How to best position yourself for a promotion

Promotions don’t happen overnight. You need to lay the groundwork in the preceding months – and years – to see your chances of getting that dream job increase. Here are some tips to best position yourself for promotion.

Underpromise, overdeliver

Nothing sells a worker’s capabilities more than the work itself. If you’re constantly producing work above and beyond expectations, that’s a sure-fire way to be considered for a more senior role.


Modesty is certainly a virtue, but sometimes doing a great job isn’t enough. Publicly advertise your achievements and be vocal about how you’re contributing to the company’s success. Be your own greatest supporter and promoter, but try not to be overbearing in your confidence. Initiate conversations with potential managers to let them know you’re interested in taking on a role in their team.

Be happy and professional

Who wants to work with negative people who complain all the time? Leaders look for emerging talent who see opportunities, not obstacles. Position yourself as a problem-solver with the foresight to see future possibilities. It also goes without saying that you should be professional at all times. That means dressing professionally and being punctual, cooperative and productive – but not aggressive when challenging discussions arise.

Make yourself invaluable

No one is irreplaceable. However, if you support your boss to the point that they can’t bear the thought of working without you, there’s a good chance they’ll take you with them when they receive their own promotion. Establishing a solid bond with your manager also encourages them to support your endeavours to be promoted outside their department.

Be an internal networker

Don’t limit the networking efforts to your boss alone. Think about establishing your connections internally throughout the company. Often, it’s not just one person who makes the decision about an employee’s promotion. There are many stakeholders in the human-resourcing service. If everyone has positive things to say about you, it’s more likely you’ll get the green light to take the next step. Don’t just depend on email interactions, either – organise lunch dates or meetings with internal associates. Learn how to avoid hiding behind work emails.

And lastly, get yourself a mentor. Those who attach themselves to workers higher up the ladder are more likely to be promoted. They have an advocate in the right places spreading the good word about their capabilities.

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