Getting promoted is an essential part of growing your career, yet most people don’t actually know what it takes to level up. They think it’s a combination of hard work and luck but there’s much more that goes into planning and landing a promotion.
I wasted years trying tactics that didn’t work, putting in crazy hours and not getting the results I wanted. But after years of trial and error I finally found the formula to leveling up. Today, I’m sharing it with you to give you the roadmap to your next promotion.
The 5 essential steps to a promotion
These are the must haves for setting yourself up for success with your next promotion.
I call them STAR ABC
The first step toward a promotion is to have a clear strategy. A step by step process you can easily follow with milestones and deadlines. A strategy helps you stay focused and efficient but most importantly it helps you make better decisions.
When you know what the process looks like you can choose where and how to spend your time. You can easily decide which opportunities to seize and which ones to avoid, which skills to develop and how to prioritize your work. When you don’t have a roadmap you can easily get lost or go around in circles.
What goes into a promotion strategy?
First and foremost - the ICP. The Ideal Candidate profile for your next role. It’s crucial that you know what it takes to get to the next level in order to qualify yourself for the role. A promotion plan should also include an outline of the process, action items and the timeline for leveling up.
The first step for justifying a promotion is delivering outstanding results. You need to master your current role before you can level up. That means running a well oiled machine and overdelivering on your KPIs.
The second step is to demonstrate you can do next-level work before you actually get the promotion. You need to put yourself in the position to do things you haven’t done before, take on more responsibility, think more strategically and make a bigger impact on the business.
Achievements equal proof of your capabilities. Track your progress and document your wins. It will come in handy when you need to make your case.
Your promotion relies heavily on your reputation. It depends on whether other people recognize your abilities and characteristics and trust that you’ll do well in a more challenging role. Doing great work is one piece of the puzzle but the only way to make sure your reputation supports your promotion is to own the narrative and write your own story.
How do you write the story?
Crafting your own reputation requires being seen and heard. That means advocating for yourself to make sure your work is visible and you get the credit you deserve. Learning how to frame your contribution in a compelling way, and showing up as the person you want to become, so your actions align with your words.
Other people have the final say about your promotion. These stakeholders will evaluate whether promoting you is the best decision for the company. The more these stakeholders know about you, your goals and capabilities the more likely they are to recommend a promotion.
To make your next promotion a slam dunk you need to turn those stakeholders into advocates. People who are already convinced you deserve it and are willing to go to bat for you.
How can I get stakeholders on my side?
You can start by avoiding the biggest mistake people make. Don’t reach out to random stakeholders a week before your promotion conversation and expect them to help. That won’t get you the results you want.
Advocacy is the result of a meaningful relationship. You need to build that relationship early and nurture it so when it’s time to make your case, your key stakeholders know you, trust you and are excited to support you.
It may sound counterintuitive but YOUR promotion is not about YOU. It’s about the company.
If you want to make your promotion inevitable you need to convince stakeholders they will be better off when you level up. You need your promotion to make sense business wise so it’s a win-win. The company needs to get more value so it’s an offer they can’t refuse.
What goes into a business case?
A few things you want to include:
Your track record. The results you have achieved.
Success metrics that impact the business.
Future plans - how you will continue to add value.
Succession plan - how to make the transition smooth.
A great business case has the power to sway the decision from “maybe” into “absolutely”. Don’t make it an afterthought. Work on your case from day one.
Give yourself the best chance to succeed
Most people think a promotion is a reward for doing your job well. It’s not.
A promotion is a vote of confidence about your future potential.
It’s your job to convince your manager and stakeholders that you are you ready.
I want to make it easy for you to land a promotion in 2023 so I am putting together a digital course that will cover all 5 steps + give you access to tools, templates and trackers you can use to make your next promotion inevitable.
Check out The promotion accelerator here.