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The 4 things you must do if you want a promotion

If you’ve worked for a company for many years and wondered why you always get overlooked for promotion, then we could have the answer.

Not everybody is cut out to be a manager or supervisor, and the right leadership qualities have to be present to stand a chance. Are you someone that can keep calm under pressure, or do you let your frustrations get the better of you?

Here are the 4 things you must do if you want a promotion.

1. Be positive and optimistic at all times

“Whining about others detracts from your own professionalism and credibility. Similarly, comparing your worth to others in the firm who already have achieved the level you seek is counterproductive. Keep it positive, focused, and don’t put anything negative in writing.” – Forbes

In order to become a manager you have to be a role model for the company. That means you should remain positive and optimistic even when faced with a difficult problem. If you are too negative it will not reflect well on your ability to lead a team, and positivity will always help provide better solutions.

So the next time you are faced with a big problem at work think about how your mood and attitude is affecting those around you. Are you naturally quite a positive person, or do you let your negative emotions get the better of you?

A pessimistic outlook can spread amongst the team, and if this is how you react to a situation at work it will go against you when a promotional opportunity presents itself. Your boss will be looking for someone who can inspire others, so try to remain positive and always look at the bigger picture.

2. Keep your anger in check

Every now and again something happens during work that causes us to get angry or frustrated. It could be a customer or co-worker that causes that anger, but as a professional you should stay in control. You cannot let your frustrations show, even if it means you need to step out of the office for a few minutes.

Again, positivity and looking for solutions will always save the day – especially if you are faced with a difficult customer. For example, the hospitality and customer service industry relies heavily on politeness, friendliness, calm and patient staff that are happy to help any customer – no matter how much they shout and scream. This is a great example of how effective it can be to remain calm and why certain industries rely heavily on its staff to represent the company in a professional manner.

As a manager you would need to be that beacon for the company, and to remain calm no matter how bad the situation is. If you are able to do that now then your boss may notice your professional attitude and use that in a higher position. If you are not able to keep your anger in check and regularly voice your opinions in a strong manner, then you are never likely to climb the ladder.

3. Don’t blame others

When you make a mistake it can be easy to blame anyone else but yourself. But sometimes the truth is that it’s you that made the mistake and you need to take ownership of it. You should always put your pride to one side and come clean when you’ve made an error – no matter how big or small. Your boss and co-workers will respect you more if you come forward and own up, especially if you also have a solution and can fix the problem quickly.

Everybody makes mistakes, but it’s how you learn from them that matters. You should be honest with yourself and acknowledge your imperfections. If you are not able to do that you will always struggle to learn new things and develop your skills.

As a leader of a team or department, those around you will not expect you to be perfect, and you shouldn’t either. You don’t always know the answer to everything and a wise manager would seek help from those around them before making a decision.

4. Be flexible

If you fight against change at work and struggle to cope with anything new that’s thrown at you, then you could be stuck in the same job for years to come. Every company will look to expand and change at some point, and it needs a workforce to move forward with them when it happens.

If you’re asked to take on more responsibility for example, then you need to be positive and accepting of that change. If you are stubborn and refuse to go along with the company, you are not going to be a very desirable candidate for promotion.

Always remain flexible and adaptable to the company or customer’s needs. If you get in the way or try and prevent anything from moving forward you will never see a promotion, and could even end up without a job. Even if the proposed change is a bad idea, you should still try and remain positive. There is nothing wrong with challenging an idea with constructive feedback and alternative solutions, but if the decision is still made which you are not happy about you should back that move.

Remember, you are not in charge of the company or the department. So no matter how hard you push your opinions it will come down to what the CEO or department manager decides. They will make mistakes along the way too, but you shouldn’t be there to say ‘I told you so’. You should be there to support their decisions and try and make everything work with the resources you have.

So if you want to be looked at for a future promotion you must stay as flexible and as helpful as possible – to your customers, to your co-workers, and to your bosses. You need to be the one that everybody goes to for help and support, because they know you will be willing to run with an idea and try things out.

You should also read:

  1. Why you should never write a CV on your own
  2. 3 ways to catch a recruiter’s attention
  3. How to write a CV that makes a great first impression
  4. Why you should tailor your CV to each job 

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