Tip 1: Arrive at work early and leave the office late
Sure, you're only expected to start working at 9am and finish at 5pm, but what’s stopping you extending that period? Giving up just five or 10 minutes at the start and end of your day will barely impact on your schedule, but will definitely be noticed by your superiors who may just be looking at who is deserving of promotion. It even comes with the added bonus of reducing work-related stress as you have more time to get everything done, allowing you to work more effectively.
Tip 2: Dress to impress in suitable business attire
Although you should never judge a book by it's cover, if you're in a big office with lots of employees then it’s possible the only impression your boss really has of you is how you present yourself. Make sure you are always dressed appropriately for work with clean, smart clothes. That old worn out shirt you love to wear might be super comfy, but it’s certainly not going to be impressing your boss any time soon. Dress as you might do if you had actually already gained that promotion.
Tip 3: Take the initiative in business meetings
It may be tempting to attend a meeting and sit back while you let others do the talking, but who is that going to impress? Rather than being the quiet person who sits in the corner and sips coffee while everyone else does the work, make sure you speak up in meetings and take part in discussions. If you feel confident with the subject matter, don’t be afraid to take a dominant role and speak up during any moments of awkward silence.
Tip 4: Keep your work schedule organised
If you spend your day wondering how you will fit everything in or forgetting about things you need to do, take a step back and make a plan or schedule for how you are going to complete your work. This could be in the form of a timetable, or even a list that you can tick off as you complete tasks. Not only will this reduce stress, it'll ensure you don’t end up rushing projects and handing in sub-standard work which will hamper your chances of promotion.
Tip 5: Be proactive and help your work colleagues
There may be times in the day when your workload is empty and you are stuck for something to do. Rather than putting your feet up and letting work come to you, take a proactive approach and ask your colleagues if they need help with anything. Not only will this show you are willing to take on extra work, it will also mean you are perceived as a real team player; a quality which most companies, and the people making the decisions about who to promote, love to see in their employees. Besides, it can never hurt to have a couple of people who owe you a favour can it?
Tip 6: Work consistently throughout the day
Let’s say you spend 99 per cent of the day working away furiously at your desk and one per cent of the day staring into space picking your nose; if your boss walks in during that one per cent what impression do you think they will get of you and what impact will that have on your chance of gaining a promotion? Work at a level you know you can sustain all day, and if you feel like you need a rest go and do it in the break room rather than at your desk.
Tip 7: Encourage an environmentally friendly workplace
Businesses are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious these days, and keeping green is often the buzz word around offices. Make suggestions to your superiors about how your office can become more environmentally friendly, such as reducing the amount of printing, or saving water; as long as they don’t hinder workflow your boss is likely to be impressed and might just line you up for that promotion.
Tip 8: Positive body language
Simple body language cues like standing up straight and making eye contact with people suggest a positive, confident attitude and are an easy tactic to adopt in your working life. Don’t overdo it though – you don’t want to be known around the office as that creepy guy who stares at everyone.
Tip 9: Learn from your mistakes in the workplace
No matter how hard you try, you’re bound to get things wrong in the workplace from time to time. If you find yourself on the receiving end of some critical comments, make sure you don’t sulk about it or start feeling sorry for yourself. Take the criticism on board and take positive steps towards making sure you don’t make the same mistake twice. Nobody expects you to be perfect, and they will be pleased to see you learning from your mistakes.
Tip 10: Speak to your boss about promotion
If you’ve been following these tips and still aren’t being considered for that promotion you’ve had your eye on, it’s time to be bold. Confidently approach your boss and ask to have a chat about the promotion – calmly outline why you think you deserve to be in the running for promotion by highlighting your qualities and the work you have been doing recently. It may be that your boss has a lot of people to pick from and has simply overlooked you, and the initiative you show by approaching them could remind them what a great employee you are and that you rather than someone else deserves that promotion.