This Pandemic has been tough, bringing huge upheaval for many. Some businesses have shifted their ways of working to adapt to the newly restricted world, some closed and some people have lost jobs and income.
At the same time, others have been working round the clock during this time to help their company survive. Understandably they feel ready for the next step in their career.
People are still getting promoted even during a pandemic. If you feel ready for a promotion and have checked that you fulfil the criteria for the next level up, here are five things that you need to consider and do to make it happen for you:
Be visible – communicate to keep front of mind
Visibility is key to getting a promotion. When the interview panel meets you, they want to have already heard great things about you. With many of us working remotely or from home, we no longer see our colleagues or boss around the office as a matter of course. Those water cooler chats are no longer happening.
Three ways to increase your visibility are:
- Create a roundup email updating your boss on progress or when key milestones are being met on your projects.
- Put your video on when you speak in meetings, or even if you don’t speak up in a meeting and the protocol is to have videos off, type your comments in the chat to still be visible and contribute.
- Add your photo on your intranet profile and maybe even on your emails. That way your voice will be better connected to your face and leave a longer lasting memory.
Ask for more responsibility – reduce the gap between the job you want and the job that you do
A good way to get promoted during a pandemic is to demonstrate that you’re ready for the next step. You can do this by looking at the role that you would like to be promoted to, doing a gap analysis between your role and that one, and then find opportunities to step up in those responsibilities.
You can do this by work shadowing, asking for a secondment, or covering the person when they are on holiday. You may also need to put a case together to do some training or might take responsibility yourself and study in your personal time or learn some skills by engaging in some voluntary work.
If you decide to take the route of developing yourself outside of the day job, you will need to find ways to let your line manager know about the skills you’re learning and how they are valuable to the organisation.
Innovate – innovation and creativity are in demand by companies right now
In our ever-changing world, innovative and creative ideas are in demand.
Asking questions rather than just accepting that things are done in this way because they always have been, is a good starting point. Try to channel your inner child (because they are great at this).
We love using the TED acronym:
- Tell Me
Rather than just asking ‘Why things are done that way’ which can provoke a defensive response, try saying ‘Tell me a bit more about the rationale for…’, or ‘Can you describe how that will work in practice?’
If you engage with curiosity and a problem-solving mindset, you will find yourself innovating. You may have an idea for improving a process, a suggestion for saving money or reaching more customers with a new marketing idea.
Have the courage to share any and all ideas because they could make a real difference and lead to securing that promotion. If you need some help tapping in your creativity, here are 23 ways to spark your creativity.
Ensure you have your annual appraisal and keep records of the quantifiable impact that you are making
Appraisals are a great touchpoint in which to share your ambitions, successes and progress, so it’s important to have your appraisal, even if it’s busy.
Do take some time ahead of the meeting to think about and note down your key achievements over the past 12 months and the impact they have had for the company – whether it’s cost savings, improved performance or financial growth.
If for some reason it’s not possible to have an appraisal, create your own annual report and send it to your line manager and other key stakeholders, such as HR so that it can be held on file. Someone might read it who can offer you an opportunity, but at the very least it will remind you how far you’ve come and be great interview preparation for when that promotion opportunity arises.
Keep building relationships – albeit in different ways
They say that your network is your net worth, if that’s the case it’s worth investing in.
With many of us working remotely or from home and no longer seeing our team, boss and other key stakeholders face to face on a regular basis, we have to find other ways to build relationships virtually because your network is vital to your success.
The person who can open a door for you at your company may not be someone that you work with on a daily basis, so consider how you can extend that network. Can you get involved in companywide initiatives, or share your expertise beyond your area of the business? Or are you a member of an employee resource group, that increases your profile and access to a wider network?
When it comes to promotion, you always need to be thinking like you are already in the job that you want, so as much as possible try to keep your communications and interactions at that next level, so that people imagine that you are in that role already. That way promotion becomes a no-brainer.
A final thought…
Up isn’t the only direction, sometimes you may need to go sideways and broaden your skills before getting promoted. Also, do be sensitive about timing – if your company is struggling financially and laying people off this might be something you need to park this for now.