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Looking to climb the career ladder? Here’s how!

Looking to climb the career ladder? Here’s how!

If you’ve been doing the same job for a while, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to make your way up the career ladder at your current firm. Perhaps a few promotions have already passed you by and you’re worried that you’ll be stuck on the bottom rung for the rest of your days, but don’t panic, help is at hand!


It’s rare that good promotional opportunities simply fall out of the sky, so you may need to use your initiative if you want to be in the running. The following tips will give you a better chance of getting onto the next rung, or even leaping up two or three.


  1. Get to know your boss better. You may feel as though your boss had already made up his or her mind about you, but it’s never too late to make a good impression. Think about what stresses your manager out and do everything you can to lighten the load. Take an interest in his or her personal life without being too personal, and make a point of following up on conversations at a later date. In short, make yourself useful and likeable.
  2. Create a portfolio. List any special accomplishments or duties you have taken on that go beyond your basic job description. Have you done anything that has increased sales or improved the profile of the brand? Have you attracted new business or put in extra hours to finish an important project? Have you successfully completed relevant training? Keep detailed records so you can present a strong case for a promotion when the right time comes along.
  3. Propose a promotion yourself. Maybe your role has significantly evolved since you started but you’re not getting recognised or recompensed for the extra duties. If so, you could suggest a pay rise and a change in job title. If you’re feeling super ambitious, why not think about your dream role and suggest a new, tailored role in which you could really flourish. Pick your time carefully – avoiding the end of the tax year if you’re an accountant or the start of term if you’re a teacher – and ask to speak to your manager in private. Explain why you feel you should be promoted and ask him or her to consider your proposal and let you know.
  4. Perform consistently well. If you’re looking for promotion, now is the time to shine! You can’t afford to let your performance slip, start turning up late or make major mistakes. Keep doing what you’ve been doing, but don’t be afraid to put in a few extra hours or to step up if you’re asked to take on something new. Show that you are committed and capable in everything you do.
  5. Be a team player. Remember that it’s not all about you, and give credit where it’s due. There’s nothing worse than working alongside someone who is sucking up to the boss and currying favour when you’ve done all the leg work. Be honest in all your dealings, acknowledge other people’s contributions and come up with fresh ideas to improve the way your department is run. The more indispensable you become and the more people enjoy working with you, the more likely you are to secure the promotion you’ve been dreaming of.


If, having tried the above, there simply aren’t any promotion prospects, it may be time to look elsewhere. That doesn’t mean starting from scratch if you have a couple of years or more under your belt, but perhaps your current employer isn’t looking to promote at the moment, or doesn’t recognise your full potential.