Tag Archives: get a promotion

Get a promotion by stacking the odds in your favor

In The Millionaire Mind the success of many German aces is credited to a flyer who had a weak arm, “Paule” Rossmann. In the days before modern airplanes, brute strength often determined whether fighter pilots stayed in the air or were shot down. Rossmann had a weak arm and decided he preferred life to a glorious death. He decided to carefully pick his targets and opportunities instead of going into testosterone charged death matches. That pilot had over 80 kills because he only attacked when all the odds were in his favor. 

The plan is simple. Study things out. Get above your target. Make sure the odds are in your favor. Wait a little bit if you have to. Then commit everything you have to win the day. 

You need to do the same thing as Rossman. Become a student of success in your field. If you want to be a great technician, salesman, manager or CEO you need to study people who are performing better than you. Why were they given opportunities or promoted? 

I am often told, “I can’t get promoted because I refuse to play politics.” 

If that is how you feel, you are welcome to your injured pride. You may NOT be able to succeed where you are. So quit and get a new job. If you have had 3 or 4 jobs and you always have the same problem, look at yourself. In all likelihood you are the problem in that situation.

Take some time to honestly evaluate why you don’t succeed. Are you playing to a weakness? Do other people REALLY outperform you? Are you guilty of taking on yourself ALL the jobs no one else wants? Have you positioned yourself to lose?

If you are not sure what the problem is, time to swallow your pride. Call up some of your old bosses. Now that time has passed, ask for their help. Tell them you have come to realize that you have some problems. Humbly ask them, “You were my boss. What keeps me from succeeding the way I could?” Then just listen. Take notes. Swallow your pride. 

Asking your old bosses for help even works for wildly successful people.

The idea is simple. Study things out. Get above your problems. Make sure you know what you do well and compensate for what you do poorly. Wait a little bit as you get prepared. Then re-commit everything you have to win the day.

 Something to do today

Only do this if you recover quickly from sharp criticism!

Do you have a boss that hated you years ago? How about one that loved you? Call them both and humbly ask for their help. Tell them you need perspective. Write down what they say. Meekly say thank you at the end of the conversation. 

Use raising technology and new techniques to get a great job

Fingerprint locks are used by tons of people on a daily basis, whether on computers or phones. People use them more often than the number or word locks because of convenience. They even have fingerprint locks for doors, and eventually I can see new locks like these being used more often than the everyday lock and key. The world changes a lot around us, and with that there are new ideas and new ways of life. 

Your job search should be like the world, always changing, always improving.

Every year thousands of people get great new jobs with massive pay raises because they have learned something new and exciting. I know average programmers who are earning $120,000 per year. They learned the latest technology and tools and have been riding the gravy train for 3 or 4 years. Accountants that can implement brand new systems are still worth their weight in gold. 

Adding a fingerprint lock helps sell thousands of new electronics to geeks like me. New technology, techniques, and skills can sell CEO’s and managers on your value.

What can you learn today? 

Something to do today

The greatest lunch topic you can talk about with your boss is, “What is the emerging world changing technology, technique or skill in our field?” Try it today.

How to be persistent with your job hunt

Kids can be a practically irresistible force. I have 10 children. Usually I can resist them. Not always. Sometimes they have to admit defeat, but with kids they don’t admit defeat till they have exhausted every avenue towards success. Here’s how they win.

  1. Be totally, irresistibly, and eternally committed to a world changing idea
  2. Jump up and down with enthusiasm
  3. “No” means not now
  4. “Not now” means try again in 5 minutes
  5. Laugh, smile and tickle your dad
  6. Run around and get all the other kids excited out of their minds
  7. Ask dad for help to figure out how to do it
  8. Cry if dad is not listening
  9. See if you can turn it into a school project
  10. Ask mom to talk to dad about it
  11. Bring a partially completed task to dad to be fixed
  12. Change your plans and try again in an hour
  13. A small explosion in the yard will get dad’s attention
  14. Make it a game

Kids win because they are too excited to accept defeat. They are willing to try every possible way around an obstacle. When I am the obstacle and they are really really determined, they know they can win.

Is there a job you really really want? Why not job hunt like a kid?

Something to do today

Take a pen and paper and translate each of those 14 things into something you can use for job hunting or working for a promotion in real life.

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