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.

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

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.”

Read also: These Highest-Paid Bloggers Started from Nothing and Now Earn $100K/Month. Here’s How.

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.”

Read also: How This Mom Makes a Full-Time Income as a Blogger

5. Ability to focus.

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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.”

Read also: How Kristin Larsen Earned $100K in Her First Full Year of Blogging

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.

How To Get That Promotion This Year Without Working Longer Hours

2016 has been a tough year. Whatever your take on political developments, we’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of heroes and deal with some tough economic factors, all of which can put further strain on whatever personal issues each of us is dealing with.

You’ve continued to work hard through the good, the bad and the crazy times and perhaps not made as much progress as you’d have liked. But guess what? The new year is just around the corner.

The burst of energy and optimism that comes with the turn of the New Year is not to be underestimated.

Take this fresh start as a blank slate on which to scrawl some good intentions. With the dedication to see it through the first difficult weeks, you will soon find those good intentions have become good habits. This good daily practice will see you climb the ladder at work more surely than a sudden burst of energy aimed at getting a specific promotion.

The way that we’ve been thinking of work has been all wrong. Bosses no longer award promotions solely on the basis of quantifiable target hitting. They want to see an employee who is ready to grow into the vacant role, to fulfill its existing needs but to exceed expectations and offer innovative new solutions.

This does not suggest an employee that arrives an hour early for work on the first day of the year and stays fixed to their desk until home time. Rather, it requires a team player, someone who is going to consistently engage with colleagues, with the business itself, and with the broader ecosystem of your sector.

For starters, figure out what your company is all about. Do some research and see what the organizational goals are, and what are the most effective techniques in place to achieve them.

Figure out what your boss is about, and let him know you exist.

That means taking time to ask for feedback on what you’ve done, and insight into the ways you’re doing things. Don’t be afraid to ask about your future within the company, and your promotion prospects – just make sure you know what you’re talking about before you begin that conversation.

The best way to get that insight is to be social.

Talk to your colleagues openly – and not just the ones you think can help you. The guy on the lowest rung, or doing the most routine tasks, will have insights into the way the business is run which are totally overlooked by those above him.

A business is a complex organism, and your boss will notice if you’re able to demonstrate a clear understanding of just how it works. And anyway, meaningful interactions with those around you will make everyone’s day better!


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?

About The Author

This is a guest post by Micheal Gilmore – a career advisor and writer at StudyClerk. 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.