Man in suit giving thumbs up

An eager employee asks how to get promoted:

I have been at my job for 18 months and have always been a hard-working team member and received good performance reviews. I work for a fairly large organization and it’s not uncommon to receive promotions after only a year or so but my manager hasn’t mentioned anything to me about career progression or moving me up in the organization.  I’ve put in my time and I think I deserve a promotion, but how do I get my boss to see this? 

As a very experienced manager, trainer and mentor,  we asked Partner and Co-Founder Danielle Bragge to share her top tips on getting a promotion.

Promotions are earned, not given.  It is your job to build and create your own career path, don’t expect that your employer has a well laid out promotion plan of action for you. Here are some tips for setting yourself up for promotion:

Be open to a lateral move.  Sometimes a strategic lateral move will position you well for an upward move later, particularly if you work for an organization that has a flat structure.  Think in terms of, how many new contacts can I gain? How much networking do I have exposure to? What additional skills do I want to gain?

Your ego will be your biggest liability.  The best leaders work behind the scenes to make their people successful. You did not get to where you are today on your own. You have a team behind you that make you look good every day. Having a large ego will prevent you from learning from the people around you and in the end the only person losing out will be you.

Avoid Gossip.  Seems obvious doesn’t it? But I still see some of the top managers in business gossip about their staff to other managers and sometimes to those that report into them – shocking! What happens in the boardroom must stay in the boardroom.  Respect those around you and set an example. Gossip will quickly reduce productivity, create mistrust and an overall fractured team. If you in return have a member on you team who appears to drive gossip, it may be time to make them available to other industries.

Go above and beyond every day.  Your managers are watching you, comparing your performance and attitude to those around you. If you give above average efforts, your manager will notice and before long you will be taking on more responsibility. People automatically respond to what they perceive you are doing. Once you have that promotion, you then become the barometer for your team. They will only give what they see you giving. 

Be your company’s biggest evangelist. Passion is contagious and will lead to an engaged team and increased revenue. Get those around you to join the company movement. Show support to your managers, host team building events and encourage the team to work together. Show support to those that are struggling and ask if you can help mentor them.

Be a good communicatorGood communication is listening and understanding your audience, not just talking! Let those around you feel like they are being heard. Even if you can’t change the situation, people around you will remember how you made them feel not what you say.


Danielle’s 25 years in the recruitment industry across South Africa and Canada has been the foundation and background for the success of The Headhunters and TempsAhead. As partner and co-founder, she built the company from scratch in 2009. In addition to her strong leadership skills, Danielle is also an excellent Career Development coach, having trained and developed staff for over 20 years. She is a frequent speaker, inspiring and educating audiences across Western Canada. Based in our Edmonton office, Danielle specializes in the recruitment of senior accounting and finance professionals.