Planning For A Job Promotion

Prepare for your next job promotion request by organizing records and paperwork to make that outlines your contributions to the company.

Job promotions sometimes just happen because a slot unexpectedly opens up and management will move a lower-ranking employee up to fill it. But more often, employees who are the most qualified and prepared are the ones who will be considered for job advancement. So how do you go about planning for a promotion?

1. Keep track of your attendance. Avoid taking time off from work unless it is truly needed. Employers often look at an employee's absenteeism record for an idea of how committed and dependable a person is. If you're missing on average at least one day a month, that may cause management to question your reliability. When you must be absent, provide documentation if at all possible. For example, if your car doesn't start and you call out a towing service to jump the battery so you can go buy a new one, bring in a copy of the receipt to show your supervisor. This will confirm your reason for not being there and will also show that you care about being considered a serious employee.

2. Pitch in when needed. Even if your workload is caught up, you may want to lend a helping hand to someone who is struggling to meet a deadline. This could mean you will end up working a few unpaid hours extra, but you will be performing a good deed that could make you more visible to the watchful eyes of administration. An added bonus is that you might be able to gain insight into new skills beyond your own job duties that will prepare you to move into another position later.



3. Participate in professional development. Take advantage of workshops, seminars, and classes offered by the company. Often these are free and may cover topics that can help your personal life as well as your job: computer software, communications skills, conflict resolution, diversity training. In some cases the company will pay your travel and hotel if you agree to register for out-of-state training programs. Not only will your employer admire your work ethic and desire to learn, but you may be one of the names that pops up when a higher-level position comes available.

4. Keep good records. It can help during an annual performance review or during an interview for a higher position if you come prepared with facts about your job duties. For example, you can include the number of hours you worked overtime (paid or unpaid), the new skills you've learned, any special duties your performed (like covering for someone who was out on vacation or ill), continuing education credits or certifications, and community service projects. Your review may resemble your initial interview, but this can provide a great opportunity to showcase your strengths as well as how you've overcome any weaknesses pointed out in a previous review.

5. Associate with those at the next level. Participate in mixers, organizations, and local events that bring you into contact with someone who could become your mentor. You also will begin to get ideas about how to dress and act when you're among those who are already where you want to be. Furthermore, you can make contacts with whom you can network within your organization or the community in case a better job opportunity opens up elsewhere.

'The readiness is all,' Hamlet says in the famous play. Get ready to answer the door when opportunity knocks so you can spring into action when your credentials are recognized.

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