Ever wonder why you – the knowledgeable and hard worker – seems stuck in the same job, while others including those you’ve trained seem to be moving ahead?  Or no matter how well you perform, you just can’t seem to get promoted at work?

It may be the case that those who are moving up have something you are yet to tap into. Being the best at a job isn’t enough (or even always necessary) for a job promotion. If you want to be promoted, you have two options, one is hope that you get noticed doing a great job, and the other is having a strategic plan. In the competitive market we find ourselves these days, it pays to have a plan to get to where you want; else you easily become part of someone else’s plan. Here are three things you can start doing today for the promotion you want.

how to get promoted

1. Take the Lead, and Stay In control.

Be a leader when it comes to your career and take control; determine what it is you want, identify alternative routes to get there, develop a plan, and implement the plan. Developing strong leadership skills will equip you to successfully lead both your personal life and career, as well as enable you stand out as a leader colleagues and management can look up to and trust to take on greater responsibilities.

  • Don’t wait to be handed a development plan, take control. Determine what skills you need to update in order to add value both to your current role or future plans.
  • Stay updated on what’s happening in your industry i.e. read news articles or blogs
  • Consider accepting a lateral move or promotion to increase your knowledge, experience and opportunities
  • Where available, understand your performance management system, and work with your manager to identify a growth plan and path for getting promoted


2. Get To Know Who You Work For

Go beyond familiarising yourself with your organisation’s products, services and history, and go in-depth to understand organisational challenges and objectives. What is keeping management team up at night, and how can you add value. Determine the organisation’s strategic goals, how your department or role fits into it, and how you or your team play a role. Apply this knowledge to your daily responsibilities and leverage opportunities to go the extra mile in helping your organisation meet its strategic goals.


3. Make Yourself Trustworthy

Managers tend to recommend employees for promotion who have proven responsible and trustworthy when it comes to completing tasks thoroughly and on time. Boost the trust level of others in you by:

  • Finishing responsibilities with as little supervision necessary
  • Offer to take on tasks that you know your boss may be struggling with
  • Ask questions with a solution in mind to challenges and issues
  • Support and assist others on the team i.e. offer some help to cover a co-worker going on vacation
  • Volunteer to be participate in or lead new projects or social events, this will increase your visibility with other teams and leaders
  • Network and build relationships within the organisation beyond your immediate team


Being the best at what you do isn’t the only thing that can get you a promotion. By also being proactive, increasing your value to the organisation, earning the trust of others, and thinking strategically, you can blaze your own trail and not only get the promotion you want, but even create the role you want if non-existent.

What has worked for you? What else would you suggest adding? Comment and share with us.

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Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Change Consultant, and John Maxwell Leadership Coach & Teacher at OliveBlue Inc

I work with entrepreneurs, leaders and organisations to transition through change, drive results and achieve their goals. Author of the book “The Change You Want! Change Your Mindset, and Change Your Life”, as well as two other guide and workbooks on business and professional development.

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