How to get your next promotion?

9 things you need to know

· Blog
  1. Know yourself and know what you want: I would say that this is one of the most important areas to start with. Spend the time to get to know yourself, what you enjoy, what are you good at and how you want to live your life. This is an area we do not spend enough time on, and is often an after thought. IT was certainly for me and in many ways I am still learning. This is a lifelong. journey, not a one and done, so try to incorporate some check-ins with yourself at various points of your life. Now that you know yourself and what you enjoy, do you know what you want? At various points of our lives we have different priorities and we make plans accordingly. You may just be graduating looking for that first role, but you want to go to a different country, learn a new language, how do you search for your next role then? You are a few years into your career and wanting that next promotion, but you also want to go back home to be closer to your family. You have a desire to be director by 30, but also want a family. What does that look like? So many questions and so many life situations, what is that you need for your life and how does your career fit into it?
  2. Ask for it. Speak up: Now that you know what you want, ask for it, and do not apologise for it. You know your value and what you bring to the table, be clear and collaborate with your employer to make a plan. Research shows that women are not as well practised in speaking up. I can say from personal experience as well that this is true. Speaking up was one of the biggest challenges that I faced in my career to get noticed. It was a struggle, it often felt like a physical effort, but I knew the only way my career was going to change was if I spoke up.
  3. Internal networking : I have broken up networking into two buckets. The first is focused on internal network. It is not enough to know your own team, you need to go beyond. Get to know people in other departments, at all levels within the organisation, across different locations even if you work for a global company. Buddy up with your peers. Ask for mentors for those senior to you. There is also a lot to be said for reverse mentoring. Find those advocates for yourself within the broader organisation who will speak on your behalf.
  4. External networking: Attend every industry event possible, get out there, network, meet people, broaden your profile. Use LinkedIn, its a great resource for an online presence. Post regularly (not just when you are looking for a job). Reach out to people you admire in the industry and ask them for a coffee (also not just when you are looking for a job). This is about fostering, nurturing and building meaningful relationships within the industry. If there are any speaking engagement opportunities, always say yes and stay back to network at the event. Then talk about the event online.
  5. Sign up for stretch assignments: This is one that was a game changer for me. I got involved in projects that often had nothing to do with my role, but I was ready to get involved, support the team and learn. It helped to get me noticed and that I was willing to grow. Choose these assignments wisely, where it will have the greatest impact on your career development.
  6. Regularly communicate your accomplishments: This is one I wish I had implemented at the start of my career. During your regular catch up with your manager (I suggest once every two weeks is a good routine) share with them what you have achieved in the last two weeks. It could be wins, feedback from colleagues or clients, projects completed, anything. A good manager is not constantly looking over your desk, so they are not aware of all the things you are working on. So its important to keep them updated on your accomplishments and contributions to the business. And as a bonus, when the annual reviews come about, you already have a running list of your achievements for that year.
  7. Don’t do the office housework: Women seem to automatically get stuck with this, so you need to make sure you do not get stuck with it. Because trust me, it does not help with your career development at all. First thing you can do is not volunteer for it! If someone asks you to get involved, come up with a legitimate reason that you cannot. Or you can also just simply say no.
  8. Stop saying sorry: Challenge I have set myself for 2024 is to stop saying sorry, unless I really meant it. When entering a conversation in a meeting or wanting to express your opinion, do not start with sorry. It sets a negative tone and suggests that you are not really sure of what you are saying. You have something to say, say it, you do not need to apologise for it. You are there for a reason. Remember your value.
  9. Be kind to yourself: Finally be kind to yourself. Especially for those who suffer from anxiety, depression, people pleasing etc. This is a long list of to-dos, and if you cant do them all or only do one, it is ok. Above all else, practise self-compassion, reduce stress and it mean a happier healthier outcome for yourself. For someone who has struggled with anxiety for many years, I know first hand how stress can physically manifest in your body and that is not healthy.