How to prepare your boss to promote you

Prepare yourself for the world, as the athletes used to do for their exercise, oil your mind and your manners, to give them the necessary suppleness and flexibility, strength alone will not do.  (Earl of Chesterfield)

Julie called my office.  She wants a promotion.  I’m a recruiter, it’s my job to help her find that promotion in a new company.  I hate to have someone turn down a job because their boss makes them a counter offer they can’t refuse. So, I asked her, “How often do you tell your boss you want a promotion?”

“I told him at my last performance review.”

“How long ago was that?”

“It has been over a year.  We’re so busy the managers just can’t find time to do them.”

She’s a superstar performer going nowhere.  When the office is jumping with activity for months at a time, no one counts her performance as exceptional.  They just know she isn’t any trouble.

So, I suggested she declare her candidacy in a way that makes her an obvious choice for that promotion. It will also make it easier to find a new job with a promotion.  First Julie needs to invite a few of her bosses out to lunch.  She needs to let them know she wants the promotion.  She needs to find a mentor.  Then she needs to get a plan put together with her mentor’s help.  She needs to prepare for promotion.

Deciding who to promote in an office of heads down hard workers is tough.  There is no standout leader.   No one has already taken the helm.  However, in an office with a bunch of hard workers, one of whom has been working with the boss to develop leadership skills for a year, which will get promoted?  Obviously the boss’s protégé.  The person who has declared themselves for the job.

Julie may need to take a bookkeeping course, sales training, management classes and take the lead in 5 or 10 projects.  What she needs can be determined with her mentor.  As she does these things, she will be seen as the obvious choice for a promotion.  Her bosses and her coworkers will both see she is the obvious choice for promotion.

If you want to be promoted ask one of your bosses to help you prepare now.  Find a mentor.

Something to do today

Invite your boss or his boss to lunch.  Ask him to mentor you and help you get ready for a promotion.

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Later:               You are underpaid, right?

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