Advocating for yourself is a lot harder than speaking up for others. The good news is, if your boss is paying attention and your actions are speaking for themselves, you may not have to ask.
You probably already know that doing good work is the single most effective way to show your boss you are ready for more. Ideally, you should be consistently exceeding expectations in your current job.
Once you have got that down, here are five more ways to prove you are ready for a promotion at work.
* Exceeding expectations is only the start: You should also look for ways to add value through projects and tasks that are beyond your role. Find things that need doing that no one has had time for.
* Your hunger should be for the acquisition of skills and knowledge, not about a new office or a better title. That’s not to say you wouldn’t enjoy those things—after all, you’re human—but they shouldn’t be your primary motivation.
Resist the urge to talk about what you know or brag about how easy everything is for you. Instead, share what you are learning, and be vulnerable and honest about it. If you have suddenly discovered a new way to do a task or job better, don’t say 'I feel like I have my area wired', say, 'Just when I thought I had my area wired, I learned a whole new way to approach that I can now apply to how I do a lot of things. What a great lesson!;
* As you reach new levels of mastery, take the time to pat yourself on the back. Then, roll up your sleeves and challenge yourself to do what you just did—even better.
Try to have the courage to see yourself objectively and work on those things that most interfere with your own success.
Unsure where to start? Ask your boss what you could be doing better, then work consistently to make those improvements.
* Managing complexity is different than just being smart; it’s about overseeing multiple tasks with variable goals and execution strategies. Learn to handle multi-layered projects by picking tasks that are progressively more complex.
If you are used to managing tasks that can normally be completed in a month or two, don’t sign up for a project that will take a year to complete. Look for a six-month one first.
When you show you are adept at handling a more advanced project, you are demonstrating that you could work at the next level.
* In every great team, there is at least one person who makes things click because he or she has the collaboration superpowers of listening, compromising, and mediating. Be that person.
So, practice your teamwork skills any chance you get. Contrary to popular belief, leading every group effort won’t show your boss you are the best person to promote. To really impress your boss, show that you are a true team player—one who can add value through supporting your colleagues as well.