Senior Client Partner, Global Head of FinTech, Payments, Crypto Practice
4 Ways to Get Promoted (Before It’s Too Late)
Research shows that employers promote less than 10% of the workforce each year. With companies bracing for a potential recession this year, experts say it’s likely that even fewer employees will be promoted.
To ensure that leadership notices their accomplishments, employees angling for an end-of-year promotion will need to be more intentional throughout the year about their work, the projects they take on, and the managers they align themselves with.
“Plant the seed with your manager that you’re interested in developing and growing and moving to the next level throughout the year,” says Sondra Levitt, a Korn Ferry Advance career coach.
Here are four ways to get promoted:
Don’t wait for your manager to come to you with a project idea. Instead, proactively suggest a project to them, says Deepali Vyas, a senior client partner and global head of Korn Ferry’s FinTech, Payments and Crypto practice. Just make sure your project or initiative impacts the bottom line and aligns with your company’s larger goals. By taking initiative and suggesting an idea, she says, you’re demonstrating a deeper level of interest. “And you are showing your boss you don’t need to be spoon-fed ideas,” she adds.
Find a champion.
If you want to get promoted, it’s essential to know managers in other parts of the organization who can mentor you, Vyas says. Think about four or five people at your company who you look up to and who are out of your normal sphere of work—and get to know them better, she says. “You have to be deliberate about finding a champion within your company,” she says. Align yourself with someone who has the ear of leadership, understands your value, and can give your job context within the broader goals of the organization, she says.
Lighten your manager’s load.
Ask yourself what you can do to alleviate your manager’s responsibilities, Vyas says, so that they can envision you eventually stepping into their role. Levitt recommends looking for gaps on your team and proposing work that will help your manager and colleagues meet their goals. But make sure you’re focusing on tasks that will impact the bottom line, such as researching innovative, revenue-producing solutions, rather than tasks that won’t (such as putting together slide decks, taking notes at meetings, or organizing a team lunch).
Add value at every opportunity.
Look for ways to make a positive impact on every project, in every team discussion, and with every colleague or client you meet, says Rasha Accad, a Korn Ferry Advance coach. “Whether it is with a new idea or a helping hand, having people talk positively about you will help create the right image about you,” she says. Look for opportunities to jump onto important and visible projects where you can add value, says Val Olson, a Korn Ferry Advance coach. “Hone and emphasize the strengths, skills, and talents that distinguish you,” she says. Leveraging these will help you stand out, especially if you’ve got a talent or skill your team needs.