How To Get Promoted Fast At Work

how to get promoted fastIf you’ve ever wondered how to get promoted at your place, well, knowing the environment that you are in there may be few things right in front of you that you are overlooking. However, getting promoted need not be at the mercy of others, it is in our hands, to a good extent.

Here are 8 ways to get promoted quickly. Most of them need investment of time and effort on your part, so if you have just missed that promotion in the recent performance appraisal, it’s time to plan now.

1. Start doing the tasks of your next position

Being good at your position is nice, but not enough. In fact, being just ‘good’ at your position is a sure-fire way to NOT get promoted. No one wants to move someone who is doing a good job at her place. You need to be too-good for your position. Be willing and open to taking up opportunities to do some of the tasks of next level.

This will result in indication to your management that you are ready to move to the next level (which by the way results in a better ROI for them on your salary).

2. Help your manager do her job well

This goes well with the first point. Everyone is busy. If you can help your manager get some of her work done, two things will happen –

(1) you get to be mentored by your manager and get to learn new skills
(2) your manager can focus on doing tasks of her next level. Win-win?

3. Groom your replacement

Again, goes in line with the previous two points. You cannot risk to be indispensable at your position. Delegate some of work to most eligible person on your team, make time for yourself to do some of the work outside of your comfort zone that helps you move up. Set expectation with the person, and mentor her. Set specific KPIs for her to focus on. Do your team’s work allocation in such a way though, that your chosen team member has bandwidth to do things you are delegating to her.

4. Help customers get what they need for success

There is nothing that sells in your favor better than a good word from your customer to your superior. Exceed customer’s expectations – but do not ‘gold plate’ deliveries 😉

Moreover, nothing pleases customer more than the knowledge that you are genuinely interested in his success. Find out what he needs and a way to give that. If you are building a software product for your customer, study the competition and identify unique features that might help sell the product more. Do your research, find supporting figures and float that feature idea with customer.

If you are into staff-augmentation project, for instance, showcase the improved productivity of your team with your customer.

A word of caution – project manager’s glory cannot come at the cost of the team or company. Always show your team, your manager, her manager, and your organization in good light.

5. Constantly sell your value

Only being great at your work no longer helps. It is not prudent to consider that your manager will know how well you are doing, or HR will recognize your efforts. You need to show your achievements and good deeds to your manager and further up, subtly. Be open and helpful to senior management by opting for being part of pre-sales calls, showcasing your project where your company is bidding for similar projects. Do not say No to them.

6. Be comfortable around your seniors

This is quite important. Be very comfortable being yourself in the presence of executive management. Be willing to share your ideas (back with facts and figures where necessary if possible) on public platforms such as town-hall or employee-meet.

A word of caution – Know that it is not a good idea to be friends with superiors – friendship happens between equals, and at some point in time you might just cross the line of friendship into the domain of authority – then there is no way to undo the damage. Same with your team members.

You can be friends when you are in different companies.

7. Induce humor in your interaction with people

Work place can be stressful more often than not. People like to be around people who are happy, humorous. Be the person people think of when they are worried.

8. Doesn’t work? Be ready to move on.

Not every place offers favorable circumstances for growth. If you are convinced that it doesn’t work for you in the current position, plan to move on. But do enough due-diligence to make sure that the scenario is conducive to your aspirations at the new place, before taking up the offer.

Here’s a question for you – if you are offered a position in two companies – one with better salary and average challenge, another with good challenge with average salary, which one would you choose?

I’d say, choose the one with higher salary.


Look at this from HR’s perspective. If you are paid more than your peers, your organization expects you to deliver more. Naturally they will have to give you that position to be able to deliver more. You tend to become the person to get promoted when there is a tie with others with similar achievements.


Getting promoted need not be a frustrating exercise, if planned in advance. While excelling at your own work is important, there are few other factors that need to be kept in mind to make yourself that irresistible person to get promoted. While the list above is not exhaustive, these are few areas that sure help.

What is your advice to get promoted?

Image courtesy: pasukaru76

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