In school, doing a great job is rewarded with good grades, gold stars, and certificates. At work, it can be a little more complicated. Often, the reward of a job well done is the satisfaction of doing it, the paycheck you bring home, and the knowledge that you’re helping the company. Occasionally, though, it’s nice to be recognized for going above and beyond. If you’ve been excelling at a position for a while and there are growth opportunities in your department, keeping these things in mind could help you move up the career ladder.
Do your job well.
It may be obvious, but if your supervisor is going to consider you for a promotion you will have to be doing an exceptional job. That means not just doing the minimum you can in your position, but going above and beyond expectations. Be punctual and thorough with tasks, and do them with pride. While it’s important to do what you’re assigned, and to follow instructions well, if you’re going to excel you should be bringing something extra to the table. Do you have new ideas that could improve business or make processes more efficient? Always be checking to see if there is anything you can help with beyond your own tasks, but be careful to not step on any toes. Coworkers may feel threatened if you start taking on their tasks.
You could be doing your job perfectly, but it won’t matter if you’re complaining about it the whole time. Your boss won’t think that you want to advance in the company if it seems like you’re always unhappy. Make sure it shows that you are grateful and happy for your job. Socialize with your peers to create positive relationships and be involved in the company. Having friends and gaining respect at work helps you learn about other departments, have greater work satisfaction, and inspires respect and trust in your coworkers.
Understand how the promotion fits into the bigger picture.
Even if you are an exceptional worker with a great attitude, keep in mind that merit alone won’t get you a promotion. You have to factor in other aspects of what is happening in the company. If you work in a small business or department, there may not be any new opportunities for you to grow into. Or, maybe your company thinks that a promotion should also be associated with a raise, but it’s just not in the budget. Be patient.
Communication is one of the most important parts about any job. Make sure you learn the preferred communication styles of those around you, and practice them. When you get new tasks or information, keep notes so you’re not continually asking the same questions. When there’s a problem, talk about possible solutions with your boss and coworkers. If you’re hoping for a promotion, communicate about that as well. Let your supervisor know your expectations, but don’t make specific demands. Make sure you’re communicating in a professional way in the right environment at the right time.
Regardless of if you’re hoping for a promotion or not, all employers will appreciate if you give your job your best. Even if you’re not in a long-term position, being an exceptional employee will pay off—you’ll get positive references, develop a great work ethic, and overall be happier and more satisfied.