Ready for Promotion? Here’s How to Demonstrate It | Advancing on the Job Series

young executive ready for promotion, demonstrating by leading a meeting

You know you’re ready for a promotion. But of course, that’s not enough; you also have to demonstrate your readiness in tangible ways so decision-makers see it too.

In today’s competitive business world, advancement opportunities aren’t just offered without real evidence that the move is warranted and the individual will be successful. Contrary to popular belief, promotions aren’t usually given based on potential; they’re given based on proven ability. With any decision, leaders want to minimize risk. If you want a promotion, you need to position yourself as a sure-thing—someone who is guaranteed to do the job well from day one because, heck, you’re basically doing it already.

So, what kinds of things can you do to demonstrate you’re ready for a promotion? Here are 5 strategies suggested by Dr. Susan Bernstein.

Also read: Self-Promotion Strategies for Career Advancement (Part 3) AOTJ

  1. Be part of achieving vital outcomes—Promotable people are engaged in work that positively contributes to big picture organizational objectives. Track your accomplishments and promote them to your leaders with clarity and confidence. Keep your focus on the tangible results you achieved and how they measurably impacted key business drivers, such as profitability and productivity.


  1. See important business needs and address them—Promotable people are always on the lookout for ways to fill gaps, fix problems and make improvements in the business. Be vocal when you identify such opportunities and take the initiative to turn your ideas into reality. This demonstrates a high-level of strategic thinking as well as creativity and ability to execute.


  1. Proactively take on valuable leadership roles—Promotable people are quick to volunteer for positions that stretch their leadership skills and raise their visibility. While these roles carry a certain amount of risk should things go awry, they also offer a lot of reward when managed effectively. Don’t be afraid to take responsibility for overseeing big, important initiatives; doing so will demonstrate your confidence and commitment.

Also read: How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting that Promotion [AOTJ]

  1. Get things done with and through others—Promotable people know how to rally the team around a shared goal, delegate responsibilities, leverage each individuals’ talents, and collaborate to make things happen. This is the essence of management and a crucial requirement for career advancement into supervisory roles.


  1. Be on lots of influencers’ radar—Promotable people establish strong relationships with decision-makers and those who have the ear of decision-makers. Make a name for yourself with the movers and shakers in your organization. Be vocal about your achievements and goals, and work hard to maintain a stellar reputation. Follow this advice and, when advancement opportunities come along, your name will be top of mind.

Many professionals share your desire to earn a promotion. However, not all are ready. Of those who are, only a small handful will do what it takes to demonstrate their readiness in the clear, tangible ways described above. Be one of those rare few who do, and your chances of actually earning that promotion will skyrocket.

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About the Author

Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach, corporate trainer and public speaker who believes work can be a nourishing part of the life experience. Her website, Eat Your Career, is devoted to this mission. Chrissy is currently a contributing career expert for U.S. News & World Report and the author of the book, The Proactive Professional: How to Stop Playing Catch Up and Start Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life!), available on Amazon.