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Career News | Jan. 23, 2023

Tips For Increasing Your Promotion Potential

By DCAA Staff Writer

Have you been applying for promotions and not getting selected despite the fact that you think you’re qualified? Here are some possible reasons why.

  • You may not have the skills you think you do. Perhaps you’re really good technically but haven’t exhibited the interpersonal or soft skills the next level requires. Or one of the technical skills needed for that promotion may not be your strength—even though you can perform that function at a basic level.
  • While you do everything asked—and do it well, you may not be seen as someone who takes the initiative. Do you proactively problem solve or look to management to help? Do you go above and beyond—all the time?
  • You may be seen as too casual or unprofessional. Do you gossip? Dress too casually? Sign off the minute you’re able? Again, you may get everything done but your actions may hurt your chances for promotion.
  • You’re not really known outside your work group. As you move up the ladder, people you do not interact with regularly may weigh in on promotion decisions. Do the people above you know you?
  • You haven’t communicated that you’re looking to move up. Have you spoken to your boss about your career interests? Actually applied for the job? Shown that you can “do more”?

What can you do to better position yourself for promotion?

  • Sit down with your supervisor and share your short- and longer-term goals. Ask for feedback—and listen to what you hear. Show that you’re trying to implement suggestions.
  • Track your accomplishments and list in your resume. It is important for you to recognize and share your achievements. This does not mean being a braggart, but it does mean that you should know and communicate your achievements.
  • Build and leverage your professional network. You need support to get promoted—and that support needs to come from more than your peers and subordinates. Make yourself known to leadership in a positive way. Use LinkedIn and other tools to stay in touch with colleagues outside your organization to stay current and understand how other organizations view your position.
  • Consider getting a coach and/or a mentor. It’s always helpful to hear another unbiased opinion on your situation.

Remember, no one cares about your career more than you do. Take charge and take advantage of programs within your organization.