Is there something you can do to land yourself a promotion or a salary increase?
This is a question that people have asked me in various forms throughout my experience as a manager, career strategist, and professional transitions coach. I have helped several people position themselves for success in various situations, across several functions in various industries, and I know that the answer to that question is YES.
The question is not whether you can position yourself for promotions and opportunities – because you can. The real question is how are you preparing yourself? Before making presentations, attending important meetings and entering negotiations, how do you prepare yourself? How do you present and show that you are ready for a promotion?
How to position yourself for promotion or a raise
Position your UVP (Unique Value Proposition)
Your UVP is what makes you different. It is made up of your abilities, unique personality, values, skills and your different experiences as they relate to your organisation. Whilst it is important to bring forward what makes you different, you must relate it to the objectives and vision of the organisation.
In an organisation that is continuously innovating, you have to position yourself as an adaptable person by sharing how you have used your abilities to transform organisations, department and even difficult situations. This custom combination of capabilities and capacities that you have, how do you position it to move the organisation forward?
Think about the skills that are relevant, not just for the present but the future of that organisation, and relate it to why you are the best person for the job. Think about the future in a way that no one has talked about it and position yourself to achieve that result.
I once coached an executive in a global organisation to prepare for an internal promotion interview, and she said to me “I want to leave my interviewer with a wow factor, and I want you to help me do that.”
We went through different steps to achieve that objective, but the first thing that I took her through a Values Exercise. I said, “if you do not know and unearth the values that speak to you, there is no way you will come across authentically.” It is important for you to know and position your Unique Value Proposition.
Position yourself as a thought leader
What is that one thing that separates you from someone else in terms of the expertise that you bring to the table, or what people know you for?
Recognize the topics that you understand at an expert level and use that to position yourself as a Thought leader. Not just a thought leader for fun, but a thought leader that is in high demand, useful and that can enable the organisation to thrive.
What else separates you apart from your role and function? How have you distinguished yourself beyond just doing your work and getting results like everyone else?
For instance, you may be in the sales department but if someone wants to know something about events planning, you are the go-to person, or you are working in procurement department but when it comes to tips on parenting, you are the go-to person.
Your company may be in the oil and gas sector but now, they have decided to go ‘green’ and be more environment-friendly, what do you know about that? Are you the go-to person when it comes to your knowledge of climate change? What have you done to distinguish yourself in an area beyond your job description? You can position yourself as an expert or thought leader with that relevant and timely knowledge that you bring to the table that is not common everyday knowledge.
It’s important that you position yourself as a thought leader in terms of passion, endeavours and expertise that is useful for the organisation and you can prove that usefulness to the organisation when you get that opportunity.
Position yourself as a leader’s leader
How are you going to replicate yourself? You are doing well, you are outstanding, but are there more outstanding people like you in the organisation? What have you done to grow others in your team – this is regardless of whether you are a team leader or team member?
Position yourself as someone that can replicate success and grow people, not just helping people succeed but replicating success in individuals, again and again.
How are you growing tomorrow’s leaders today? How are you instilling the right values, and work ethics in individuals that work with you? What is it that you have that you are also building in others? Whether you are doing this as a manager or executive, you need to be able to show the organisation and say that you are not just a lone ranger running towards the light, but you are also building and giving yourself to others.
This helps the organisation to know they can trust you and entrust their employees in your hands. If you are not already developing leaders in your current role, you can show how you are doing it outside of work. For example, are you volunteering in church? Are you teaching young scholars to swim during the weekend?
Showcase your pro bono work as an example of how you will help the organization build the leaders of tomorrow and how that ties into the continuity of the organization.
Getting a promotion is possible whether you’re a supervisor, manager or even executive. Need further help with preparing for a promotion? Click here to qualify for an exploratory session with me.