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Want a Promotion? 5 Fool-Proof Strategies for Moving Up at Work

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Sometimes it seems like everyone is searching for the next best thing and following their bliss to ultimate employment fulfillment. But some like what they do. Not everyone wants to leave the company they work for; they simply want to climb a few more rungs up the ladder of success.

Let’s face it, in our economy, sometimes the best play, career-wise, is to stay put. Greener pastures may not turn out so green, if they even exist at all.

This article is for those of you after that elusive goal of a promotion. Just like any other goal, landing a promotion requires strategy, patience and perseverance. You don’t have to toss out all the rules to get ahead, but you can’t sit by idly and expect it to happen for you either.

Here are five tips you can use to climb that ladder. (Click here to tweet this list.)

1. Do what you do better than anyone else

The first step is to perform well in the position you have. Don’t just do what’s expected of you: go beyond and get noticed. Will putting in some extra effort always be rewarded? Honestly, no. Sometimes your efforts will go unnoticed. But over time you’ll build a reputation as a serious worker who’s willing to put the company or team first. That will eventually pay off.

2. Find your Yoda

What would Luke have been without Yoda? Everyone needs a mentor to teach them the ins and outs of the field and company culture. Seek people a few rungs higher who’d be willing to take you under their wing. You’ll be surprised how receptive people can be. After all, you acknowledge them as experts and worthy to learn from. It’s flattering.

In addition to learning valuable skills and techniques from someone who’s been around the block, you’ll have an ally in a position to help you land a promotion at some point.

3. Go back to school

Learning new skills, keeping up with trends and becoming an expert are all sure-fire ways to get noticed by the higher ups and pave the way for a promotion. This used to mean costly courses and night school, but no more.

Today, professional development is so prevalent you can easily find an online course or seminar that fits your budget and schedule. You can also leverage the web and create your own personal learning network.

Follow the trend setters in your industry on social media. Interact, learn and grow. Before you know it, you’ll have established yourself as an expert in your chosen field.

4. There’s no “I” in “team”

Yes, it’s cliche, but cliches get their start in truth. As the structure of corporate America becomes flatter and more projects are done by teams, being seen as a team player has become vitally important.

Don’t try to steal credit or place blame. Work hard as a team member and get the job done, even if it means taking on more than your fair share. People will notice and eventually those higher up will want your drive and work ethic higher up.

By being a team player, you build your reputation and increase your value to the company.

5. Act like you already have the promotion

No, don’t start telling your peers what to do and walk into meetings five minutes late. Start asking for more responsibility. Jump in to volunteer to help a neighboring department. Willingly take on a little more than you need to to help out your boss.

Hustle means something, and the more you do it, the easier it’ll become. People will grow to depend on you. When you’ve made yourself indispensable, you make yourself promotable.

Remember, sometimes the best job opportunities are right under your nose. Put a plan in place and be ready the next time a promotion is made available.

Steve P. Brady is  a teacher, executive resume writer and career consultant who specializes in helping educators and others grow their careers. Follow him on twitter @Steve_p_Brady

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

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