Choose your timing
Make sure it is the right time to start this conversation. Don’t start it when your boss is frantically busy or stressed out!
Managers are busy people but they value ideas and creativity and someone who will think ‘outside of the box’. They appreciate an individual who is self-motivated and willing to volunteer for work opportunities that may arise but are outside of their normal job description. It may be useful to assist in the workload of someone in a senior role to yourself in order to demonstrate that you are capable of a similar position, if available.
Be Liked and Admired
Promotions are not just based on merit and experience because office politics can also play a role. It is important to use and develop your people skills. Be helpful to your colleagues: take part in company events, network across the whole company and not just your department.
Acquire a Mentor
This can be an informal role with a manager or someone higher up in your organisation. People usually like to be asked their opinion if it is valued and will often make time for you if they see that you are hungry for knowledge, learning and improvement. This very person could open doors for you that otherwise might have been closed and may be willing to support your application for promotion when the time is right.
Set realistic expectations
Be careful to set realistic expectations of yourself as you can easily take on responsibilities that may be beyond your current capabilities, and if you do, it can be a long, unprofitable journey back to base! However, if on one occasion you are passed over in the favour of a colleague, then think through as to why this was the outcome. Had you planned your strategy and developed your company profile adequately or had you not bothered to promote yourself and your skills?
You need to have a marketing strategy in place to ‘sell’ yourself because you are a product and those who you want to ‘buy’ you, need to be aware that you are there!