The Secret to Getting Promoted

secret getting promoted

There’s a rule of writing that happens to be a great rule for getting promoted.

Writers are told to show, not tell. If you want to get noticed in your company, showing what you can do is a lot more effective than just talking. You do, of course, have to be sure your boss is aware of all that you are doing and the results you’re getting. You need to describe your talents, skills and experience in online profiles and your resume and cover letter when looking for a new job.

But if you really want to get noticed at your current job, you have to show what you can do. A great way to do this is to initiate a project. “The best strategy I know to get promoted is to have one big thing,” says Bozi Dar, a career coach. “To focus, starting from today, on something that will carry you to your next role and that you will get known for.”

Of course, you have to find the right project for you and your company. It goes without saying that you need to deliver. On time and within budget.

Big projects tend to come with risks, so be sure to take those into account when choosing and planning your project. Limit your risks by choosing something that really plays to your strengths and will hold your interest.

If your project is truly ambitious and you don’t succeed, you may still be rewarded for taking a risk–but don’t count on it.

Here are three tips to help you launch a successful project:

1. Identify a problem

 Every company has problems that no one has defined, figured out how to address, or gotten around to handling. If you come up with a solution and implement it, you’re going to get noticed. A project that appeals to you, even one that does attract attention, is less likely to get you promoted unless it solves a business problem. “I see a lot of people who find fancy projects with fancy names,” says Bozi Dar. “Sometimes they get promoted, but often it doesn’t work out.”

2. Control your time

You need to balance the essential tasks of your job and the requirements of the project. Often, that means you have to be highly disciplined about where you spend your energy. You have to learn to say no things you don’t have to do. “Don’t say yes to every project that comes along,” says Bozi Dar. Being helpful is great, but it can leave you stressed out and unable to work on your project.

3. Brand it

Once you have your plan in place you need not only to manage the process, but how it is perceived. “Name it, brand it, and keep on top of it,” says Bozi Dar. “Use it to talk about your successes for you.”

About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and, among others.