So you want to learn some tricks to receive a promotion, eh? I believe in you! Over the past nine months, I have received three promotions. My most recent promotion last week was over someone who has 30+ more years of experience than me.
I am 24 and the Department Director of Training. Boom! So enough about me, let’s get you promoted as well!
- You Have to Enjoy Most of It…
So you are probably wondering, what company do you work for, Justin? I work at Royal Basketball School, where my starting position was a coach. I played basketball in HS and love working with kids.
Maybe you love the position you have at your job, whether sales or recruiting. Perhaps you love your company's mission and or the executive team.
In my opinion, you have to enjoy most of the aspects of your job. Otherwise, the fundamentals of the promotion below won’t be worth it. Unless you are in a dire situation financially, there are too many opportunities to be working a job you like. So enjoy most of it! Of course, there will always be aspects of your job that suck. No job is perfect all the way around.
2. Aligning Your Values With Upper Management
I’m lucky because upper management at Royal are the company's founder. Now, building relationships with upper management isn’t about sucking up and kissing ass. It’s about genuinely understanding their motives and why they are in their position.
For me, I had an opportunity to align my love for sports. But even more than that, my passion for kids impacts the next generation. We both share a mutual appreciation for the life lessons sports can teach us and the importance of physical activity for kids.
You will need to find commonalities in the values you share with upper management. It’s a bonus if they also align with the company values. I understand most of y’all probably don't work under the company's founders, which is fine. You can still leverage the power of building relationships and common interests to your advantage.
3. Lean Into Your Strengths
There are many different types of coaches and philosophies of how to coach. For me, I know I am incredibly positive and enthusiastic. So instead of trying to be a mean and tough coach, I am myself.
Self-awareness is a fundamental tool for receiving a promotion. If you don’t know what you’re GREAT at, stop reading this article and figure it out.
If you want to receive a promotion, the position you are in needs to allow you to flex your strengths. If I were doing data management, I would never get promoted. So, where you begin is crucial!
When we work, lead, and act in alignment, people can see our genuine intentions. In general, people want to be around genuine humans who are good people. We all have weaknesses, but the more time we spend on our strengths, the more value we bring to the company. The more value we bring, the more likely we receive a promotion.
4. Be Strategic With Feedback
Every company says they welcome feedback which to a certain extent is true. But being strategic on what feedback you give is imperative. You can’t be a total contrarian, or you come off as a person who isn’t enjoyable.
You have to put your time in the position you are at to eventually give strategic feedback for the direction the company should go. I’m strictly talking company strategy right now, NOT violations of workers' rights.
There were times when I disagreed with a company strategy, but I said “sounds good” because I knew there was no budging. You have to use your instincts and intuition to determine if pushing back on this is worth it?
5. Be a Yes Human
First, don’t say yes unless you can follow through with what you say yes to. But by saying yes, and following through with extra work, you are building your credibility.
Anytime they needed something from me, like an extra meeting, I made time in my schedule for them. Not everyone will want to do that, and it’s up to your values and other time commitments/priorities.
But by, being a yes human signals that you have a growth mindset and are willing to do whatever it takes for the company. Upper management is looking to promote selfless team players. Every time you have to sacrifice your time for the team, it’s like depositing trust into a promotion possibility piggy bank.
6. Follow Through
I will keep this one short and sweet. But if you say you will do something, you do it. Follow up after a meeting and continually check in to stay relevant.
I’ve come to realize most people are AWFUL at following through. Again, if you say you will do something, YOU DO IT.
7. The Proof Is In the Pudding
Last but most certainly not least, the proof is in the pudding. Of course, you won’t receive a promotion in a few days. It will take months and sometimes years to get a promotion depending on the company you are working in.
But every day you show up to work is an opportunity to showcase your value. And truthfully build your value as a player, so if you have to join a new team, you have the skills to do so.
It should be a no-brainer for upper management to promote you. Make it easy for them by being an OUTSTANDING employee.
Bonus: Bring Opportunities
Suppose you have the skills to be a connector. Connect people in upper management to other companies who can help the company you are working for become more productive, impactful, or both.
If you bring opportunities to upper management, that will make their life easier. Boom! You have secured the bag.