G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   May 23

Virtual Job Fair   |   May 23

Promotions in the Civilian Workplace


So now that you have landed your dream job, you can begin climbing to the top of the company ladder.

Promotions in the civilian workplace are never automatic, and depending on the company that you work for and the position that you are trying to get, they can be very difficult to achieve. Today’s employees are oftentimes asked to do more with less and to do the work of two or even three employees. Supervisors are looking for solution-oriented team players who can get the work done with a “whatever it takes” attitude without complaining or having a fit. Gone forever are the days where employees are tapped on the shoulder for promotion simply by showing up to work and not creating any problems. However, there are a few things you can do to help you move up the ladder a little faster.

Demonstrate a strong work ethic. There is no substitute for delivering timely and accurate results when it counts. Being a dependable, “go-to person” and an expert in your particular area, can move you to the top of the list when supervisors are looking to promote someone into a new position.

Speak up. Letting your supervisor know your goals and career aspirations will definitely help to keep your name from disappearing into the background. Promote your accomplishments in a meaningful way by speaking up during company meetings, offering fact-based comments that help demonstrate your knowledge of the subject matter. This will help supervisors see you as a knowledgeable and well-versed employee rather than a braggart.

Stay on the radar. Volunteering for projects either within your own department or as a team member in another department helps get you noticed, as well as being able to demonstrate your skills  to a wider audience. You never know where your next promotion opportunity may come from.

Present yourself. Envision the position you want and start living and talking it today! Dress for the position you want, not the one you have.  In your written and verbal communications be clear and concise and by all means do not be a clock watcher. Hitting the elevator at exactly 4:58 p.m. does not exactly send a strong message of commitment to your employer.

Avoid gossip and office politics. It is always important to demonstrate integrity rather than getting involved in petty gossip, which could potentially derail your career and destroy everything you have worked for. While it is important for you to know what the office politics are, especially the unspoken rules, it is far safer to stay out of the debates. Let someone else take the heat for their comments, then learn from the mistakes they make.

Stay the course. As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. And even if you don’t get the promotion, you are still building your skills and increasing your network. While waiting for your promotion, keep demonstrating your company’s core values, meet your performance objectives and, above all, be patient. That’s what true leaders are made of.

A promotion by definition is a movement into a new position, which means new challenges and the need to learn new information. Promotable employees readily accept new responsibilities and meet these challenges seamlessly without any undue stress. Supervisors expect employees to make mistakes, but it is the employees who learn from their mistakes and clean them up who demonstrate the values of someone who is prepared for advancement. Standing on the sidelines will never get you promoted; you have to get in the game!