December 21, 2015
By: Vince LaRuffa
Everyone loves a promotion at work. It’s extremely satisfying to be recognized and rewarded for a job well-done.
But simply coming to work every day and doing your job adequately won’t put you on the fast track up the ladder. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s important to realize that promotions generally don’t “just happen”. In order to move up, you have to be proactive in making yourself more valuable–and more visible–to your organization’s upper management team.
When we talk to business leaders and executives, we frequently hear them use the term “promotability” when explaining their criteria for evaluating promotion candidates. What is promotability, and how can you make yourself more promotable? Read on to learn more.
First, let’s define what promotability really means. It may sound somewhat self-explanatory, but you’ll have a hard time finding a true definition anywhere else. For our purposes, promotability can be described as the extent to which a professional appears ready to successfully take on a higher level of responsibility.
Age Promotability: A Focus on CollaborationNew
Promotability is by no means a new concept. But, as the way people work and communicate has evolved dramatically over the past few decades, so has the core meaning of promotability.
20 years ago, promotions were primarily based on hard skills, more than intangibles. Large companies were typically led from the top down, with a rigid chain of command in the middle. Today, promotability hinges more on collaborative skills and the overarching ability to understand the needs of others. Promotions will always e results-driven, but the methods by which those results are achieved are beginning to carry equal weight.
Leaders must now be culture builders, communicators, and connectors. They must have not only great ideas, but also inclusive, inspiring ways of presenting those ideas.
Where Are the Opportunities?
When you first enter the workforce after college, the opportunity landscape within your organization is vast. With so much room to grow, you have a high likelihood of taking the next step in your career at the same company.
Meanwhile, for those in senior management, the opportunities for promotion become more limited. If you’re already fairly high up in your cmpany, you might have to seek positions with other organizations in order to achieve your goals. Likewise, younger professionals who are willing to take risks and explore outside opportunities can see rapid career growth. In the millennial population, “job hopping” has become a much more forgiving term with hiring managers, whereas older generations were discouraged from making too many career moves.
It’s Not Just About the Promotion
Humans are naturally inclined to seek new skills and experiences. Even if you’re not currently seeking a promotion, you should still be evaluating your career trajectory and taking steps toward self-improvement. By the time a job stagnates and you feel noticeably unfulfilled, you might have already missed out on several great opportunities for a promotion.
Instead of viewing promotability as something you do when you want a pomotion, focus more on learning new skills so that a promotion becomes a natural extension of your efforts.
How to Increase Your Promotability
Now comes the real question: how can you become more promotable? Here are a few tips to start:
- Learn and understand how other departments within your company function. Having this knowledge will help you to understand their priorities and enable you to support them.
- Foster collaboration among your peers
- Appreciate the needs of your co-workers and help them to meet their objectives
- Be flexible when seeking opportunities for promotion. Even a latral move may make sense if it broadens your knowledge of the organization.
- Build strong working relationships. Remember the common courtesies apply at work and they are appreciated. A simple “thank you” goes a long way.
- Make yourself visible to upper management by offering to help on projects, attending volunteer events, etc.
- Seek a mentor. In addition to situational coaching, mentors can often be your window into the rest of the company.
- Continuously enhance your skill set through good books, workshops, seminars, and education, with an emphasis on filling any knowledge gaps
The San Diego State Hospitality & Tourism Management Master’s Program can help you achieve all of the above. If you’re looking to invest in your career and take major steps to increase your promotability, you’ve come to the right place. Click here to learn more about the HTM Master’s Program, and stay tuned for a follow-up article on promotability.