18 January, 2024

Get Promoted: How to Get a Promotion | Video

By Mike Clayton

promoted, promotion

Do you want to get a promotion? Okay, here’s how.

This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.

This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

How to Get a Promotion

What are Promotions?

Promotions tend to result from the intersection of luck and preparedness.

Luck, because you can only be promoted if an opportunity arises.

Preparedness, because if you are not ready, then you won’t be able to take advantage of the opportunity, and you may not even notice it.

So, since you cannot influence fortune, you have to do what it takes to be ready for them:

  • to spot opportunities
  • even to be notified of them first 
  • and then to seize them with the right combination of talent and track record

Prepare to Spot Promotion Opportunities

You won’t be able to spot the right opportunities for you, unless you know what you are looking for.

So, the start of your process is to do the tough thinking about what you want from your career and, crucially, what you want next.

Now, you need to bring those promotion opportunities to you...

And this means building a network of professional relationships with people who:

  • Can support and guide you
  • Respect and trust you
  • Value your capabilities
  • Will let you know when they spot something

Make time for one-on-one conversations with people who may be able to help. They may be your peers or your seniors, and in your sector or outside of it. These will be your allies, advocates, mentors, and your mastermind group.

And they exist in your workplace, professional associations, communities, and online social networks. If you aren’t using LinkedIn between promotions and job changes, why would you expect your connections to help out when you need them? Be active, and be generous.

Henry Ford’s Advice

‘You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.’

Henry Ford

If you want to get yourself promoted, you need a reputation. You need experience and a track record of success. The best way to demonstrate what you can do is to do it. And this will give the right people all the evidence they need to assess what else you could do. The greater your accomplishments, the higher they will rate your potential.

Keep Learning

It’s not for nothing that I sign off every video on my second channel with ‘Keep Learning’. It’s the key to a long-term professional career that grows. If you do not grow professionally and intellectually, how can your career do so?

Innovation and Problem Solving

Some roles can manage with a tedious amount of process compliance. But none of the really good ones. Focus on looking for chances, in your current role, to demonstrate your capacity to solve problems and create new ways of doing things.

Build Your Case for Promotion

If you were trying to promote a project, you’d aim to show how the benefits outweigh the sum of the costs and the risks.

Promoting you feels just the same to your employer and your bosses:

They need to see benefits.

And they need to feel sufficiently confident that these will outweigh both the costs (in financial and time terms) and the risks (of you failing and creating more work… or worse)

So, to prepare well for your promotion, by keeping your personal business case up to date. Keep reviewing it with a critical eye… What is the weakest link in your argument? Then, look for ways to strengthen that aspect of your case.

If You Don’t Ask

Sometimes, we need to make our own luck. If there is no current opportunity, maybe you need to catalyze one.

The old saying is ‘if you don’t ask, you won’t get’

There’s no guarantee that asking – either your current employer or going out to the employment market – will succeed.

But, if you do it with respect, courtesy, and a mighty strong case behind you, then you really will not do any harm. And you may well garner some respect for your self-confidence and style.

A Project Management Career:

Interview Guidance:

Specific PM Career Routes:


What Kit Does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

Learn Still More

For more great Project Management videos, please subscribe to the OnlinePMCourses YouTube channel.

If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.

For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.

For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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