How to Get a Promotion at Work

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Shorter Version

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You’ve been in your job for a bit of time now and think you’re ready for your next promotion. Great! Now, how are you going to actually get one?! Here are some steps you can take right now so you can get a promotion at work.

How to Get a Promotion?

Plan Your Path

Employers are committed to retaining good talent. Design and plan your path to promotion with your supervisor. They expect you to want to progress and continue to grow within the company. Use their knowledge of open positions and expertise on wanted skills and accomplishments you’ll need to exhibit before applying for promotions. 

Make sure you hit it out of the park with your current position before dialoguing about future opportunities with your supervisor. Then, make your future intentions known and plan a route to get there. Show your supervisor you are teachable, coachable, and willing/able to learn and grow. 

This is the key to not only saying you’re ready for a promotion but actively showing you are ready.  

Leverage Your Value and Impact

Keeping records of your professional journey will boost your confidence. It also gives you stories/data to back you up when you seek a promotion, raise, or new career opportunity. Don’t assume your memory will always be strong enough to remember the processes and outcomes from your past accomplishments.

Consider using a Microsoft Excel or Google spreadsheet to track your accomplishments. Cover what you did, how you did it, how you brought value, what skills you developed/expanded on, and what you learned for future reference.

You’ll want to communicate your value and the impact you’ve made in your current role. This way your supervisor can see how you’d be successful in bringing the same can-do attitude and skill set to the next position too. 

Make Yourself Known

From taking on extra projects to organizing social opportunities for the office, make yourself known to colleagues you may not usually work with. Be strategic in developing relationships outside your team. Critically think about who to befriend or work more closely with as it relates to your future role or promotion. 

Also, take a genuine interest in what other teams are working on in the company, and express interest in learning through, say, a coffee chat or lunch date. This will go a long way in putting your name at the forefront of a hiring manager’s mind when they seek internal applicants. 

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Actionable Steps

Here Are More Tips on How to Get a Promotion at Work:


Do your current job well.

If you don’t give it your all and exemplify a demonstrable skill set progression, job/industry growth, and successes in your current position, it’s difficult to demonstrate to your higher-ups that you’re ready for the next step in your career.


Make a plan with your manager.

Good supervisors will support you in your goals for advancement. Use them and be specific with how they can help you get promoted.


Show how good you are.

In the workplace, you are your own biggest and loudest cheerleader. Make sure your supervisor knows every success you’ve had in your current role, how it brought value to the organization, and how it’s helped you prepare for the next position or promotion.


Network to build your brand.

Networking isn’t just for getting hired into a company. It’s also a very simple but highly effective strategy for earning promotions and recognition from people you currently work with, and other teams across the organization you might want to work with in the future.


Learn more about how to get a promotion

There are several great resources that discuss how to get a promotion, like this success story. You could also work with a career coach and check out our Virtual Coach Directory to help you make a plan to get a promotion at work.

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About the Author

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney

Career Coach

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney, M.Ed., MA is the founder and principal career coach for Beyond Discovery Coaching. Her mission is to help you design and build a happy and fulfilling career that makes you want to get out of bed every day. She is an experienced higher education administrator with a prestigious tenure working with students in the United States and the United Kingdom.

She has spent the past 15 years working with students in different roles across academia. In addition to career coaching, she is an experienced tutor who has helped students at some of the most elite universities in the US including Harvard, MIT, Tufts University, and Boston University. Contact Nadia if you need a career coach, or if you are a student looking for help with time management, academic planning, assignment planning, and accountability partnering.

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