Five Ways to Demonstrate You Are Ready for a Career Promotion

Updated July 2021

Five Ways to Demonstrate You Are Ready for a Career Promotion - USAA Member CommunityWe all want to be promoted. Period and end of story. More money, more training, a bigger team to lead, more responsibility, more executive visibility, and one step closer to an even bigger job are just a few of the things that we think about when we hope and try for a promotion. Unfortunately, we cannot always be successful to secure a promotion. Organizations reduce head count, promotions go to other peers, business’ reorganize to react to customer and economic changes, and specific employees can be directly placed into new assignments that we want.   


Follow these tips to find ways to take on additional responsibility and visibility to highlight your readiness, ability, and leadership to take that next step in a promotion.


Expanding Your Career In Your Current Job Tip #1 – Complete a Project No One is Working. Initiative is a great way to demonstrate your readiness and abilities for a promotion. Finding a new project the company needs and that you have the ability to complete without jeopardizing your current responsibilities is a fantastic way to demonstrate your abilities. Most employees will need to do a significant amount of research to talk to superiors to find a project, but the internal discussions are well worth the time to find a project that is internally supported and of value to the company. Finally, once you start, make sure you complete the project within 1-2 months.


Expanding Your Career In Your Current Job Tip #2 – Teach a Class to Employees. Every employee in a company has a skill or skill sets that others in the company can benefit from knowing. This is another project where discussions with internal leaders, peers, and other employees can help you find 2-3 ideas on skill sets that you know and that others want to know how to do. This can be a skill from the time in military service or an overview of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. 


Expanding Your Career In Your Current Job Tip #3 – Volunteer Within an ERG. Employee Resource Groups or ERG’s are diversity groups that incorporate minority employee groups and align those groups to company initiatives and strategies. ERG’s have member development groups, annual conferences, and ways to help group members get promoted. Working on an ERG project gets visibility, helps peers develop, and gets you visibility from company senior leaders.


Expanding Your Career In Your Current Job Tip #4 – Find New Customers For Your Company. Every single company likes and wants to grow as much as they can. Conducting a marketing study for your company, determining ways to produce products at a lower cost, and finding new markets for existing products are ways to create a big impression. Additionally, finding ways to help your company’s customers have a better experience with your company makes your customers happy and your company perform better with customers. This project requires good internal coordination and discussion, but helping your company improve is an amazing way to make a positive impression.


Expanding Your Career In Your Current Job Tip #5 – Ask Your Boss for More Responsibility.  Asking your boss for the opportunity to do more in your current job is probably one of the best ways to get a very favorable assessment from your boss. This also gives you a great opportunity to have a strategic discussion with your boss to discuss their goals, what the boss’s boss says, and have a back and forth on what your team requires to be successful.


These five tips are just a few ideas for you to take on more responsibility, find new ways to deliver value to your company, and give employees new skill sets that will help their careers. Promotions come and go. Acting, leading, and serving as an employee that is ready, willing, and able to take on additional responsibility shows that you are the person the company needs to look at for your company’s current and future success.


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About the blogger:
Chad is the author of two books: (1) Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and (2) Battlefield to Business Success.  Chad’s brand message is that organizations & individuals need to translate and apply military skills to business because they immediately produce results and are cost effective. Chad is a retired US Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel with 20+ years of Active and Reserve service in infantry, Special Forces, and joint headquarters units. He served in Iraq, Bosnia, Korea, and throughout the United States. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab.   Chad is an adjunct Lecturer of Marketing at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. In addition to teaching, he is a mid-level marketing executive and has worked in marketing and sales roles for various companies, including General Electric, Comcast, and Manugistics. He has been published in over 110 different articles in over 85 separate publications including The Harvard Business Review blog, Business Week Online, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today.  He has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University.