Getting promoted sometimes feels like a mysterious process. We all have seen that colleague that was “surprised” to get that promotion. I am here to tell you that for top performers, promotions are not a mystical process. They are a process that you must methodically implement to ensure that you maintain a career trajectory that will get you where you want to go.
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Let’s use the acronym PROMO to remember the steps we must take to achieve our goal.
Plan – We must have a career plan that we revisit regularly. This will help us to ensure we are actually on a career path and not drifting through work.
Review – You must review your plan regularly and also review it with your boss to ensure that he/she is aligned with your career plan.
Objectives – You must work with your boss to set realistic performance levels or objectives so that you know what you must achieve to get promoted to the next level.
Maximize – Ok, I am stretching here. What I really mean is EXECUTE. Get as much done as possible. If you want to be promoted, you need to be seen as an individual who really gets things done.
Outspoken – When you do get things done, don’t be content being in the background. Look for opportunities to communicate your accomplishments. Creating visibility for your high level of achievement is critical to getting regularly promoted.
By incorporating the PROMO strategy into your career as a regular part of what you do, you can achieve a career path where you receive promotions every 2–4 years. This becomes much harder to do once you reach Director and VP, but in the first 12 years of your career, you should strive for regular promotions. If you can’t achieve this at your current company, it may be time for some self-reflection or a job change.