This is where luck seems to decide to some extent who will get promoted. But you can make your own luck. When a job has to be filled by promotion, some employees are not even considered because their abilities are insufficient. Or it may be because they have not yet had enough experience in their present jobs to go up.
Make yourself ready for promotion so that at any rate you will be in the race. You work with promotion in mind, not waiting until the vacancy comes.
It is difficult to get promoted if you are either too young or too old. Many employers like to see senior people occupying the leading position because maturity helps in the control of staff.
If you feel that young age is working against you, be patient. Get as much experience as you can by taking opportunities to different kinds of work.
The variety of experience is more important than length of experience. The man who complains that he has been passed over again despite his ten years’ service may overlook the fact that he has had only one year’s service ten times over.
A harder situation arises when a man is old. For example, the job of assistant manager may become vacant. If the manager is only a few years from retirement, then the person appointed assistant will almost certainly have to be someone young enough to move up in time to be the manager.
The top management of any go- ahead concern looks for future leaders. Thus, it will help you get the promotion if your superiors can see in you the potential to go higher still.
These are all long-term ideas and attitudes. What can you do day by day to improve your promotion prospects ?
Keep adding to your knowledge and of the industry of which you are a part. Study for the examinations that you give your formal paper qualifications. Support that basic general knowledge by developing an enquiring mind, becoming inquisitive about the things around you.
Show interest in the business as a whole, not just in your job. Observe what others do and how your activities fit in with theirs. Be sure you have a clear idea about what the aims are of the business and study carefully how they are attained.
Increase your capacity. Do each day as much as you possibly can, not just enough to get by. The people who make the most progress in their career regard their jobs as exciting adventures. Those who make a least progress usually look upon the day’s work as a necessary evil to go through as painlessly as possible.
Work with energy, resolution, and enthusiasm. Identify yourself with the firm’s objectives, not just your particular function. Help others and show interest in the success of the whole job.
Be willing to do extra work. Take on without complaint the additional task that comes your way. Figure out ways to fit it in. You can always work more efficiently. Cut out time-wast¬ing habits.
People who get promotion first build a reputation of reliability, of responding well in times of crisis or pressure, of rising to the occasion when staff is short or something has gone wrong.
The man seeking promotion gets himself known as someone to depend on in times of troubles.
Whenever you have a problem or a query for your superior, put forward at the same time, a possible solution. Ask him if that would be the proper way to tackle it.
Use initiative. Do not continually wait to be told what to do. At the same time, accept and carry out orders without a hitch. Do not resent when you are overruled.
Even at more humble levels, as soon as you progress beyond the bottom rung, there will be someone below you whose work you may have to direct. You need to know how to give orders, how to supervise work, how to guide, how to select which employee shall be given a particular work.
Your relationship with other work people provides the key to progress in your job. Your experience will*tell you of brilliant people whose careers have been held back by an inability to get along with their colleagues.
The ultimate distinction of those successful in their career does not lie in talent, brains, an ability to knowledge. It lies in the way one person can take the lead, gain sympathy, get others to do things willingly, while another fails to inspire confidence or rubs people the wrong way.
Your final and most important daily task is, therefore, to work at improving your skill with people. Develop the characteristics of friendliness, tact, loyalty, reliability all the good qualities in those at present holding their jobs senior to yours.
Do all these things and in time you will deserve the promotion. The chances are that you will get it, for leaders do not come a dime a dozen. It is easier to fill many vacancies at low levels than the few senior posts with high salaries.