How Employees Who Get Promoted Do Things Differently
There are some employees who seem to just skyrocket through the ranks of a company. You’re sitting there, working away, doing what you believe is a pretty good job, and yet, you don’t get the opportunities that person gets. What are they doing differently from you? How come every time a possibility for advancement comes up, you just know that that one person will get it? You can’t help but wonder if something like nepotism or favoritism is at play—or something more sinister. Deal with the Devil, maybe? But, you also kind of know that isn’t true. Maybe you just have to look more closely at how these people go about their regular tasks.
There are two types of employees in the workplace—at least when it comes to moving up. There are those who just aim to not get fired, and those who aim to make a difference. Not wanting to be fired is a very relatable and understandable motive. You need an income. You are so focused on just doing your assigned and expected tasks well that you don’t see how you could look outside the box of that. But that’s just what the employees who are constantly promoted do. They think bigger than their immediate role.
It’s very rare that someone gets promoted simply for doing her job, even if she does it quite well. Think about it: when you’re promoted, you take on new responsibilities and have to handle a whole new roster of tasks. If you don’t display the ability to do those things in your current job, then how is anyone to know that you could do them, should you be promoted? Rising in the ranks of the company requires quite a bit of ambition, creativity, and hope. If you’ve wanted to get promoted, are losing steam on your goals, and are unsure what you’re doing wrong, here are ways those who get promoted do things differently.
They request evaluations
They ask for regular and frequent evaluations. While your company may require that you’re evaluated at regular intervals each year, the employees who rise up ask for even more evaluations. And, they want in-depth ones. They want to do an in-person meeting with their superior to discuss their evaluation, rather than just get the results via email.
They communicate a desire to move up
They let their superiors know they’d like to move up. That doesn’t mean marching into their office and saying, “Can I have a promotion?” It’s more of a soft-pitch meeting, perhaps during an evaluation, where they let their overall goals at the company be known. It’s important that the higher ups have it on their radar that someone wants to move up.
No job is too small
They’ll pitch in and do the work that is typically the intern’s job or the receptionist’s job or even the janitor’s job because that person is currently sick or tied up with something else. They aren’t obsessed with what their official role is—they’re here to make the company succeed.
They find solutions while others panic
When an issue arises, they don’t just sit back, panic, and look to their superiors to fix it. They brainstorm solutions. They offer specific steps the group can take. They appear calm and determined in the face of chaos (even if, on the inside, they are also panicking). But that appearance of calm makes a good leader.
They make others look better
They work to make their entire team, department, and company look better. They patch up the mistakes of others. They stay late to teach someone how to do something they’re struggling with. They’re concerned with the whole team succeeding—not just themselves.
They add those little touches
Those little touches that go above and beyond when they work on a project—the higher ups notice those. Like taking the extra half hour to dig up specific numbers and research that wasn’t required for this presentation, but makes it all the more engaging and convincing.
They create helpful tools for others
They look for and even create tools that help everyone communicate and work more efficiently, together. They find new software platforms where employees can exchange notes and track progress. They create spreadsheets that help keep everyone organized on a project. They do this without being asked to do so.
They further their skillset
They’re always looking to boost their skillset, even if nobody asked them to. They take that class to learn how to use this software, or how to do accounting, or how to speak a second language. Yes, this can require a small financial investment, but it’s worth it.
They’re vocal in group settings
When they are in a situation where they can speak in front of higher ups that they don’t usually see, they make sure to talk. If it’s an infrequent meeting where they’re exposed to the CEO, they make sure to provide sharp and insightful input. They want that CEO to notice them.
They attend the networking events
They go to all of the networking events. How else are they to get to know the higher ups—the ones who can help them get promoted? They don’t sit out as many of those events as they can, since they aren’t technically mandatory. They see them as a required part of moving up.
They don’t look to get out of things
They don’t stop work when the clock strikes five. They stop work when the work is done. They don’t leave something unfinished because it’s Friday night, and the presentation is on Monday. They come into the office and do a little work over the weekend to make sure the work is completed.
They are highly professional
They conduct themselves as if they already are in a higher up position. They don’t curse at work. They don’t tell obscene stories. They don’t goof around. They don’t distract their coworkers. They dress in a sophisticated way. They already appear to be upper management, even if they aren’t.
They get a mentor
This is a great way to A) get to know how exactly the higher ups behave and what they did to get in their position and B) get around superiors that you wouldn’t usually talk to. Your mentor will take you to meetings and events you weren’t technically invited to, where you can talk to people who can help you.
They keep track of their victories
They keep a detailed record of everything good they’ve done for the company. It may seem egotistical, but they’re going to need to reference this document when they ask for a promotion. Doing so isn’t just compelling, but it also shows how organized they are.
They take feedback well
They don’t throw a fit when given feedback—even if they really messed up. They thank the person for the feedback. And they make it a top priority to incorporate that feedback into their work as quickly as possible. Nobody is perfect—but great leaders are willing to improve.