Career Development

Three Things You Can Do to Get That Promotion You’re After

It looks like they did it to you again: they passed you over for the promotion that was rightfully yours, and brought in a new person with half your experience. Adding insult to injury, they have asked you to help train the newbie to do the job that you could do in your sleep.

This may not be the first time this has happened to you. Rest assured, you are not alone. Here’s the bad news: Quitting your job and defecting to another company will not help at all. At least, it will not help if you don’t make a few changes that get you noticed. You may just end up repeating the cycle again at your new place of employment.

Here are three things you can do that will help keep you from being overlooked again:

Show that You Care About Self-improvement

There is no use thinking that you have what it takes for the job you want. The people making the hiring decisions don’t think so, and that is what counts. A little humility is in order. You have been at your job for ten or more years. It has been a long time since you have been in school or updated your skill-set.

You are probably going to need to sharpen your ability to speak confidently and persuade your listeners. You are going to need some current leadership training. You might even want to throw in some executive coaching for good measure. explains the value of developing interpersonal and communication skills through executive training.

Taking this kind of initiative shows that you recognize you have some areas you need to work on. Furthermore, it shows that you do not just view a promotion as your rightful reward for showing up at work everyday. They already pay you for that. You want them to pay you for skills you have not yet demonstrated.

Get a Professional Certification

Along the same lines, there is likely room on your resume for one more professional certification. Landing a job in the accounting office was a great start. But you will find that the ceiling is made of thick glass if you don’t add some alphabet soup to your credentials.

Your Bachelors degree in bookkeeping will only get you so far. For the next level, you should be looking a programs for  CPA, CMA, CFP, CIMA, and a host of other three and four letter words. The good news is that you already have your four year degree as most of those designations require. You also have the required experience needed to apply. Now, all you have to do is decide the program that best suits your ambitions and go for it. Your opportunities and salaries grow in direct proportion to the number of professional certifications you have. Those certifications also show a commitment to continuing education. That is the sort of thing that will land you an interview.


Promotions are like raises. You have to ask for them. No one will offer them to you because you are so deserving. You have to put yourself forward. The taller you stand, the harder it will be for them to look past you. Confront them without being confrontational. That will always get you noticed, and usually in a good way. If you are overlooked, ask why. Don’t just take it lying down. They may have had a very good reason. By asking, they will notice you. By answering, they will prepare you to own the process the next time around.

For whatever reason, companies seem skittish about hiring from within. I suspect part of it is psychological. They hired you as a person at a certain level. That is how they have seen you from the beginning. If you are working in the mail room, they do not see you as a candidate for CFO. You have got to make them see you as something else. You have to take the initiative to make sure they have seen your many valuable upgrades over the years of working with them. Once they see you as a valuable asset that is being underutilized, most of your work will be already done. Executive washroom, here we come.

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