You’ve been in the same role for years, waiting to earn that promotion you’ve always wanted. And not just for a better title and a bigger paycheck, but for the feeling of knowing your work is valued and your company admires what you bring to the table.
However, you’re not going to earn a promotion by simply sitting and waiting– you’ll earn it by going above and beyond in your everyday tasks.
We asked 12 successful entrepreneurs to share the one trait employees should have to guarantee them a promotion later on down the road.
1. Step outside your department
People can often get stuck in their niche, team or role. When you step outside of your department and apply your skills to support other teams – not to mention go out of your way to learn what others’ day-to-day work and challenges are – it shows you are willing to own your responsibilities while giving to others. You see the bigger mission of the company.
2. Devise simpler solutions
If you can devise a solution that’s simpler than what is already in use, bosses immediately take notice. When you think outside the box to such an extent that you individually modify a company’s processes, you are worth a promotion.
3. Take ownership
When you stop thinking in terms of your job description and start thinking in terms of helping the company, that’s when you’ll truly shine. Especially with start-ups, managers don’t always have the time and resources to tell you what to do next. By thinking like an entrepreneur, you’ll always stay ahead of the curve, and it’ll make everyone’s lives easier.
4. Go one step further
Go one step further by performing tasks your manager never asked for. Take the initiative to research, learn and propose new ideas or solutions to existing challenges.
5. Set goals and hit them
Too often, people communicate goals and don’t hit them. Even in a relatively informal setting, if you vocalize that you’ll get something done by a certain date, execute it and let people know about it (without bragging). This is a simple way to build a track record of dependability, and it makes you stand out from the majority.
6. Be curious
Having a positive attitude and being able to ask why are two attributes that all high-potential employees should have. Curiosity indicates a vested interest in the underlying why that drives what a company is doing, while a positive attitude makes you a pleasant person to be around.
7. Search for opportunities to generate revenue
Employees who advance the fastest are the ones who find new ways to up-sell, cross-sell or straight out sell. That goes for employees who aren’t even in sales. It tells your employer that you’re looking out for the company and the company’s future. And it’s easy for an employer to give you a raise if you’ve justified it with revenue.
8. Create value
Take initiatives beyond your job description and create interdepartmental or cross-disciplinary collaborative teams to create value for the company. Showing interest in creating new products, features or improvements will surely be noticed by your employer. Send emails and meeting invites to other departments, engage in conversations and make white papers to showcase your ideas for improving a product.
9. Be punctual
If you’re on time to work and stay until the end of the day every day, bosses take notice. It shows that you care about the company and are putting in the effort. With such a great work ethic, you increase the likelihood of earning a promotion.
10. Excel in multiple roles
Any good employee can excel in their role; however, only great employees will excel in multiple roles. An employee who steps out of his or her comfort zone and succeeds in a project or role that isn’t part of his or her duties will definitely be considered for a promotion.
11. Show interest in long-term growth
Employers know it is unlikely that they will find employees who care about their companies as much as they do, but they take notice when someone works toward the long-term health of the business. Some people don’t go above and beyond in their jobs or for others, it’s just something they do for the salary. But if you care about the company as a whole, then you are worth keeping around, and promotions are a good incentive.
12. Generate ideas
By sharing ideas that save or make money for the company, you illustrate that you deserve more responsibility and a higher income. Your ability and willingness to develop solutions that grow the company mean you’re very valuable.