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Every employee wants to get promoted. Whether it’s for an increase in status, power, salary or just to feel recognised. You don’t want to be working at the same level, doing the same job with no sign of career progress for years. So how do you stand out from the rest of your colleagues to bag that big promotion?

Conventional wisdom states that one needs the following attributes to get a promotion: Be hard working, meet all the targets of your role, be efficient and find the most cost-effective solutions.

While the attributes above count towards you getting a promotion, you would be surprised to find out that bosses have an entirely different take on what it takes to get a promotion. These attributes are unlikely but they carry a lot of weight in bosses’ decisions to promote employees.

Bosses tips to stand out and get a promotion

  1. Challenge Your Boss

The big guys like to be challenged. This means having a voice, challenging their ideas, bringing constructive input and getting your point across with facts, to either change their mind or to help them see something from a distinct perspective. So basically, they enjoy some debate, but with sufficient facts to back it up.

  1. Don’t cause problems

Don’t be the employee that is always causing drama in the office. Bosses love employees who just get on with it and set their sails to a drama-free zone. That means being as sweet as pie to the co-worker you absolutely despise, no hissy fits over the printer that has decided to jam and most importantly, not fuelling a gossip infused chit-chat.


  1. Socialise with your colleagues during office events

We don’t mean hanging from the chandeliers with a drink in hand, crying hysterically for a promotion. Oh, please don’t! What bosses like, is someone who is social and friendly and attends the office parties! Participate in coming up with corporate gift ideas and help show value through promoting these products. It’s all about team building and creating a positive office culture. Don’t stand in your boss's way of trying to achieve this - attend the office party! And have a drink if you must! But don’t hang from the chandeliers - very important!

  1. Take notes & be organised

Taking notes and being organised will take you very far. This means jotting important things down, ensuring that nothing is forgotten, prioritizing the work you have and having a clear indication of where you are and what you still have to do. This will help you to deliver consistent results every time and on time.

  1. Give feedback – good or bad

Believe it or not, bosses like to receive feedback from you so that they understand the key issues employees have in their business, which helps the business improve. Do not be afraid to give positive and negative feedback if there is any. Bosses trust an employee who recognises the bad and has a solution for whatever that is. They like to be kept in the loop of what is actually going on, whether that be good or bad. Honesty and transparency are the keys, here.

  1. Have Zero Expectations

Don’t expect a promotion just because you have been doing the same job for a while because you will be disappointed. According to research by a leading recruitment agency, bosses prefer employees that don’t walk around expecting all the rewards to be showered upon them. They want people who are confident, know their worth, but don’t expect that anything should come from their good efforts. At the end of the day, being a strong employee was part of what you signed up for, regardless of where it might get you.

  1. Know and do your job well

Know what you need to do, what's expected of you and then just execute! Be the best at what you do. Ask your boss for feedback and for areas of improvement so that you know where you still need to develop. Realise that just because you think you are the best does not necessarily mean you are. What do your clients think, or what do the results of your (short term and long term) work say. Every boss wants to know that he can rely on you through thick and thin. He wants to know that you can do your job, but more importantly that you can do it well!

So, those are our top 7 tips from bosses to get you promoted. If you are ambitious, which I suppose you are as you are reading this post, you will try and implement these tips as best you can to land your next big promotion. 

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