5 ways to increase your chances of getting promoted

By Hillary Mantis

Whether you are at your first internship or a high level job, everyone wants to do well at work. And everyone hopes to be promoted. But often just doing the work that’s assigned is not enough to move you to the next level. If you are hoping to get promoted sooner rather than later, it makes sense to be proactive. Here are some tips for advancing your career:

1. Make Your Boss Happy

Pay attention to what your boss finds most frustrating at work. Whether it’s a mound of unfiled paperwork, or a client that demands constant attention, there’s bound to be something. See if you can alleviate the problem by showing initiative. You can offer to file the paperwork, or better yet, use technology to develop a new system for the office files. You can offer to update the needy client by email, or return some calls. While your boss may not be ready to hand off a client to you, he or she might be able to delegate something to you, and will appreciate the offer.

By all means, avoid constantly complaining to your boss about your own work frustrations. You want to make their job easier, not harder. They have their own heavy workload, and their own bosses to worry about.

2. Ask For Frequent Feedback

It’s easy for both bosses and those who report to them to become frustrated, often due to simple miscommunication. Sometimes these issues build over time and don’t get aired until your review. If you are new, ask for feedback. When you make a presentation, ask for feedback. Turn in a big project? Ask for feedback. It’s better to know of a concern now, and address it, than to wait until it might be too late to correct. You are also showing initiative, and that you care about your job.

3. Treat Your Co-Workers Like They Are Your Future Bosses

It goes without saying that you should present a pleasant and positive image to all. No one wants to hang out with the office grouch. You should also be careful not to gossip about co-workers — especially ones you don’t enjoy working with. Have you ever had the experience of suddenly finding out that a colleague who was on your level has now been promoted, and that, yikes, they are your new boss? It happens all the time. It can be really awkward. Especially if you don’t get along, and everyone knows that. We all gossip about our co-workers now and then — but try to save your gripes and venting sessions to those outside of your company.

4. Initiate a New Project

Whether it’s research, writing, or marketing, initiating an idea can help your long-term prospects. Not to mention helping the company advance its own goals.

5. Try to Work with Other Departments

Getting involved with projects in other departments can expedite your chances for promotion as well. It will increase your skill set, make you more marketable, and give you the opportunity to work with new people. Plus, trying new things can make work a lot more fun. It can get really boring to do the same thing at work over and over.

The more people in the company who know you and respect your work, the greater the chance they might recommend you for a big new project, or a future promotion.


Hillary Mantis is a consultant who works with law students, pre-law students and lawyers. She is a Director of the Pre-Law Program at Fordham University and author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers. You can write to Hillary for more information at altcareer@aol.com.