Navigating conversations at work about career progression and pay rises can feel tricky, which is why you want to put yourself in the best position for that promotion from the get-go.
And, while you might be overdue a promotion, a surprising reason could be stopping your boss from offering it to you. Here, LinkedIn's careers expert Sarah Seymour outlines five things that could be getting in the way of you and the next step, from considering your emails more carefully, to researching your future job's description.
1.You overdo overtime
While you might think being chained to your desk shows commitment and hard work, the actual quality of your work might be suffering because you're close to burning out. "You’ve been slogging away doing long hours at work, eating lunch ‘al desko’ and checking emails late into the night, all in the hope it will get you noticed...sound familiar?" asks LinkedIn’s Careers Expert, Sarah Seymour. "Take a step back and consider if this is sustainable in the long-term, or if some investment in your mental and physical wellbeing might be more worthwhile. Mindfulness, or any stress relieving techniques you have, can really make a massive difference in preventing burnout and ultimately boosting your work performance, helping you to get that promo quicker!"
2. You're not loud enough about your achievements
Singing your own praises might not feel the most natural, but if there's something you want to guarantee your boss knows about, you should shout about it. "Don't mistake arrogance with hard-earned reward," Sarah continues. "The more your peers and seniors are aware of the great work you’re doing, the more likely they are to recommend you for the next big challenge. It will demonstrate to your seniors that you’re proud of the work that you’ve been doing, and it can also really get you in front of your professional community."
3. You're not considerate enough
No, we don't mean of your colleagues' feelings (that too), but of the way you sometimes come across professionally. Are you putting enough thought into your emails? Did you jump into a conversation that didn't involve you? Are you interjecting in meetings with purpose? As Sarah puts it, "We’ve all been there - an email pops into our inbox and our instinct can be to reply as soon as we physically can, so we feel like we’ve actioned it. But taking time to write a carefully crafted email that anticipates any questions or actions the recipient might come back with can often prevent further back and forth, and avoid silly mistakes or lack of clarity. Think about how you respond to emails, and how you could work on some of the most annoying email habits, and you might find that you’re well on your way to that next step."
4. You haven't got the social side of the job quite right
Office gossip can be tempting, and sometimes you need to let off a little steam to people who are in similar situations, but this can very easily turn toxic. On the flip side, not engaging in any socialising at all can also be a negative thing - you want to strike a happy balance. "As tempting as it can sometimes be to get involved in some seemingly harmless office gossip, talking about colleagues can quickly escalate and is an unerhand way of dealing with a problem. Equally, shying away from friendly office banter could also be preventing you from stepping up the ladder. Expanding your relationships within work really helps to get your name out there, and by opening up about any particular hobbies or interests you have, people will know to come to you if they need any expertise on a topic - the perfect excuse for a another tea break."
5. You're not 100 per cent clear on what the promotion would be
Knowing exactly what a step up on the career ladder would entail is extremely worthwhile, because it means you can outline to your boss times when you have shown the necessary skills. Sarah recommends looking at job descriptions for higher roles in different companies, which may give you leverage when asking for your own promotion. "Even if you aren’t considering another role, snooping on jobs that are opening up elsewhere can actually be super beneficial even when you’re not considering a move. Are they doing anything exciting or challenging in their roles that you want to try? By looking at the rest of the market and the requirements for jobs at the level above yours, you can see how you compare, which can give you some real leverage when you’re going for that promotion. You’ll also be able to identify if you need any additional skills for the next level."