Tag Archives: get a promotion

How to get proper credit and light a fire under your boss

Telling everyone you meet how wonderful you are will get you mocked. No one likes an empty headed braggart. It will not get you a promotion, raise, or a new job.

“He is a legend in his own mind.” Is an old saying you don’t want applied to yourself.

Refusing to take credit for what you or your team has done will doom you to be the last person hired and the first person laid off. Refusing to take credit is not humility, it is job suicide.

Humility really is sharing credit where it is due, and taking credit where you earned it.  Humility is not job suicide.

Tell the people who matter how good you are at the appropriate time.  Here are the most common appropriate times:

  1. In a project status meeting
  2. In a weekly, month, and quarterly written report to your managers
  3. In a resume


Your resume is appropriate even in your current job.  Many companies keep resumes updated for top people.  They use them to prove to clients the quality of the individuals working there.  They also use internal resumes when new promotions, transfers and raises are being discussed.

Write a great resume.  Hand it to your current boss.  Tell him you gave it to him because you want a raise, transfer or promotion.  Do it a month before salary reviews.  Of course, you can also use it to leave your company.

Something to do today

Give your boss a knock-em-dead, accomplishment filled resume each year.  It is very likely that he needs to be reminded just how good you are.


What’s wrong with the box?

How to wait for the next interview

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.


Later:               You are underpaid, right?

How to get promoted past that roadblock

It isn’t the incompetent who destroy an organization.  It is those who have achieved something and want to rest upon their achievements who are forever clogging things up. (Charles Sorenson)

You have to kill your boss, or the senior technician to get a promotion.  They have the job you want and are not leaving.  They don’t want a promotion.  They are fat and happy.  They are like a big wad of hair and grease in the sink trap.  They clog up the career track for everyone else.  So, where is the Drano?  How do you get them out of your way?

First be sure they are the biggest problem.  It is embarrassing when you have complained for 5 years about your boss being in your way, only to have him leave and a coworker is promoted in his place.

You need to have a list of standout accomplishments that prove you are perfect for the job you want.  That way you can get the job in your current company OR the next one.

Become the obvious candidate.  Ask your boss to help you get promoted.  Also ask HR (Human Resources) and your boss’s boss.  Find someone who will champion your cause and be your mentor.  A mentor helps you prepare to advance and gives you visibility outside your team.  Your mentor will help you to find high visibility assignments where you can prove your worth.

In a job journal write a weekly list of your accomplishments and projects.  Use that list in your annual reviews.  Also submit a weekly, monthly and quarterly list of accomplishments to your boss.  Make sure he knows how much you contribute.

You can also look for a new job.  If you have a list of undeniable accomplishments you will be a good hire for another company.

The same things that prepare you for a promotion in your company will make you a better job candidate.

Something to do today

Write down your career goals.  It doesn’t matter if they change tomorrow.  Know where you want to go today.


Later:              Clogging things up yourself

Row away

The most important thing to say to get a promotion

Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, “Certainly I can!” Then get busy and find out how to do it. (Theodore Roosevelt)

 Certainly I can! What an inspiring phrase.

My story:

Microfocus COBOL was a total unknown.  It had been used to program a small but critical insurance application two years before.  The manager of 70 people asked among his employees for a volunteer to fix it. No one stepped up. Finally he asked if anyone else could do it.  I replied, “I can learn how.”  I wasn’t an employee.  I was an expensive contract programmer being paid to do something else.  He gave me the assignment and I learned a new skill.  It was interesting that as I worked on it some of the employees who didn’t volunteer came by and told me how lucky I was to know those skills.

If you look at real leaders, technical, managerial, and sales leaders, you will find that they volunteer for difficult projects.  They hear about a problem or project and ask themselves, “Can I learn how to do that?” They lobby for the chance to take on significant problems that will have a big payback for the company.  They often find and solve serious problems no one else could even bring themselves to admit.  Then those leaders take appropriate credit for their personal learning and growth, and they are given more chances to solve difficult problems.

“Certainly I can” is a critical phrase in a leader’s vocabulary.  It isn’t a matter of being able to do the impossible this second.  It is knowing that given time and appropriate resources the problem can be solved and I can do it.

Something To Do Today

Look for problems.  Look for screw ups.  Listen for moaning, whining and complaining.  Make lists of all the difficulties you can find.  Decide which of them will have the biggest payback for the company.  Tell the right person, “I can fix that”, and watch what happens.


Tomorrow:     But I’m a really fast learner

Later:              Re-entering the workforce

I don’t want to spend my money on training

Make a game out of it