7 Qualities You Need to Develop to Get Promoted 89

how to get promoted

This is a guest post by Micheal Gilmore – a career advisor and resume writer. He’s psyched about marketing, business, blogging and SMM. In his parallel life, he loves hiking and can’t wait to see the Himalayas one of these days. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Have you ever wondered why some people just keep going up the career ladder while others, no matter how hard they work, stay in same position for a very long time without ever getting a promotion? It seems unfair, and it is disheartening, but it happens all the time.

Is there a secret recipe for success? How does one get promoted? Do people that make it have some special superpowers you should know about?

It would probably be exaggerating to call them “superpowers,” but developing certain qualities and habits do increase your chances to grow in your career. Here are 7 of them you need to build to get promoted:

1. Curiosity.

Walt Disney said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

It is not about being nosy or inquisitive, but about being interested in everything that goes around you.

[tweetthis]Curious people get deeper knowledge and skills faster. They are not afraid to experiment and can drive innovation.[/tweetthis]

You not only learn more about the work and the company, but you come off as someone who is not afraid to ask questions.

Businessperson and author Harvey Mackay put it very clearly, “Pay attention to those employees who respectfully ask why. They are demonstrating an interest in their jobs and exhibiting a curiosity that could eventually translate into leadership ability.”

2. Empathy.

You can get promoted much easier if you get along with everybody.

That doesn’t mean you have to say yes to everyone, though, not even your bosses. However, you need to be in tune with people you work with on a regular basis. You can anticipate when you need to step in and grease the wheels to make the work go smoothly.

It isn’t always easy to have empathy, especially if you find some people annoying. However, it is possible to get along on a professional footing if you make the effort.

WorkMatters, Inc founder Gayle Lantz observed, “A large part of any business is helping people work together well. Super-employees make that a top priority. They look at relationships as something that’s critical to success in the business—not just doing the work.”

3. Humility.

You might think that in order for people to take you seriously, you have to show people how good you are at your job. It is certainly important to be good at it, but no one likes it when you keep talking about it.

Likable Local CEO and serial entrepreneur Dave Kerpen wrote in this article, “It’s really important to practice humility, to develop into a better leader and a better person. Humility and vulnerability make us more likeable.”

Humility will also allow you to ask questions about things you don’t understand, and people will feel comfortable to ask you to take on any task.

4. Proactivity.

A good sign of a potential leader is someone who is not afraid to take point, but taking on a project is just one side of the equation. Resumesplanet career advisor Janine Ryan said, “A proactive person anticipates problems before they happen, and prepares for them. Show initiative and people will sit up and take notice.”

5. Ability to focus.

speak successfully

In the age of the Internet, it’s really easy to get distracted. This can really hinder your productivity, and it will show in your work.

Multitasking is a myth. Steve Jobs said, “Focusing is about saying No.” You need to concentrate on one task at a time to get the best possible results.

The Halpin Companies, Inc. CEO Katharine Halpin said that keeping your eye on the ball means “you’re better able to prioritize so that your activities and energy are focused where they are of most value to the company.”

Related: How to Stay Focused When There Are So Many Distractions

6. Strategic vision.

You need to focus on your work, but you also need to look at the big picture.

Your curiosity and proactivity should give you everything you need to know about how everything works. It will allow you to move with purpose and innovation for the benefit of your employers. That should put you firmly in the path of a promotion. Keep at it, and there is no telling where strategic vision can bring you.

The Strategy Book author Max McKeown said, “With a clever strategy, each action is self-reinforcing. Each action creates more options that are mutually beneficial. Each victory is not just for today but for tomorrow.”

7. Decision-making.

Making decisions can be scary. However, if you do your work, you should be able to make good decisions most of the time.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Make a practice of being decisive in everything you do and stand by it. This can bring you to the attention of the right people, help you get promoted, and send you on the path to a long and fruitful career.

Getting a promotion is what most people aim for when they first start working. You can do that much easier if you possess the leadership qualities that employers look for in a worker. However, a promotion does not make you a leader. You have to be a leader to get a promotion. Cultivate these seven qualities and you will get both.

