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How to Get Promoted at Work in 3 Steps

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In Liz’s career column for Marie Claire, she answers readers candid questions so they never have to stress about the office.

Q. I want to take on more in my current role so I can ask for a promotion. Should I ask my manager what I can do to get more responsibility? Or suggest ways I can do more? What’s the best way to grow my position?



Getting ahead in your career is a great objective and crafting your strategy to advance is very important. There are steps you can take right now to start growing your position–but be sure to do them in the right progression and in the right way to maximize your future case for a promotion.

Getting ahead in your career is a great objective and crafting your strategy to advance is very important. There are steps you can take right now to start growing your position–but be sure to do them in the right progression and in the right way to maximize your future case for a promotion.

1. Do Your Own Research

For starters, assume everyone on your team, especially if you work in a competitive environment, wants to advance as well and may be asking your boss how to do it. To avoid overwhelming your manager but still stand out, it’s helpful to map out an understanding of what the next level of your profession looks like. If you are in a company where career advancement has obvious steps, then focus on the skills–both technical and interpersonal–that the company looks for when promoting people. If advancement at your company is more undefined, figuring out the way through can be tricky and require more groundwork. Either way, before you meet with your manager, do a quick company inventory yourself and review these three things:

1. What are the leaders like and what commonalities do they possess?

2. What is the company culture and what types of behaviors does it reward and shun?

3. How often do people get promoted and what are they like in terms of skills, attitude, and talent?

Too often employees go to their boss for advice, which burdens the boss with their issues, rather than doing the work themselves to figure it out. While the boss’ feedback is important and helpful, don’t lose the art of crafting your own observations and assessments. This is a skill you will need your entire career, and as you advance, it will become even more important.

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