. Then, it’s up to you to act upon suggestions to address development areas like improving presentation skills or becoming more tactful in disagreement. Follow up to show progress.

Look For Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills

Leadership requires excellent communication abilities - both public speaking and interpersonal rapport. If this is a growth area, proactively build these skills through more training. A training course on how to become a better leader will give you the toolkit you need to grow your confidence and communication abilities, and will also demonstrate to the management that you are proactive about your development. 

Cultivate Your Personal Brand

What qualities do you want colleagues to associate with you - strategic thinking? Innovative solutions? Collaborative relationship builder? You need to make sure that you’re exhibiting specific strengths and values consistently. People notice these things.

Expand Your Perspective

The broader your business understanding, the better positioned for leadership you become. Seek opportunities like job rotations, skip-level meetings and committee roles, exposing you to functions and priorities beyond your daily scope. Learn more about how diversity (or the lack of it) impacts the workplace. Broadened knowledge impacts decisions positively.

Negotiate Tough Assignments

Volunteering has limits, so seek out truly challenging assignments with risks attached, like turning around underperforming projects or teams. Handle these sensitively but effectively, and your mettle as a problem-solver shines through. Going above and beyond accelerates consideration.

Align With A Successful Mentor 

Find a mentor one or two levels above you who’s succeeding in the path you want for yourself. Their guidance in navigating politics, gaining visibility, and developing leadership capabilities is invaluable. Ensure your mentor advocate is positioned to positively influence your advancement.

Enroll In Advanced Education

Pursuing part-time MBA, leadership or management programs while working exhibits ambition and expands capabilities. Some employers offer tuition support. The time commitment also conveys focus. Advanced credentials lend credibility that you’re ready to move up.

Pitch Your Supervisor

During one-on-ones or performance reviews, make a case to your direct manager outlining why you’re eager for and capable of handling an expanded role. It’s a tough job market out there, and they know that. Highlight successes and strengths you would bring. Ask directly what skills or assignments would further prepare you. Sometimes, it’s up to you to start the dialogue.

So Remember

Gaining a promotion requires moving beyond core responsibilities to demonstrate readiness through high-impact contributions, continuous skill building like a presentation training skills course, networking, and proactively seeking leadership opportunities. By showcasing potential before openings arise, you position yourself as a strong contender ready for the next challenge.

Meet The Author:

Ella Woodward

Ella Woodward

As a woman making her way to the top of the corporate ladder, Ella Woodward has the expertise and business knowledge to guide readers through the latest developments in the fast-paced business, financial and investment spaces. She has the contacts, instincts and insight to discover the latest deals, trades and organisations that are worth your time. Being in constant demand, she’s made this blog as a resource for you to see a small selection of the work she’s done over the years.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

Courtesy of