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“How do you get promoted at work?”

Looking back at my career thus far, I have been lucky to have progressed a few times in the past 7 years with my current firm. Promotions are not a given and I firmly believe that individuals have to create and manage their own career paths. It’s also important to recognise that promotions are not always upwards, a lateral move can sometimes be vital to position yourself for a later upward move.

Below are my tips to enhance your candidacy for promotion.

Find a role you’re passionate about

Just turning up to work every day and doing the bare minimum will not guarantee a promotion. If you love what you do, you will be more likely to go above and beyond the expectations. Jobs today are competitive, so the ones who are consistently achieving good results will be more likely to be promoted. Focus on what you enjoy about your job and the positive attitude portrayed could make your boss think you can handle the pressure of more responsibility.

Be a team player

No man is an island – so much of our work these days are accomplished through teams, hence it’s beneficial to demonstrate you are good at working with others. Volunteering for projects could be a good way to show initiative, build your reputation and increase your value to the organisation. Remember to know your limits though. Don’t overextend yourself or the quality of the work for your current role will suffer.

Build your network

“Your network will become your net worth” is what I usually tell my team members why they need to network. The more people who know you, your strengths and your ambitions, the more likely your name will be discussed when opportunities arise. With internal promotions, managers are more likely to promote a colleague they know well rather than an unknown applicant they know little about. One of the easiest ways to network is to attend company parties and gatherings.

Continual Improvement

Change is the only constant in our fast-moving world. Acquiring new knowledge to expand and update your skillsets is critical to not only allow you to perform your role effectively but to also stay relevant. Technology improvements have changed the jobs landscape considerably and paying attention to current trends will enable you to react quickly to changing environmental forces.

Create your own opportunities

Preparing your case for why you deserve a promotion and asking respectfully may just be the thing that sets you apart. Taking the time to quantify past successes will create a stronger business case for yourself. List your accomplishments, share examples of how your performance is exceeding expectations and note any results that enhances the company’s bottom line.

Don’t give up if you don’t succeed right away though. Be patient and focus on anything you can do to improve your work performance. Being consistent will help bolster your chances of earning a promotion in the future. There are no set formulas to get ahead, you will need to find what works for you.

DJ Lim [BCom '11], co-chairperson, UWA Young Alumni Network and Director, JLLDJ is the co-chairperson for UWA Young Alumni Network and a Director with global real estate firm, JLL. He is passionate about coaching and believes teamwork makes the dream work.

You can connect with DJ on Linkedin.