What else can you do today to make sure you get promoted soon?

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

How I Finally Managed to Focus and Got to Work without Putting It Off 19

How I Finally Managed to Focus and Got to Work without Putting It Off

Here are the things that helped me find focus and finally get to work:

Tip #1 Write it down.

When I say write it down I mean that whatever you want to do on the day or even the night before for the following day. Simply write exactly down what you want to do/achieve. This simple tip alone is almost like flicking a switch in your brain to do it.

Simply writing down your goals and your plans not only makes you think about the goals and the steps that you need to do to achieve them. Sometimes this can be a great way to realize exactly what you want and get you thinking of things you perhaps hadn’t thought of prior.

Not only this but there have been countless studies done showing that writing something down with greatly improve the chances of it coming to fruition than not writing it down at all.

The great thing about this is that it can be literally applied to many areas of like. You can write down your long-term goals or you can write down what you plan to do for the next day.

I, personally, do it every night after I am long finished with my work for that day. I set aside 5-10 minutes for writing down what I want to do tomorrow. The act itself cements it in your brain.

This is also a great way to help with procrastination. It’s almost like holding yourself accountable for it which I will get into more in my next point.

Tip #2 Hold yourself accountable.

5 Types of College Friendships That Matter for Student Success

Holding yourself accountable to an overall goal or target can be an excellent way to actually push yourself to that point where you get to work consistently.

For example, let’s say I want to lose some weight and be on a particular diet to achieve that goal. Telling your friends and family that you are doing it makes you more accountable than doing it alone.

Your friends/family will often follow up with you about your progress. This is a constant kick up your ass to keep working towards your goal. Also, doing things like posting it on Facebook or somewhere where people can engage with you and follow your progress is great.

Ideally, having an accountability partner would be the best option for this.

An accountability partner and you would usually be moving towards the same goal and would constantly encourage each other to get to work. Most importantly, you two will be accountable for your actions!

A great way to find such like-minded people is through social media. For example when I work on my blog FlipFlopsandAppleSauce, I have a artner that is also running a blog. We both set goals on how often we publish content to hold each other accountable. It works extremely well.

Tip #3 Don’t be focused on results.

Don’t put pressure on yourself if you aren’t achieving your goals as quickly as you want.

Let’s say you have an online business and you want to make $1000 a month in profit. Instead of focusing on how much money you are currently making, look at what steps you need to take to get to that $1000. The more of these you take, the sooner you will get there.

Tip #4 Concentrate on today.


Some people are always thinking of long-term objectives. That’s not a problem, but you should always try to break down your goals into smaller, easier steps. Then, dedicate each day to working towards completing these steps.

Not only does that make things simpler and easier to manage, but it also puts less stress and pressure on you in the long run and will undoubtedly save you lots of time.

Tip #5 Let it become a habit.

Once you get into a routine, doing some of the more tedious things won’t be as much of a problem. Because at the beginning, you had to make a more conscious effort to make them happen. But once something becomes a habit through use of constant repetition, it becomes 10 times easier to do it.

After doing something consistently for 20 days in a row, it will start to become a habit.

So, if you are doing something that you don’t enjoy 100% to work towards your goal, it would be a great idea to challenge yourself for 3 weeks. Make it a habit, because, beyond that initial 3 weeks, things should only become easier.

#Tip 6 Think goals, not hours.

Some people say ‘I want to work 5 hours on this today’. In my opinion, this is not a solid mentality to have.

People who work with that in mind tend to draw out what they are working out to achieve that time target, which usually isn’t helpful at all. Not only that, but it lowers overall productivity.

I like to set steps that I want to do on that exact day. I have a clearer target that isn’t limited or restricted by time in this case.

Also, once you have finished what you set out to do for that day, you feel a great sense of accomplishment. Which for me, is an amazing feeling that keeps me coming back for more!


David Gray is an entrepreneur that loves marketing. This “career” path allows him the freedom that he truly craves in his life.