Almost a third of employees in the workforce are overqualified for the job they are doing. This is the conclusion from a survey conducted by the Department of Education. It sounds shocking, and you could conclude that there is a whole load of untapped talent in the jobs market. However, there is also a case of chicken and egg. If you want the better jobs – the promotions – you have to put in the time and effort to create a CV that warrants the responsibility and additional salary. Commitment to your career could include work experience, volunteering and the study of online courses, all designed to make you a candidate for the next job up.
If you are one of these people who have put in the leg work to make yourself a candidate, it may be time for you to make a move up the ladder. Winning promotion is mostly about making yourself visible and taking on the extra responsibility before you are paid for it. It is about diligence and care, to be always at hand to seize an opportunity to impress – in your current company or another business altogether.
Before you begin to make a move towards promotion, you need to make sure you know what you want. Gaining a promotion gives you additional recognition and a pay rise, but it also has consequences on the level of expectations and accountability. You may experience more stress, and you may need to work longer hours. If you are more than up for this, then it is time to work towards gaining that promotion.
Positioning yourself for promotion
The first step is to get yourself into a position where someone might consider you for a promotion. You need to consider your image and reputation in the company and do your research. What does the next level post in the organisation require from you? How can you project this image to those that matter?
You can begin to shape your image and reputation for an in-house promotion by taking on responsibility. You need to be vigilant for those opportunities that will help you to go the extra mile and impress with your ability. During team meetings and shared communications, be prepared to offer your insights and fresh ideas. You need to appear overqualified for your current post. You need to give the impression that you are an under-used resource within the company.
These efforts will require you to manage your time more effectively. You need to make sure your priority lists are in place, and your time management skills are stellar. Make sure you are seen using some of the tools and techniques that help you manage a full workload and be sure to draw in your colleagues and encourage collaboration in tasks.
The appraisal or the interview
The prime opportunity for stating your desire for promotion is at an appraisal meeting. Although this is a meeting aimed at reviewing and improving your performance, you also need to consider it a moment to communicate your successes clearly. You need to show that you are ready for the next step on the ladder.
Therefore, you need to prepare for the appraisal – taking time to evaluate your strengths and package the efforts you have made to impress over the recent period. You need to focus on what the company needs and how this matches what you want for your career. You may also need to be ready to compromise – for instance, they may ask you to wait a few months until an opportunity becomes available.
At an interview for a post, you need to assess the value of the promotion for you. You may be ambitious, but you need to consider the consequences of such a job and the chance you might want to turn down the offer in the end. Ultimately, this is a professional context, and it is appropriate for you to enter negotiations for the right role for you and the company.
When assessing at interview whether this is the right post for you, consider the organisation fit. Will you work well here? Ask about the training and benefits packages and seek clues that there will be new challenges and opportunities in the future.
In a nutshell
You need first to establish a strong reputation and show that you have leeway in your capacity because of the time management and prioritisation you have put in place. Get out and network, building connections and putting yourself in a position to hear about new opportunities. Finally, put together your business case for why you deserve this promotion more than anyone else.
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