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Three Behaviors of People Who Get Promoted the Fastest

Business.com / Employees / Last Modified: August 21, 2017
Photo credit: A and N Photography/Shutterstock

We all want to move up the corporate ladder. You may wonder why some people climb faster and higher than others. Hard work and luck alone won't do it. There are three behaviors that people who move up the ladder have to master first.

For many people, work defines who they are, and the company they work for adds to their identity. Wanting to move up in a company is a goal many employees have. Unfortunately, too many people do not know how to get ahead and move up the ladder at work.

It might seem like a secret that only some people are privy to, but moving up in the working world only involves a few key techniques. Once you take the first step, the rest tends to fall into place. Your goals will come to fruition as the decision-makers in your place of employment see how valuable you are.

Meet with your boss to start the conversation

The first step to getting ahead at work is to talk to your boss. Unless your boss is a mind reader, and most of them are not, your boss has no idea that you want to move up, unless you speak up about it. If your boss is unaware of your goals or your wish for recognition, you will remain exactly where you are and no one will know about the good work you do.

Bosses are busy people. They are busy checking emails, focusing on compliance issues, defeating the competition and dealing with paperwork. If you work in a big company, then your boss probably only deals with you when it is your turn for a formal evaluation.

To get your boss's attention, you need to initiate the contact. One way is to request a meeting with your boss. You might have to formally schedule the appointment if your boss is that busy. Prepare yourself prior to the meeting so you can clearly express your aspirations, and you can also ask for feedback about your current position. Hopefully, your boss will be able to see that you are interested in advancing your career and can provide a method for making it happen.

It is also helpful to take notes about the conversation, because bosses can become distracted once meetings have ended. If nothing happens after the meeting, you can send the notes to your boss as a gentle reminder. Making yourself and your goals clear to your boss is the first step toward moving up in the company. It is helpful to keep the lines of communication open so your boss remembers you and your goals.

Ask your boss what you need to do to move up

The next step is to ask your boss for feedback about your current place in the company and where you would like to be. Bosses are supposed to work with their employees to help them better themselves and the company as a whole. Your boss should be able to give you feedback about your current position and how you are functioning in it.

You should also be able to ask what you need to do to get to the next rung of the ladder, and your boss should be able to provide you with those steps. You might need a specific educational degree, for example, or you might need to attend a training program. You might also have to reach a certain level of sales to move to the next level. If you want to get ahead in the company, then you get the job done so you can move up to the next level.

Prior to meeting with your boss to discuss your goals, it is important for you to evaluate exactly what you are willing to accomplish. If you know you need a college degree to move to the next level, are you willing to do that? If you know that is not in the plan, then it might not be helpful to have a meeting with your boss. Goals should be achievable; otherwise, they are nothing more than dreams.

Request a performance review to evaluate your options

Last, you need to know what the competition is. In many companies, there is a pecking order. It could be based on seniority, performance or even nepotism. Your boss and you could review your performance to see if you are able to move up in the company. Reviewing your performance with your boss can also be a useful tool for making your current job more rewarding by finding areas of improvement.

As you review your performance with your boss, be sure to take clear and thorough notes so you can show your boss when you have improved and are ready to move up. Bosses will put their own standards on your performance, so be sure that you know exactly what you need to do to meet your boss's standards.

When a boss applies standards to a review, those could be based on company ideals or on their own ideals. Some bosses are hard on themselves, so they will be hard on their employees. Others are so overwhelmed that they do not even know what you are doing.

When you meet with your boss, you can keep the performance review focused on what matters to the company by bringing an employee handbook or other company documents with you. Doing this shows that you are aware of the company's policies for employees. It also reduces the chances that your boss will evaluate your performance on a group of standards that change on a regular basis.

Pay close attention to the details that your boss focuses on the most, because those are the details that you must excel at to get ahead in the company. Listen carefully and take good notes on the meeting. If you can improve and get your boss's attention, then you could quickly meet your goals.

Moving up in the company is a realistic goal. But for your goals to be reached, you must act on them. If you want to get a promotion, you should make your boss aware that you are ready, willing and able to do what it takes. There is nothing wrong with asking about it sooner rather than later, because in many companies, things like promotions take time.

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