As young adults, we want to know the fastest ways to get a job promotion. It’s not always about climbing the corporate ladder; it’s also about making more money to fund our lifestyles. And socially, some people feel good about saying they’re an Executive Vice President of XYZ. Some are absolutely okay with saying they’re just a specialist as long as it means having a good work-life balance to focus on their hobbies and other priorities outside of work.
If you’re new in the corporate world or looking for some inspiration, I’ll share some insights on securing the next job promotion for whatever you’re looking for.
it’s not always about being the boss
As mentioned in The Young Adult Guide to Job Titles, it’s not always about climbing to becoming a manager ASAP. Not everyone wants to join management, and it’s totally fine. Define what you want out of your career or even the current job. If you’re looking to gain basic years of experience, that’s fine. If you’re just looking for something that’ll pay the bills, that’s also fine. If you’re looking to become a manager, power to you.
Document everything you do, including all of your achievements, fire drills, and compliments. You need to demonstrate that not only can you do the requirements within your current role, but you can perform at a higher level. It’s a bit unfortunate to say this because you’re technically doing more for a *lower* pay to prove that you can be paid more appropriately.
You should never say “I deserve to be promoted because I did the same work XYZ (who’s at a higher role) did” – because management could believe that person was underperforming and you’d sell yourself a lot shorter.
When it comes time to market yourself to management why you deserve a job promotion, you’ll have all of the selling points in your back pocket. You handled all of the different fire drills thrown at you, people love the work you do, and how you went above and beyond.
do not beef with people
Such a young adult thing to say this, but don’t have bad blood and beef with people at work, no matter how much in the wrong they are. This is not your battle. Having some sort of record that there was an incident between you and someone else can take you down in the long run. It’s great to be transparent, but be smart about it.
If there is a problem, do not stoop down to their level and become the aggressor. Management will magically be blind to the other party’s underperforming behavior and focus more on the fact you were “too aggressive”. Be zen. Stay away from these people. Stay a superstar. There will be times when people are threatened by you and try to catch your attention the wrong way. Don’t fall for it.
you don’t have to throw people under the bus
Repeat after me, you can still get a job promotion without throwing anyone under the bus. It’s not about putting others down. It’s about how you can stand out by doing your best. Managers like to see their team work together and be successful together. I’m not saying to let yourself get used by others. Make sure your accomplishments are actually recognized by management as your own work. It’s better to look like a team player, no matter how poorly others perform.
There are tasks you can do without relying on your manager. For meetings, you can try to lead and prepare decks, make banging meeting minutes, and show that you can articulate your agenda well. It’s okay to ask your manager questions, but make an attempt to solve it first. At the same time, if management is asking for volunteers to assist in some sort of fire drill, your participation counts. These activities will help you build a case for your job promotion.
complete projects from start to finish
Showing management that you deserve a job promotion by demonstrating you can complete a project from start to finish. This shows that you’re able to lead while performing the “boots on the ground” work. This is also known as commitment. Give them reasons why you deserve higher pay through the value you produce to the company.
Unfortunately, there may be companies or management out there who might not give you the job promotion for whatever political reason. It happens. At least, this is where you take all of the experience you’ve gained from this attempt and get that job promotion through a different company. You can decide to apply for other jobs. However, be smarter than telling the recruiter you’re looking for a new job because you weren’t promoted. It’s good to say you’re looking for a new challenge at face value. It’s okay if you’re only looking to be promoted to a senior position to ride steady for a while. It’s okay if you don’t want to be in management. It took me years to understand, but there are other priorities in life. That’s fine.