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Saver Street's Steps to Get Promoted

You’ve probably heard something like “pay your dues” and “you have to be in your position for at least a year before you’re promoted”…

Maybe you’ve tried arguing for a promotion and been stonewalled.

So… why would our method work when your’s hasn’t?

Well, the simple truth is that the world has changed (COVID, laws, management techniques, the labor market, etc.) over the last few years… and savvy managers (and HR professionals) know that.

They just don’t want YOU to know that.

This isn’t the “next best thing.” It’s a method that works (I’ve worked with lots of young professionals to prove it… and they didn’t have to give up their dignity, haha).

Today I’m breaking down the whole thing for you - step by step.

Saver Street’s Steps to Get Promoted

  1. Identify your next career move.

  2. Make room in your schedule for a new project or two.

  3. Ask your boss to help you get cross-departmental projects to build your skill set.

  4. Network with impact.

  5. Show that you deliver quality work on time and with a good attitude.

  6. Ask for the promotion or new position.

  7. Repeat.

1. Identify your next career move.

The very first thing you need to know is your direction of travel. What is your next career move? It doesn't need to be linear, meaning going from an Assistant to a Senior Assistant. Maybe you want to move into the Design department or into a project management role. Who knows? You. You should know this before you do anything else.

2. Make room in your schedule for a new project or two.

Stop taking all day doing your job. You need to get much more proficient and efficient in your role before you can start working toward a different role. Go from working 40+ hours down to 35, then to 30 on your current role. Get FASTER in your job, so you have TIME to build your skill set.

3. Ask your boss to help you get cross-departmental projects to build your skill set.

Newsflash: Your current boss is probably NOT going to be the one promoting you or giving you extra projects. Maybe, but likely not. You're going to need to get skills (that maybe your boss can't help you with) from a different department to start expanding your skill set and your network.

...which leads us to the next step.

4. Network with impact.

Promotions are not 100% merit-based. We do not live in a merit-based society and you're not in a merit-based company. I wish you did, but I haven't yet found a completely merit-based company.

That means your new skill set will NOT automatically get you that new role. You need to network to get it. You need people to know you, like you, and trust you.

Your new projects should get you in front of the people you need to know to get that next role. Make sure to be friendly, on time, and do quality work.

...but maybe your projects don't get you in front of the 2-4 people you need to be friendly with. That's okay. Find them. Make an excuse to get to know them. Start conversations in the break room.

I once got a new amazing job at a new company because the VP of Finance knew me from "coincidentally" coming to work at the same time, getting coffee in the kitchen together, and connecting over both watching The Walking Dead. She left the company, recommended me at the new company, and the rest is history.

Figure out who should know you and like you, then purposefully network with them.

...and always make friends with Finance.

5. Show that you deliver quality work on time and with a good attitude.

There are three attributes that managers look for in a new hire: quality work, timeliness, and a pleasant demeanor.

Let's unpack that.

Quality work means that you double check your work against the "why" for the project. Make sure you're fulfilling the expectations of the project and the needs of the project's owner.

Timeliness means that you're early. Not on time. Definitely not late. Early. Everyone likes early. It makes a great impression and gives your project's owner an opportunity to tweak it and make suggestions for improvement.

Your golden moment is taking that constructive criticism well and making those tweaks. That shows that you have a great attitude, that you're a team player, and that you take criticism well. That's what I mean by a "pleasant demeanor."

6. Ask for a promotion or new position.

Now you've made a positive impression. There may or may not be a position open on your future team, yet, but you're part of the way on that team already.

Who do you think that manager will think of first when a position opens up?

Actually... who do you think opens brand new positions?

That manager and that manager's manager. That's who makes a new position or new hire happen.

So ask. Ask if there's a position available or if one will be opening soon. Ask what you can do to be considered for a role on their team. Make your desires known. They can't read your mind, so let them know directly, in person, over a conversation.

Your goal is to be the person that manager thinks of before a new position even opens up.

7. Repeat.

Keep doing this. Keep getting new projects. Have more irons in your fire. Don't preemptively decide you can only go in one direction. Find out which other directions will tickle your fancy and make yourself the top desired employee in your company.

And keep using this method from position to position. That's how you climb the ladder and progress in your career.

If you'd like to join a group of passionate young leaders that are fast-tracking their way to a leadership position, check out the Young Leader's Society.

In our bi-weekly lunch meetings, you'll:

  • Learn how to fast-track your way to a leadership position

  • Gain influence and credibility at your company

  • Navigate office politics like a boss

  • And ear promotions more quickly than your peers.

Your coworkers will wonder how you got so good so quickly.

Keep it a secret... or don't! That's up to you.

I hope to see you in the Young Leader's Society.


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