Five tips for getting promoted fast at your new job
Learn how you can sprint, not crawl, to the top.
If you feel your career progression has slowed, landing a new job can present a wonderful opportunity. But if you feel you need to make one more step before you get back on the job market, take these five steps to earn a job promotion, pronto.
- 1. Remember What Your Boss Likes
If your boss likes having you around, he’s going to keep you around. One trick is to notice his interests and be positive. “A boss can say, ‘I’m going to see the Red Sox this weekend.’ An employee who isn’t thinking will say, ‘I hate that team,’” says Mark Jeffries, communications consultant and author of The Art of Business Seduction: A 30-Day Plan to Get Noticed, Get Promoted and Get Ahead. Instead, if you know your boss is going on a business trip to Boston, a better approach would be to say, “Hey, maybe you can visit Fenway,” Jeffries suggests.
- 2. Pick Projects for Maximum Impact
If your instinct is to jump on everything, you’ll seem desperate and spread yourself thin. “If you say yes too much, your performance will drop,” says Larry Myler, business strategist and author of Indispensable by Monday: Learn the Profit-Producing Behaviors That Will Help Your Company and Yourself. “If you say no, you don’t look like a team player.” Find out what opportunities are most profitable -- and visible -- for the company and snag those. If you’re overwhelmed, ask about priorities. Then, suggest how to delegate what’s on your plate.
- 3. Aim to Hang with the A Team
Don’t make any BFFs your first day. “Take your time and get to know everybody,” says career coach Adele Scheele, PhD, author of Skills for Success and Career Strategies, who suggests focusing on forming alliances with established players. “You have to build strong relationships with your bosses, for it is they who will promote you if they think you are enough like them to belong to their hierarchy," Scheele says. Still, be pleasant to all. “If you’re new and not friendly, people can gang up on you,” she says.
- 4. Make Your Boss Look Good
In school, your instinct was to garner accolades for your work. In business, your goal should be to make your boss get recognized for doing his job well, which he’ll remember come promotion time. “Find out how your boss is judged and how he gets a bonus,” Myler says. Generally, these are financial targets, so do everything in your power to help him hit them.
- 5. Be Indispensable
Whether it’s inventing a new program that will save your firm money or becoming a client’s go-to person, put your boss in a position where he can’t afford to lose you. Document your successes. “If you’re only on email, no one knows what your client contact is like,” Jeffries says. “You want to be visible by racing out because you have lunch with a client or vocal by talking on the phone. The trick is to get people to come to the conclusion that you are successful without bragging.”
Employ these strategies to secure a strong foothold in this shaky economy. When the opportunities for getting promoted start to solidify, you could be the first in line to move up.