Succeeding in work – how to achieve a promotion

by Michelle Dickson

Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Perhaps you are feeling overlooked and tired of watching others being promoted ahead of you. Earning a promotion is not just about how you perform at an interview, it requires time, effort and planning.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure you move forward and achieve the promotion you feel you deserve.

Identify what you want

What role do you see yourself in? Would you like to be a manager, or perhaps move into a more specialised role within your organisation? It is important to work out what you want to do in order to start actively working towards your goal. So do your research and think about the types of roles that are available. You don’t need to wait for a role to be advertised, you may be able to identify a gap within your organisation which you have just the right skill set to fill.

Use all available resources

There could be a number of different resources to help you, so use as many of them as you can. You may choose to speak to someone who already does the role you are aspiring to. How did they get there? Can you get involved in any way? Would they consider mentoring you? Have a think about whether your organisation can help you to progress. Do they offer training programmes for aspiring managers, for example?

It can also be really useful to seek feedback from your line manager on your ideas. What do you need to improve on? Be prepared to act on their feedback and show real commitment to your own development.


It is vital you demonstrate a positive attitude at all times. Are you someone who gets involved at team meetings and likes to help find solutions to problems? Or do you get involved in office politics and love nothing more than a good old moan. It can be helpful to take a step back and think about how you might look through someone else’s eyes. Some actions which demonstrate a positive attitude include offering to help others perhaps in a mentoring role, listening respectfully, being approachable and doing your work to the very best of your ability. Building a good reputation within your organisation can really help you on your path to success.


Other people within your organisation are watching your behaviour and making judgements about you all the time. Make sure you take pride in your work. Try to look and sound professional and think about what your work area and body language say about you.

Understanding your organisation is also a great way to demonstrate positive behaviour as it shows you are interested in more than just your own personal work goals. Try to get involved in different projects and, if possible, think about ways to improve outcomes for your organisation.

Your behaviour outside of work counts too. Are you active on social media? What messages are you sending about yourself and about your place of work? It is important to market yourself and your organisation in a positive manner and certainly avoid speaking negatively about your employers.

Make the most of opportunities

Have your elevator pitch ready for chance encounters and networking events. Understand the culture of your organisation and who makes the decisions and why. Being aware of these factors allows you to make the most of opportunities to market yourself and highlight your achievements in a constructive way. Remember to take opportunities for feedback on how you come across so that you continually improve and create the best possible impression.

Taking these steps will improve your chances of promotion so that by the time the right opportunity arises, you have firmly laid the groundwork for success.

Good Luck!

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