Career Transition

5 Signs You Are Ready for a Promotion | Promotion and Performance Series

ready for a promotion | ready for promotion | promotion-ready

One of the top career drivers for employees these days is the opportunity for career growth according to SHRM’s 2018 Employee Benefits report—86% indicated that professional and career development benefits are important to overall job satisfaction. As employees work with their managers and their organizations to hone and develop their skills, they have a specific end in mind: promotion. Organizations are paying attention too; they’re looking for signs you’re ready for a promotion!

We’ve taken a look at some signs that indicate that you’re not ready for a promotion, but how can you tell when you are promotion-ready?

Here’s How to Tell When You’re Ready for a Promotion

1. You’re Performing Effectively in Your Current Job

Laura Handrick, SPHR, a career and workplace analyst with FitSmallBusiness.com, says that one of the biggest signs most employers look for to determine whether someone is ready for a prometon is their ability to do their current job well. “In other words, that person must achieve business results on par, or above, his or her peers,” says Handrick.

In addition, employees who want to convey that they’re ready for a promotion also need to ensure that those around them—particularly their managers—recognize their efforts. If you’re not on the radar screen of organizational leaders as a top performer, you’re not likely to be tapped for promotion.


Also read: 5 Signs You’re Not Ready for Promotion | Promotion and Performance Series


2. You Consistently Go Above and Beyond

Individuals looked to for promotion, says Handrick, tend to be those who are willing to help others meet their goals. “For example, that staffer may offer to train new hires, help answer questions for colleagues and jump in to help the team on projects or initiatives.” Employees prove they’re ready for a promotion when they’re consistently willing to do more than what’s expected in their current role, she says.

If you’ve ever uttered the words “that’s not my job,” chances are you’re not on your organization’s list of high potentials!

In fact, says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com, promotions represent an increase in workplace responsibilities for employees. Consequently, those interested in promotion, she says, “need to be able to show your employer examples of moments when you took initiative and it paid off to benefit your department and the overall company.”

3. You Could Readily Perform Your Boss’s Job

Rich Franklin, a career expert with more than 20 years of experience and director of recruitment with KBC Staffing, says that “the number one way to determine if you are ready for a promotion is by answering a simple question: Can you do your boss’s job?” To boost the odds of the answer being “yes,” Franklin recommends scheduling a meeting with your boss and asking if you can take on some of his or her daily responsibilities. “Emphasize that your goal is to test your skills and prove that you’re ready to move up. Make sure to also ask for a timeline for when a promotion might be feasible. Document all of your steps in writing so that you have proof of what you’ve been doing should your boss leave before you get promoted, or makes a decision about your readiness that you do not believe is fair.”


Also read: Are You Too Valuable to be Promoted? 3 Ways to Escape this Trap | Promotion and Performance Series


4. You Get the “Big Picture”

Effective individual performers are able to get their work done, meet deadlines consistently and get along well with others. Employees who are promotion-ready, though, need to have a broader view—they need to understand what’s important to the company as a whole and how they currently, or potentially, can contribute to the achievement of corporate goals and strategies. Getting the big picture is one of the important signs you’re ready for promotion. This requires moving beyond the tactical (seeming doing tasks that have been assigned to you), to thinking strategically about you can do to contribute greater value—and then doing it!

5. They’re Proactive and Have a “Can Do” Attitude

Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., is president of Psych Tests, a company that produces psychological assessments used by employers to assess potential and existing employee aptitudes and attitudes. According to data collected from 2000 people who tool PsychTests’ Career Advancement Profile, there are some definite “tells” that send the signal that an employee is ready for a promotion. Many of these relate to employees’ ability to convey a positive, can-do attitude, to take on new challenges and to have a positive frame of mind. Employees most likely to be promotion-ready, according to the research:

  • Thrive on change
  • Demonstrate that you want to be part of your company’s decision-making process
  • Are constantly on the lookout for opportunities for personal development
  • Are active networkers, participating in social events with your business contacts
  • Are willing to accept the stress that often comes along with career advancement
  • Are willing to learn even very difficult skills
  • Confidently share ideas with their supervisors, disagreeing assertively as appropriate
  • Consistently strive to become more efficient

As you consider your performance and workplace interactions, do you find that you illustrate a predominant number of signs you’re ready for promotion? If so, you’re likely well positioned for an upward move. But, does your boss think this so? In an upcoming post, we’ll talk about some signs that your boss wants to promote you.

Read the previous post: 5 Signs You’re Not Ready for a Promotion


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About the Author

Linda Pophal is a freelance business journalist and content marketer with a wide range of writing credits for various business and trade publications. In addition to freelance writing for trade journals and publications, Grensing-Pophal does content marketing for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and individuals on a wide range of subjects, from human resource management and employee relations, to marketing, technology, healthcare industry trends and more.