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7 Ways to Make Yourself More Promotable

Promotion graphic

March 30, 2016

By: Tracy Judge

If you’ve ever gotten a promotion, you know how great it feels to be recognized and rewarded for your hard work. Chances are you waited months or even years to take that step up the ladder.

For a promotion to happen, there often needs to be some aligning of the stars. Maybe a spot opens up when someone resigns, or you deliver on a project that was especially important to upper management. There’s an element of timeliness and perhaps even a stroke of luck. But, a promotion can also be the product of your professional development. Instead of hoping for the day you get promoted, you can make a conscious effort to make yourself more “promotable.”

What is Promotability?

Promotability is a term that business leaders often use to evaluate their employees. In a previous article by Vince LaRuffa, Vice President of Resort Marketing at Universal Orlando, promotability was defined as the extent to which a professional appears ready to successfully take on a higher level of responsibility.

Taking that definition, how can you position yourself and demonstrate that you are seasoned for a higher level of responsibility? Here are 7 quick tips:

Network Internally

For many people, the idea of going out and networking is intimidating. For introverts, it can be downright nauseating. Internal networking is different from the out-in-the-open, talking-to-a-stranger-at-a-cocktail-party situations you’re visualizing, though. It’s a lot easier to strike up conversations with people who are within your organization, and doing so can help to eventually connect you to the “higher-ups” who make personnel decisions.

Build Your Personal Brand

Leadership positions revolve as much around intangibles as they do technical aptitude. Every leader has their own way of inspiring others, and you can discover your intangible strengths by building a professional brand for yourself. This is a matter of knowing what you stand for, what you are passionate about, and what you envision for the future. With a little bit of self-analysis, you can solidify your identity both on paper and in real life.

Find a Mentor

From actors to musicians to architects to athletes, the greatest in every discipline start by learning from someone else. A mentor is a partner in your mission to achieve your goals. They can help you to better understand yourself, which enables you to build on your strengths and improve on your weaknesses.

Make Yourself Visible

No one likes an attention seeker, but a big part of getting a promotion is making it known that you have the desire to advance your career. There are plenty of people who are perfectly fine in a lifetime role; you don’t want to be mistaken for one of them. Making yourself visible isn’t a matter of outwardly stating you want a promotion or placing individual recognition ahead of team objectives. It’s more about putting your skills and enthusiasm on full display. Take pride in your work, and others will soon begin to notice.

Track Your Accomplishments

Where were you in your job six months ago? Have you completed a big project since then? Have you increased your knowledge in a certain area? There are plenty of accomplishments on the road to a promotion. Identify, seize, and record every one of them!

Focus on What You Can Control

In any organization, there’s a lot that goes on behind closed doors, especially before a promotion. Don’t concern yourself with the politics, and don’t let a fear of failure cocoon you into “the daily grind.” Only focus on the things that are in your control, such as your work ethic and productivity.

Invest in Your Career

Lastly but most importantly, you should always be investing in yourself and your career. Whether it’s learning a new software program, subscribing to an industry trade journal, or getting a professional certification, there is always something you can do to get better.

For those who are looking to make a potentially life-changing investment, the San Diego State University Hospitality & Tourism Management Master’s Program can help you exponentially increase your promotability. This is a program for future leaders and forward thinkers who want to challenge themselves like never before. Sound like you? Click here to learn more about the leadership curriculum.


tracyAuthor: Tracy Judge, Director of Business Development, Meetings and Events (LinkedIn)

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