Getting Promoted: How to Show Interest in Career Growth the Right Way


You’re loyal and work hard.

You’re an expert at your current job.

You know you’re ready for a promotion – but that doesn’t mean company management shares the same opinion.

What’s the best way to convince your boss that you’re ready, willing and able to grow in your career? Today, PrideStaff shares tips to distinguish yourself as a prime candidate to level up:

Remove the biggest obstacles.

In 5 Reasons Why You Didn’t Land That Promotion, we review the five most common reasons people are passed over for promotions. If any of these apply to you, create a plan to address them, one at a time:

  • Skills gap. Misalignment between an employee’s skills/experience/personality and the available role can keep them from moving up.
  • Difficult to manage. Managers hesitate to give more responsibility to individuals who are defensive, negative, confrontational or simply hard to get along with.
  • Lack of professionalism. It’s no surprise, really: people who show up late, use vulgar language, leave early, gossip or spend work time on personal business are less likely to be promoted.
  • Lack of initiative. Doing one’s job adequately may be enough to keep it – but it’s seldom enough to merit advancement.
  • Acting entitled. Individuals who behave as if their promotion is inevitable may irritate decision makers and sabotage their own advancement.

Push yourself outside your comfort zone.

Doing your job adequately is seldom enough to merit advancement. If you want a promotion, go above and beyond by asking for stretch assignments. When your boss sees that you want more challenge and responsibility, and that you aren’t afraid to try new things, they’ll be more likely to consider you when a growth opportunity arises.

Be humble and work hard.

Characteristics such as humility and a solid work ethic are a winning combination for individuals who want to level up. Look for ways to ease your manager’s load, tackle a job nobody else wants (or has time for), or help coworkers meet a tight deadline. Employees who do more than what’s required, without bragging about it, set themselves apart as leaders deserving of more responsibility.

Challenge your thinking.

Engaging your brain in novel ways makes you smarter, while changing the way higher-ups perceive you. Carve out time to learn new things (and show what you know) by:

  • Following thought leaders online, and then starting discussions with managers about what you learn.
  • Attending industry conferences, and then sharing takeaways with your team.
  • Reading industry publications, and then forwarding relevant articles to other employees who might benefit from them.

Find a mentor.

A mentor can accelerate your career growth by:

  • Helping you assess your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Assisting you in creating a 3- to 5-year career path.
  • Providing opportunities to learn – and apply that learning – more quickly.
  • Serving as your “champion” internally to recommend you for the promotion you want.

Be prepared to explain why you deserve a promotion (not why you want one).

You never know when an opportunity for promotion may arise, so be prepared to capitalize on it. Create a list of your measurable results, success stories and even testimonials from happy clients or customers. Add in new skills you’ve acquired and new job responsibilities you’ve taken on. Use this evidence to distinguish yourself as the best candidate when vying for a promotion.

Looking for a better job?

PrideStaff can support your confidential job search for a position that offers greater opportunity, responsibility and compensation. Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.