It sucks to get stuck in an elevator for an hour. Or in the same job for five years.

Promotion will brings new spark to your professional life. And also a better salary as a nice bonus.

But how to get promoted when you are an average employee, do not sleep with your boss, and do not attract much attention of anyone else in the company? Or is that the first reason why they did not make you a leader of the team?

It is tricky question. What is more, you may have a job in which promotions are not common (think secretary, waitress, maintenance technician, nurse, etc). In such a case you can do nothing to get promoted–next career step simply doesn’t exist for these jobs.

If you work in a typical big corporation, however, and hold one of the “entry-level” jobs, you should always have a decent chance to climb the corporate ladder. Let’s have a look at some common and some creative ways of achieving your goal.


Ask them directly

Have you been working in the company for two years? Is it a big corporation? If you answered yes to both questions, you should simply go and ask the leader of the department to promote you.

Big corporations have their policies. Unless you’ve been a complete rubbish in your job, they will promote you after two years. You just have to ask them, and they will find some place for you.

A man is thinking about promotion

Show them your value

While it is easy to evaluate someone’s performance in sales, it is difficult to tell which accountant or economist or clerk is the most efficient one in the company.

Consequently the managers may not recognize your excellent work, and your moral right to get promoted won’t be obvious. Prepare a simple presentation. Show the managers what you did for the company, on which projects you participated, and why it makes sense to promote you.

If it makes sense to them, they will give you a green light.


Strive to improve your skills and knowledge–and demonstrate it in your work

They hired you for a job that reflected your skills and experience two years ago.

But time has passed, and you got better. You earned experience, you learned new stuff–both inside and outside of the company. Make a list of things you learned, and show it to your superior.

It will be a pity to let you do your simple job, especially when you grew older, better, and can now take care of more complex tasks and duties….


Threaten that you will quit if they do not promote you

It makes no sense to be unhappy in work, especially now when the world economy is booming, and everybody is hiring new employees.

Companies can’t afford to see people like you leaving them, and working for one of their competitors. Tell them that you have other offers on your table, and will stay only if they promote you–do it in a polite way, of course.

The situation on the employment market favors job seekers. Do not hesitate to take advantage of it, before the economy falls in recession again, and you will pray to not lose your job.

Man is holdng as phone and calling his manager in work

Improve your connection with the decision makers

We can never rule out personal preferences. If the bosses do not like you, or do not know you at all, they will simply pick other people when deciding about promotions and relocations.

Attend team building events, talk to the high executives from the company, be a nice companion. When someone celebrates name day, send them a card, or at least a short message. Greet people in the corridors, show positive energy.

Show them that you care about them, and their business. Law of action and reaction always works–they will start to care more about you afterwards…



Whether you get promoted depends on a lot of things:

  • The job title you have (and the options for promotion this position offers).
  • The type of company you work for, and their policy about promotions (some companies promote their people often, and some never do it).
  • Your relationship with the decision makers, and with people who can approve your promotion.
  • Whether they are aware of your wish to get promoted.
  • Whether you can convince them of the value you are bringing to their company.
  • The situation on the employment market–whether they can afford to lose you, or not, and the negotiation power you have in your hands.
  • The time you have spent with them–the longer you’ve been with them, the better the chances.

As you can see, decision about promoting someone is a complex one. Try one of our strategies, or even combine few of them.

Be patient, play your cards right, and give them a reason to feel good about promoting you. That’s the most you can do to achieve the desired results, because at the end of the day, they have the final word…


May also interest you:

  • How to ask for a raise – Choose the right time, the right place, and the right words when asking for a raise. You deserve to earn more, but you need to know how to convince your employer that you truly deserve a better salary
  • Career networking tips – Learn how to use the power of your connections to get a new career, or a promotion within your existing job.
  • Funny interview questions – You can use a funny question to ease the pressure in the interview room, to help job seekers to relax, or oppositely, to surprise them with an unexpected question.
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