For most people, employment represents far more than just a chance to earn money. Given that we spend more time working than with our family and friends, most of us look to getting extra benefits or satisfaction from our jobs – with promotion being central to most people’s aims from employment. Indeed, research shows one of the most common complaints among employees is the lack of a structured career ladder or chance of going further in their jobs.  

The employer/employee relationship

While all jobs are different, there are nonetheless great similarities across all areas of employment when it comes to how bosses select staff for promotion. From an employee’s perspective, promotion normally results in better pay, improved conditions, greater influence and more control over the types of work you take on. However, to be sure an employee is suitable for these extra responsibilities, employers will typically look for key attributes in staff before pushing them further up the ladder. 

The importance of extra qualifications

Employers look for go-getters when deciding who promote to higher roles. Central to this is a willingness for personal development – and one of the best ways to display this to your boss is by embarking on out-of-work study, to improve your knowledge and skill base. While existing college or university qualifications show that you studied when you were younger, taking extra courses while working will provide solid evidence of your desire for personal development. For example, if you work in a commercial role, enrolling in certificate programs like the Kelley Business School Executive Certificate Programs will improve your business acumen while also exhibiting your motivation to learn and yearning for personal development.  

Show that you’re easy to work with

No matter what job you do, it’s unlikely you’ll do it completely alone, so showing your boss that you’re easy to work with and have a strong relationship with your fellow workers is a central attribute valued by employers. Indeed, those employees that can work effectively in a team often make the best leaders further down the line. Also, it’s important to realize your boss won’t make the decision on who to promote just in a bubble – rather, they’ll likely seek the advice of your colleagues and co-workers. Making enemies is never a smart idea at work, but it can also have a hugely detrimental effect on your opportunities for career advancement further down the line. Showing respect for others and a good teamwork ethic will go a long way to showing your boss you’re the right person for promotion. 

Become a good listener

If you don’t have them already, developing good listening skills is a sure way to exhibit your suitability for promotion. Climbing up the career ladder means progressing past others and being put in a position of authority where you’ll have to be able to work effectively with those beneath you. There is often a misconceived idea that good leaders dominate conversations. 

Rather, the total opposite is true and demonstrating that you can listen to the opinions and views of others will demonstrate you have the right talents for a position of authority.