How to work toward a promotion

Wanting a promotion and earning a promotion are two different things. However, earning a promotion isn’t as hard as everyone perceives. Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, offers some tips:

  • Seek feedback. It’s hard to know if you’re doing well if you never get any feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss how you’re doing. This should be a regular occurrence in your self-evaluation, but don’t feel like you need to ask every day. If your boss is busy, Bock suggests asking your colleagues.
  • Solve your boss’ problems. While you might start out at the company with a million solutions to different issues, your boss may want you to focus effort elsewhere. By working on your boss’ problems first, you’ll build a trust that will give you credibility later on when you make suggestions.
  • Always think ahead. Don’t be afraid to take on tasks outside of your comfort zone. By gaining experience in each area in your company, you’ll build up your knowledge of how the business works. This will help when you’re looking for a promotion. Working in various fields will set you apart from the com­petitors.
  • Ask for the promotion. If you think you deserve a promotion, ask for it. Brock notes that men tend to nominate themselves for promotions more than women, but by making this statistic more known, it can quickly change.
  • Know when it’s time to stop. If you’re in a toxic work environment, it’s best to walk away. If you’ve failed to get promoted after several attempts, it’s probably time to move on to a different company. Finally, if the next step in promotions is your boss’ job, and she isn’t leaving the company any time soon, it’s best to look for other options.

— Adapted from “Google executive reveals 5 surefire tips to get that promotion,” Eun Kyung Kim, Today.