daily habits to boost promotion

Q: I know that I’m ready for the next step in my career and plan to ask my boss for a promotion at my next performance review. I’m reaching my goals and going above and beyond wherever I can. What else would you recommend I do to ensure that I am an obvious choice for a promotion?  

A: I love this question! Many people think that simply working long hours, meeting goals and being reliable are enough to get to the next level. These achievements are best paired with consistent and thoughtful day-to-day interactions to show your readiness for a promotion. These small steps may be just as important as the big wins when it’s time to talk with your boss about moving to the next level in your career.

  1. Be visible You can’t get a promotion if no one knows you’re there. Strike a balance between time that you’re at your desk working hard and the time you’re collaborating with others, presenting to the team or joining in a group activity. It’s important to make sure you’re at the forefront of people’s minds when an opportunity arises and part of that is being in front of people on a regular basis. It could be something as simple as delivering a document in person, or taking a long or alternative route back from the loo to say hi to your co-workers. Even your presence in optional meetings or company updates could make a big difference.
  2. Drop everything When you tell someone you have time to chat, help or answer a question, really mean it. Put down your phone, close your laptop and listen. People notice and appreciate it when you give your undivided attention and they can also feel it when you’re only half listening. Resist the urge to craft an answer while the other person speaks and hear them out first. Consider how you are making others feel when they approach you. You don’t always need to be available, but when you are, be fully available.
  3. Get personal Break out of work mode every once in a while. Show people that you care by asking them about their recent holiday, favourite sports team or child’s birthday. Your teammates will notice and appreciate that you’ve remembered something personal about them. You don’t have to pry, just build on information they have already shared with you and create a connection beyond your shared projects. It will help to build camaraderie and trust.
  4. Create champions Who are you helping? Consider what extra projects or support outside of your day-to-day work will set you up for success. If you want to be prompted to a leadership role, you might consider acting as a mentor to team members who are more junior. You’ll help them advance their careers and have someone singing your praises. Are you looking to move to a new team? See how you can support that part of the business to demonstrate your transferable skills. You don’t need to do all of the promotion on your own. Help others so they’ll also spread the word. Take a proactive approach in choosing which extra projects are suited for your career advancement rather than agreeing to every request that comes across your desk. Be selective in whom and how you help to be sure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin.
  5. Slow down Mistakes are most likely to happen when you’re moving too fast. When you’re looking for a promotion, the pressure is on. Consider how you can take the time to read an email through one extra time; you may also consider putting a delay on your outgoing messages. Also, set the right expectations around how quickly you can complete a project and give yourself some extra time by adjusting deadlines, if possible. It’s far better to provide something early than miss a deadline that was too tight. A little breathing room will go a long way.

We juggle so much and these small daily habits are sometimes lost in the shuffle. Remember that the small things may matter just as much as your big wins when you are being considered for a promotion.



Alyson Garrido is passionate about helping women advance their careers and find jobs they will enjoy. As a career coach, she partners with her clients to identify their strengths and create a path toward a more fulfilling career. Alyson provides support around interview preparation, performance reviews and salary negotiations, ensuring that her clients present themselves in the best possible light. Learn more or book a session with Alyson by visiting www.alysongarrido.com.

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