No Promotion in 2018? 6 Things to Do Differently Next Year

Many folks work hard in the hopes of getting promoted. But if you didn't get that much-wanted promotion this year, it's time to set your sights on 2019. Here are a few ways you can improve your chances of climbing the ranks and furthering your career.

1. Grow your skills

When you're good at what you do, it's easy to grow complacent -- but that's a good way to ensure that you don't get promoted. On the other hand, the more skills you can boast, the more value you'll add to your company. Taking active steps to expand your skills also sends the message that you're invested in your career and are eager to broaden your horizons professionally, so sign up for an online course, attend some conferences, and see about pursuing a professional license or certification. You might even ask your employer to support those efforts by giving you time off or helping to subsidize the cost.

2. Get a mentor

If you've struggled to climb the ranks at work, it pays to snag advice from someone who's done so successfully in the past. So seek out a senior-level person at your company and ask that he or she serve as a mentor of sorts. With any luck, that person will meet with you on an ongoing basis and give you pointers on how to help advance within the company. Your mentorship arrangement doesn't have to be formal per se -- the point is to get some time with a seasoned professional who can offer the guidance you need.

3. Volunteer more often

Those tough projects no one on your team wants to handle? If, going forward, you decide to be the person who's willing to manage them, you'll show your boss that you're a true team player who isn't afraid of challenges. And while you don't want to go overboard volunteering, offering to take on more responsibility next year is a good way to set the stage for a promotion once you prove what you're capable of.

4. Be on time

Promptness is a virtue that can benefit you at any stage of your career. If you're eager to get promoted, pledge to be on time with all things work-related, whether that means submitting reports by their assigned deadlines, showing up on time to meetings, and getting to the office when your boss expects you there in the morning.

5. Have a positive attitude

Your attitude says a lot about you, and a generally positive one sends the message that you don't get easily knocked down by challenges or tough situations. Those are the qualities most managers look for when deciding who to promote, so if you've historically been that person to grumble about a last-minute deadline, change your outlook. It might even help you better manage your own workload and stress.

6. Come out and ask

Some people make it obvious that they're vying for a promotion. If you were passed over this year, it could be because your boss assumed that you're happy where you are, and that you don't want to take on more responsibility. But if you're convinced that you're qualified to move up a notch, sit your manager down and say so. Your boss might, in turn, carve out a position for you, or at least put your name at the top of their list the next time an opening pops up.

Will 2019 be the year you get promoted? Follow these tips, and it just might. At the same time, remember that it also pays to look outside your company. If you feel that it's taking too long to climb the ranks internally, it might make sense to dust off that resume and see what other options are out there.

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