5 Key Traits to Help You Get Promoted at Work

Are you someone who has been working at the same company for a while? Are you trying to develop your personal brand to get noticed for a promotion? Or are you still not sure what it takes to move up to the next level? Then this article is for you. We'll be sharing key traits to help you get that promotion, plus some other information that can help you climb the corporate ladder.

A common dilemma

You're a good worker. Bosses and managers know they can rely on you to get the job done. You are a good team player and well-liked in your department. But year after year, you get passed over for what you believe is a well-deserved promotion. Well, you're not alone. This situation is not an uncommon dilemma, and it happens in every kind of company and business. Regardless of how great you are at your job, how better qualified or more experienced you might be, someone else gets the promotion, either a colleague or a candidate from outside the company.


Consider your brand

So, why is it that other people are getting promoted and you're not? Well, part of it probably has to do with how you manage your personal brand. Perhaps you've misunderstood 'your brand' as something you can develop and then slip into as if it's a costume. This is a big mistake. Your personal brand is not just something you wear on the outside; it is knowing who you are, what you are capable of, and the value you bring to the organisation or situation you work in.


A popular misconception

Another cause for your lack of progress in the workplace could be that you suffer from the widespread misconception that if you're seeking a promotion, then you have to work harder. This is most definitely not the case. Of course, working hard is necessary for anyone to get on in life and in their career, but you should be bringing more than just sweat and effort to the table. Simply putting your head down and focussing solely on getting the job done is not enough to get you to the next level.


But all is not lost

Right now you are what your boss probably sees as a 'STRONG performer.' The secret to getting promoted to the next level is to convince them that you are a 'TOP performer.' Here are seven key traits you can adapt to help you do just that.


1. Be helpful to others

Top performers are constantly looking to help others. They are always willing to support their colleagues, the team, and people both above and below them. This doesn't mean that they say yes to everyone and take on every job handed to them. Top performers know how to prioritise and put their own important tasks first. So, keep your eyes open for opportunities to help out in your workplace, and when they arise, be sure to step up and offer your assistance whenever you can. Eventually, people will start coming to you more and more for help and guidance, and this will soon attract your boss' attention.


2. Know the difference between professional and serious

Some people try to avoid banter and light-hearted interaction with colleagues in the workplace. They prefer to head straight to their desk or cubicle, roll up their sleeves and get stuck into their work with the minimum of distraction. This can be considered an admirable work ethic, but over time, they run the risk of creating an overly serious image of themselves and can appear less approachable to their colleagues and even their bosses.


Such behaviour will not bode well if you're looking to become a team leader or head of your department. Beyond 'being serious,' you should evolve into 'being professional.' Being professional in this context means taking the time to interact with your colleagues, take the time to listen to what is going on in their lives, and share a little of what's going on in yours. Of course, these interactions should only happen at the appropriate time and in the right place, and getting the job done should always come first.


3. Get your work done before the deadline

The goal of a top performer is actually quite straightforward; to get their work done as efficiently as possible. Unlike average performers, they are not driven by outside pressure or deadlines. Instead, they are self-motivated to deliver high-quality work as quickly as they can. Sometimes, this will not be possible, but on the occasions when it is, you should implement this strategy in your workplace. It won't take long before your new, improved performance starts to become appreciated by those who matter.


4. Avoid office gossip

It's a strange quirk of office life that people who gossip are always under the impression that nobody knows they gossip. But in most companies, everyone, or at least the vast majority of people, know who the primary gossipers are. Top performers do not spend very much time with people who gossip because they very rarely share the same mindset. If you're looking for that next promotion, then you should be particularly wary of people who tell tales. And while you don't have to be rude to these tongue-waggers, it is better if you keep a safe distance.


5. Update your knowledge and skills

Strong performers tend to be really good at what they do. But they can fall into the trap of sticking to what they already know because they are afraid of change. This is not the kind of attitude that will help you move forward in your career. If you're not willing to learn new skills, advance your abilities or improve your knowledge in any way, then you will struggle to develop from a strong to a top performer.  But even worse than this, whenever something new comes along you will almost certainly feel out of your depth and run the risk of being completely left out.


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