How to get promoted in ten easy steps


Hah! If it were that simple. But Kate Lorenz over on MSN Careers has some tips for getting promoted. Of course they all take work! Ew, and self-evaluation. One of them even takes shopping. Whee!


Hmm, I’d recommend meditating on 5, 6 and 8 right now. That’s really where I see people missing the boat. And oddly, people seem very focused on #7. Know why? It’s easier (and involves shopping).


Getting promoted is about demonstrating your worth to an organization…making them want to keep you from going to their competitor. It’s about visibility, relationships and being “strategically aligned to the business” (that means getting the right stuff done). It’s been a while since I used that phrase and aside from the triteness of the sentiment, I have to say that if what you are doing isn’t obviously satisfying a business goal, then you can expect the promotion cart to keep on wheeling by your office.


Anyway, Kate gives some good advice and though much of it should be a reminder to the business savvy, it bears revisiting now and then, don’t you think?

Comments (16)

  1. Wine-Oh says:

    Id like to add a couple more if I may…

    1) Look for opportunities to present in front of a group. Especially if senior management will be there. That will help get noticed and if one does a good job, it creates a good buzz. (and not the kind you get from drinking beer) :)

    2)Get involved with cross functional or extra cirricular projects. This is in addition to one’s every day job. I forget what company it is, but they require 15% of your time be allocated to projects outside the department. (ie future product releases, philanthropy, etc.) This again helps get you noticed and when other opportunties happen, people will think of you.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Good ones.

  3. Cgm02 says:

    These are all great ideas… if only it were that easy!  This list is just about complete, but I’ve got one more:  

    When considering career advancement, most of us are not only focused on doing fabulously at our current job, but looking for our next promotion.  

    Someone once told me to always consider TWO jobs up, not just one.  It’s interesting how this changes your focus on performing the "right things" well (that whole strategic alignment thing), and it also ensures that you’re sitting in the right sandbox.  

    Sometimes the sandbox you’re in proves to be too small or doesn’t have enough toys when you take this view.  This is all not to mention that you must bring your best toys to the sandbox – and play well!  :)

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    More good advice!

  5. Martin Snyder says:

    Three easy steps to getting ahead

    1) Be Handsome

    2) Dont be unattractive

    3) Be Attractive *

    * From Saturday Night Live-

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    haha…OK, Martin, should we assume that’s what’s gotten  you to where you are today?

  7. Tim says:

    I think she also forgot:

    11) Bring chocolate. Lots of it.

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, nobody ever thinks badly of you if you’ve got chocolate in your hands

  9. Wine-Oh says:

    Martin’s comments remind me of the Stuart Smalley skits from SNL.

    "Im good enough… Im Smart Enough… and gosh darn it, people like me!"

  10. YL says:

    1. Be a white male

    2. Be a white male over 40

    3. Did I mention being a white male?

    Seriously, as a recruiter myself, we all know how some hiring and promotion decisions are made….its called the similarity attraction paradigm. That explains A LOT about why females are greatly missing those choice promotions.

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hmm, that’s a dim view. Hopefully, recruiters/HR managers involved in those situations are counselling their hiring managers on diversity.

    Of course, three of the four layers of management above me (including the top) are females. So I guess I don’t personally feel victimized by that paradigm.

    But I will say that I have worked at companies where their selection/promotion criteria were a complete mystery. I[m  not sure the white males fared any better than the rest of us though.

  12. Mankaw says:

    Be liked

  13. jeff says:

    Well, where I work, being a female will get you promoted faster than anything.  I’ve seen females only 5 or 6 years out of college that haven’t done a thing, get promoted several times, and then into management making six figures.  We have government contracts, so they definitely go out of their way at my work to promote women and minorities.  As for myself, I have been working there for 6 years, I took over one of the most challenging projects in my department from a senior level person that retired……and I have never been promoted at all in my 6 years.  I’m not sexist nor racist, but I’ve witnessed people that have never done a thing get promoted right through the ranks.   Getting promoted is more about "the rich getting rich" and the "poor getting poorer".   If you keep getting passed over at work, then that’s probably how it will always be.  It’s better to just either further your education while you are at work, and then go to another company, or start your own company.

  14. guri says:

    goddamn………u guys are really boozy…….dnt take lyf too seriously, nobody gets out alive anywayssssssssss

  15. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yep, we are the ones that are boozy. Career development is ssssoooooo ssssserious anywaysssss.

    (Why are teenagers reading my blog?)