CAREER ADVANCEMENT / SEP. 27, 2015
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5 Habits of People Who Keep Getting Promoted

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Well of the top of my head, I guess that people who keep getting promoted have a habit of tossing a coin into a wishing fountain, and making a wish. A wish for promotion I presume. Then when they realize this approach is fundamentally flawed, they decide it’s time to adopt some new habits. The point is you cannot expect to be promoted if you solely rely on wishful thinking. You can be a good person, a good worker, but unless you have something that makes you stand out from the crowd you can never hope to get promoted.

See Also: Avoiding The Most Common Mistakes Made by Grads Their First Month on the Job

1. They are Problem Solvers

People who keep getting promoted are always there to assist you solve the ultimate office problems. They are the colleagues who come to your rescue when a blue screen of death appears on your PC. They are the people who are always near the fire extinguisher when your PC catches fire. They are the ones who carry defibrillators to revive their co-workers. I admit it is a bit confusing to classify problem solving as a habit. Since, in order for something to be classified as a habit, it means that process is repeated on a daily basis. So, it is kind of illogical to solve a problem and then do it all over again the next day. Once again, this is a habit influenced by a mindset. People who keep getting promoted are more detail-oriented and work on their flaws more frequently, so they know what needs fixing and they fix it.

Another way to be a problem solver, is to constantly think about contingency plans in case something goes wrong. It is quite common to hit a bump on the road in any line of work, but people who keep their cool, and come up with the best solutions are gradually rewarded. In other words, analyse your job, think about possible obstacles and how they can be dealt with, in a timely manner. This also means that people who keep getting promoted are the ones who volunteer to put in extra work if needed for the sake of saving a particular project etc. This proves just how reliable they can be, and that they care more about the company and its well-being than the rest of their co-workers do. This is why they get promoted. They are seen as the example who can lead.

2. They Display More Devotion and Ambition

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You know that annoying classmate who always yelled, “Teacher pick me, I know the answer!” well that nerd is the one who gets promoted not you. Your too-cool-for-school days are over, and you need to show superiors what you are made of. If you are all about being chill and “keeping it real” you are going to keep the same working place forever. Think of your job as Westeros from Game of Thrones, your objective is to become the hand of the king and to fill the vacant empty seat next to the iron throne. In other words start addressing your boss as “Your Grace”.  

All jokes aside though, what I want to say is that you need to be eager to please and let your voice be heard. During a business meeting, do not be afraid to speak up or give a constructive feedback on how the company is performing. Try to come up with good ideas on how to incite progress, and come up with incentives that are beneficial for everyone.

Clearly if you are too ambitious your boss might feel threatened, so play your cards right. Also, take some time to think about how to take your company’s business strategy to the next level, but remember that each of your ideas warrants closer scrutiny. Do not just brainstorm, think of possible drawbacks, and potential gains of each idea, otherwise you’ll just look silly. It would also be a great idea to say how you are willing to take on extra responsibility if needed, and that you are committed to learning new things.

To sum up, in order to display your devotion and ambition you should:

  • Expand your skill set
  • Calculate expenses for future business incentives
  • Come up with creative ideas for business extension and progression
  • Display a greater degree of motivation and productivity than other co-workers.

Think about it, if you were the boss, wouldn’t such a worker qualify for a promotion?   

3. They are Perceptive of Their Boss

Pay close attention, this is professional brown nosing 101.  If you want to get promoted you can no longer pay attention only to your work, but you must pay close attention to your boss. Keep your eyes open for a new tie, cufflinks, shoes, hairstyle or hair colour, perfume, blouse, earrings, necklace, every little detail. And once you notice the change, throw in a compliment; just remember not to do it too often since you’ll come off as stalker. Your boss makes an effort to look good, so employees who notice these little changes are fun to keep around. Other co-workers may start to hate you, which is a good thing since you are basically showing your boss how you chose them over your colleagues.    

It is also worth mentioning how this can backfire if not executed correctly, so you need to know how to say the right things and when to say them. You know what they say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, meaning that even if your heart is in the right place, your intentions may be perceived quite negatively by others. As mentioned, it is always a good idea to pitch a suggestion to your boss. However, if you do it right after your boss stated how the company will operate in the future, then your idea may be seen as something which undermines his or her authority. Of course, it all depends on what kind of person you are working for, which is why vigilance is a good habit in this instance.

It is very important to communicate effectively with superiors, and have a professional healthy relationship. Otherwise, all your qualities and virtues can be twisted into something else, which will ultimately lead to the plot of Horrible  Bosses 3 and nobody wants to see that movie. Therefore, when you disagree with your boss, make sure you take the right approach, and express yourself adequately.

4. They Get Along With Other Co-Workers

Sometimes the approach ‘boss before coes (co-workers)’, won’t be enough, certain jobs require you to be a people’s person, and if you are not likable you’ll have a hard time. In order for your co-workers to like you, you’ll have to become a party host. It’s a great opportunity to bond with them; they’ll appreciate you for providing free alcohol. Also go through their Facebook profiles to find what kind of music they are into, and make the playlist accordingly.     

In order to be regarded as someone valuable to the team, you need to have communicate effectively with your co-workers. In a larger company this can be rather difficult, since people usually form groups and stick together. It is quite common to gossip within these groups, and so a minor degree of animosity is created. You need to be above that, even if it means you won’t bond with your co-workers as much as you would like. Being neutral may not be something you are proud of, but if you want to be on everyone’s good side means you can’t be on everyone’s best side.

Once again, this depends greatly on the working environment, but if you do get into arguments and conflicts, it will only bring out the worst in you. Try to keep these scenarios to a bare minimum, and learn how to mediate. You can also use various techniques to bond with your co-workers, for example, playing video games, or having a drink can be a form of minor team building exercise, so feel free to suggest it.  

5. They Work on Their Shortcomings

Finally, you need to become a living iOS, meaning constant updates and improved versions of yourself need to be available every few months. This habit also implies you know how to take criticism, especially from your superiors. Even if it irritates you, these can be your defining moments. The way you behave in these situations shows your true colours. Eventually, if you navigate correctly these situations you can get enough positive points, and be a good potential candidate for a promotion. Don’t view these situations as threatening – view them as chance for improvement.   

See Also: Office Etiquette Rules You Need to Know

Being ‘happy go lucky’ isn’t gonna cut it here. Sure, there are people out there who trip on their own feet and fall into a lot of money but that kind of attitude is like playing the lottery. Taking your career into your own hands and steering the way to success is something you need to do. It takes courage to do this but you have to overcome your fears and really start to put in work like you mean it or somebody else will!

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