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7 Steps to Landing Your Next Big Promotion

Sometimes it’s hard to move up when you’ve carved out an unintentional niche in the organization you’ve been working with for years.

While you may have gotten the standard cost of living increases every year, and perhaps even a new vanity title (all without having to ask for it) it’s not actually a better job. It’s basically just more responsibility piled onto the ones you’ve already had.

If you want to break into a bigger, more substantial role, you’re going to have to put yourself out there and ask for it.

Before you do, there are 7 specific steps you need to take in order to stand out and show you’re prepared for the promotion you want.

1. Let people know you’re interested

One of the common mistakes I see people making is assuming their supervisor knows they’re interested in a bigger role—or that the supervisor will automatically consider them as a candidate for one.

The problem with this entitled thinking is people rob themselves of growth opportunities by not speaking up; but then they carry a chip on their shoulders because no one is handing opportunities to them. It rarely works out that way.

If you’re serious about getting a more prominent position, you have to be vocal about it to the people you need to listen most—your supervisor, the hiring official and any other key players in the organization.

2. Get the 411 on the role you want

It’s important to find out as much of the nitty gritty details as possible about the job you want, including real expectations and desired outcomes. Since you’re already an insider, you can easily find this out from the people who work closely with that role.

Talk to directors, managers and support staff about what specific skill sets (beyond the basics), knowledge, traits and strengths it takes to pull off the job—and would make their jobs easier.

Also find out what necessary collaborations there might be (e.g., with vendors, partnering organizations or other staff members), that would impact your experience in that position.

3. Upgrade your skills

When you’re ready to stand out as someone who’s capable of taking on a more substantial role, you’ll have to demonstrate your readiness by upping your game.

That could mean taking a course, getting credentialed or even earning an advanced degree to show your proficiency in the areas that are most essential to the position you’re aiming for.

This is a step that will benefit both your immediate and longer-term career goals.

4. Get endorsements

Part of what sways hiring decisions is having recommendations from influencers (this is why having great references and referrals is still the easiest way to land a new job).

Aligning yourself with people who have clout in your organization or field will be a power boost to your reputation and credibility.

Identify ways you can be of help to these kinds of people in exchange for the opportunity to learn and develop under them. Let them know you’re interested in a specific promotion and ask for them to put in a good word on your behalf.

5. Define your terms

Though landing your next big promotion requires you to stand out and position yourself as an ideal candidate, this isn’t all one-sided.

Part of your preparation also involves figuring out what you’ll need in order to be successful in your new role.

Spend some time to think about your desired salary, work hours, support team and other terms. Get decisive about these things so you can be ready to speak up about them when it’s time to negotiate.

6. Make a plan

When it comes down to asking for insight, endorsements, support and ultimately your promotion, strategic timing is critical.

First and foremost, be sure you’re nurturing your connections with your supervisor, hiring official, influencers and colleagues—staying aware of changes and keeping yourself in the know.

Then, figure out a time when they’ll be most receptive and responsive, like after a staff meeting or during a scheduled one-on-one chat. Be clear and concise about what you want (which might mean starting with a smaller ask) and make it easy for them to give you the desired response.

7. The most important step of all: build up your confidence

None of the other steps will matter if you’re not confident enough in yourself and your abilities.

Your confidence is what propels you through the hard tasks of stretching yourself, asking for support, asking for the promotion you want and negotiating your terms. It’s also what shapes your professional presence and demeanor, helping you stand out and be more noticeable.

Confidence is one of the 7 most common qualities of people who stand out and excel at work. Discover more in my new report, 7 Secret Powers of Highly Successful People, and learn how you can tap into those traits to get the recognition (and promotion) you deserve.

If you aren’t already, get solid on the unique value you bring to the table, through your skills, strengths and knowledge. Practice talking about how your accomplishments and abilities are an asset to your team and organization.

Affirm your worth daily and other people will have no choice but to recognize it, too.

Ever wonder how certain people certain people achieve success in the workplace—even when they don’t seem as qualified or deserving? My report, 7 Secret Powers of Highly Successful People, reveals the traits that make these people stand out, get noticed and excel (and how you can, too!). Download your free copy today.

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