How to Get a Promotion at Work (Season 1)

Dr Humphrey Mutiti

…Making Your Life Count with Dr Humphrey Mutiti

Today I propose to talk about promotion and how an employee can be promoted. Every employee desires a promotion and it is his or her daily prayer.

While promotion comes with many privileges, some employees have gone extra miles to get it by selling themselves (having sex with an employer or a supervisor), paying money for it, and by giving their cars and houses.

Others have crossed oceans to go see a witch doctor (sangoma) seeking for promotions. Only God knows at what length many of us have gone to seek for promotions.

As a Pastor, I will be failing in my duties if I do not say this in my preamble that it is God Who promotes in His own time. “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalms 75:6-7KJV). Nevertheless, we need to fathom that God uses men to promote us.

These men can be our employers, supervisors and even those of our class. Moreover, most of these men care less of our faith. They need results. They need high turnovers. They want to see things happen. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his heart, for I have rejected him.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at, people look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Employers look at our works and not our hearts. Man looks at the outward works and not the heart. Of course, almost every work we do is for the service, but in the end these employers want to make money and you need your salary at the month end. Thus, both you and the employer are looking for benefits from your services.

A promotion fosters one to assume a more important role in his company, earn a higher salary and gain a heightened sense of accomplishment. It is because of these reasons that many people have gone the extra mile and sold their souls.

Therefore, to effectively advance your career within your company, you will need to have what I call excellent work performance to catch your supervisors’ attention.

While performance, experience and skills are common requirements for a job promotion in many workplaces, you can take extra measures to become a prime candidate for your desired position. In this article, I will discuss how you can position yourself for a promotion.

You must also know that the requirements for promotion may vary from one company to another, though in most cases these requirements are just the same. I hence suggest the following tips one may employ.

1. Add more value to your company

If you want to earn a promotion, you will need to think about what your company wants from you. Every employer wants their employees to contribute to the value of the company, so making a conscious effort to add value is one of the best ways to be promoted at work. You can increase your value by improving your skills to deliver increasingly better results for your company. Expose yourself to a broader range of activities at your company.

2. Pay attention to people who have been promoted

Identify ways you might be promoted. Take a closer look at some of the people in your company who have received a promotion in recent years. Look for common personality traits, accomplishments, and habits among those who have successfully been promoted. These observations may give you a better awareness of what you need to do to get a promotion yourself.

For specimen, some employers tend to promote employees who demonstrate good social skills and attend parties in the company. If this is the circumstance in your company, you will need to make an effort to socialize more and participate in more company events. Some employers want their employees to be team players. In such a condition, showing a willingness to help with team projects can help you build rapport with your supervisor or manager.

3. Find out from your supervisor what it takes to be promoted

If you want to know precisely what it takes to get a promotion, you can probably find out from your manager or employer. You may try presenting your case for promotion to your supervisor as professionally as possible.

Consider creating a list of your job responsibilities, achievements, and the skills and experience you have acquired. Show how your work has profited the operations of the company, preferably with numbers or specific examples.

Express your desire to advance your career. Be clear and straightforward about your intention by asking questions such as “Will I get a promotion this year?” and “How can I get promoted to manager?”

Be as distinct as you can when asking, and follow your supervisor’s recommendations to enhance your chances of a promotion. Make sure you also do not show desperation because some supervisors/employers may try taking advantage of you.

4. Get noticed in your workplace

While working hard is important, your efforts may go invisible if you never put yourself in a visible position. If you want to show your employer why you deserve a promotion, you need to be noticed for your contributions to the company. To catch your employer’s attention, look for opportunities where your knowledge and abilities can be showcased, such as staff meetings or performance reviews.

Volunteer to get involved in projects in other departments. Sometimes you may need to work extra hours without demanding pay. Work as if it is your company or business. Be available and reachable to work when there is a need at work even when it’s your day off. Dress neatly (not suggestive clothing) and professionally to make a positive impression on your employer and co-workers.

5. Do not use office time for making tea, praying, or calling friends and family

Most people do this and they wonder why promotion is not coming. Let’s face it: if you were an employer, you would not promote a person who is using your time to attend to his own matters.

Avoid going window-shopping during your working hours. Avoid taking time to pray when it is time for work. Do not confuse the two. When it is time to work, do exactly as it entails. Avoid taking hours just to make tea or coffee.

Avoid also meeting your family and friends who come to your workplace during working hours. Your office is not a play park. Please take note of this. Only if there is an emergency can your friend or family member pitch up at your workplace.

The author, Dr. Humphrey Mutiti is a Pastor, conference speaker, instructor, and lecturer at Great Commission Theological Institute. He has PhDs in Theology and in Ministry and is a student in the school of law. He has also written several books.


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