Getting a Promotion at Work

Getting a Promotion at Work

No matter your area of specialization, even if you are in the management level, you still want a promotion, “i.e. a growth such that you will be able to successfully own a business if you so desire.” It is the dream of every employee to have a better take home or be in a more superior position in no distance time. These may be achieved either through a change of job or promotion at the current job. In this article, we would major on promotion and how it can be achieved.

Promotion as defined by the business dictionary is “the advancement of an employee within a company position or job tasks’’ a job promotion may be the result of an employee’s proactive pursuit of a higher ranking or as a reward by employers for good performance and it is typically associated with a higher rate of pay or financial bonus.


Sometime ago, I was going through my LinkedIn page and I came across a cartoon post where managers were having a meeting and it goes thus;

In a management meeting:

  • Group Manager; I am always saying our employees are our most priced asset, I wish I hadn’t said that… as it turns out, they are number TEN… I am so sorry for this misinformation
  • Manager A; (shaking in his seat) and looking worried
  • Manager B; What seems to be the problem.
  • Manager A; I fear asking what number nine is
  • Group Manager; Carbon paper, if only I had known earlier… our most priced asset is MONEY

Essentially, what this means is that your performance is very key, in whatever your role may be, if you perform well, you will be promoted and for those that aren’t, they will be let go or demoted. Really, it is just that simple. Especially with the state of the economy, no one has the time nor resources to waste.

It is also very important to note that with promotion comes greater responsibilities and expectations, due to fear/laziness some employees who see themselves as incapable of taking on responsibilities refuse to take their court into the promotion pitch as they are satisfied with their present position. But looking critically at this, in this age and time, and with the rate technology is advancing. How long will anyone be able to keep this up without getting thrown out of the system.

The policy, rate and the manner at which promotion is dished differ among organizations. For most organizations there are usually set policies for promotion. For instance, the maximum number of years to be in a position might be for 3years upon the employee meeting certain criteria. However, for some it could also come based on educational qualifications coupled with cogent work experience, and for other organizations, it may not be period bound but of the pro-activeness and involvement of an employee on the job with strategic decisions and contributions. Although, this approach is at times subject to favouritism, but for an organization that seeks to excel, favouritism is almost never an option. Besides who has ever heard of a successful organization that got there through favouritism. This rids the organization of able minds and great employees.

  • Daniel N. Mueller opined: …without clear company criteria in place for promotion, the decision of who gets to advance in the ranks and when can seem arbitrary to other workers. Favouritism, be it real or perceived, has a deleterious effect on employee morale and productivity, creating a rift between labour and management. On the other hand, if a company has clear criteria laid out that it follows for promoting from within, it may actually improve productivity, since it will give workers a clear goal to strive for’


  • Also, Frances Burks concluded and recommended by stating that: Unclear promotion policies can create conflicts and high turnover rates among employees who don’t understand why co-workers received a promotion instead of them. Problems may not end there if vague promotion procedures also appear discriminatory. Employers can avoid such difficulties by creating a transparent promotion policy and consistently applying that policy’s standards to each employee seeking advancement.

For a business development or marketing oriented organization, promotion could be based on the number of clients brought and retained in the company. Although for an employee to avail himself opportunities to be promoted, there are certain conditions that are also expected of him. Some of these conditions would be mentioned in this article.

  • Be Indispensable: Indispensability comes with when you make yourself very relevant at every task assigned or being the down spearheading a team for every success achieved. Let your absence be felt positively, like where there is a challenge at the office and almost everyone echo “…If only Mark were here”. Employ these strategies to secure a strong foothold in this shaky economy. When the opportunities for getting promoted start to solidify, you could be the first in line to move up.
  • Get Relevant Qualification(s): The dynamic nature of the economy has made first degree not to be too important for promotional sake. This is so because most at times, irrespective of the field of study one can get employed into any organization but to stay relevant in such an organization one need to be on top of one’s game by taking professional courses in line with what the organization does or the department you are in if you are aiming a trend promotion. For a person aiming at a cross-sectional promotion, for instance a group manager, such an individual might take up of some professional courses in say Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Accountancy (ICAN, ACCA, ANAN, etc.), Project Management, CIPM, etc., all these would give you the edge you are craving.
  • Make Your Boss Look Good: Any accolade for the successes of any organization is usually directed to the management irrespective of where the effort stems. Therefore, an organization who have recognized that the successes recorded was because of your efforts and as such when it’s time for appraisal and promotion, your thought will come to mind.
  • Pick Projects That Will Be More Profitable to the Organization: The ultimate goal of every organization is to maximize profit and minimize cost. As such, projects lined up for the company can be prioritized using the Cost-Benefit Analysis; the most beneficial of them all should be worked on and results should be achieved in the shortest possible time.
  • Be Time Conscious: Being time conscious can be achieved by the proactive nature of an employee. An employee will meet targets within the expected time frame if he put proactive measures in place for his daily task and avoid procrastination. Procrastination they say, is the thief of time.
  • Act Professionally at all Times: This is of a wide range, it stems from the manner you act such as maintaining a professional distance when necessary, dress professionally and neatly even on casual days (seldom though), keep a positive outlook at even difficult situations, dare to be different, don’t be a clock-watcher and the list is endless.


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