Everyone wants to get ahead at work, but many factors have to align for a promotion to come about. Timing, performance, and office politics all play a role. You may work in an organization with limited room to grow. Your boss may not be going anywhere for a while.
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If you're starting to feel concerned about your professional future, don't start searching for new employment opportunities just yet. Here are a few steps you can take at work to start moving your career forward:
1. Talk to Your Manager About Growth
A promotion is only going to come from your boss, and sometimes, the first step is to simply ask for one.
Carve out some time on your manager's calendar to talk about your professional development, what your goals are, and the kind of career path your manager sees for you within the organization. This will give you a better idea of the opportunities available within the company and maybe even a timeline for when you can expect to advance.
2. Ask to Take on More Work
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One of the best ways to get a promotion is to start doing the work before you have the title. Are there tasks and responsibilities your boss would love to permanently walk away from if only they could find someone who would pick up the slack? Ask to take on additional responsibilities wherever you can. Once you're actually doing more, your case for officially receiving a promotion will be stronger.
3. Initiate Projects That Impact the Company's Productivity or Revenue
Show your boss you can put ideas into motion. Track your projects to prove they have increased productivity, boosted revenue, or yielded other positive results. Doing these things will put in you a strong position from which to start negotiating a promotion. If you have more innovative ideas you're hoping to set in motion when you get the promotion, your case will be even better.
4. Don't Limit Yourself to Only Accepting Promotions That Come With Raises
Sure, it's nice to get a salary bump, but company budgets aren't always aligned with your career growth plans. You may find you'll have an easier time getting the professional satisfaction you're looking for in a promotion if you let your boss know you're willing to renegotiate compensation at a later date.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Atrium Staffing blog.
Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing's resident career expert.