If you’re looking to move up your company’s corporate ladder relatively quickly, the quickest way to do so is to become problem solver for your firm. You’ll need to be proactive, finding problems that need fixing before they even develop (or at least before anyone else knows they’re a problem). Problem solvers get hired before others and they get promoted more quickly than others. Bring in new revenue, create a new product, put together a process that makes production more efficient, etc. is truly a way to shine and get the notice of your superiors.
Yet there are other ways to get a promotion.
Opportunity — just being in the right place at the right time — also is a way to see yourself move up the rung a notch or two. These are situations where, for example, someone leaves your firm and you’re automatically the next in line for his or her slot.
However, it’s not always the case that the person next in line, or even the most qualified person gets the promotion — sometimes it truly is “who you know” and the person closest to he or she who decides on promotions gets the nod.
The takeaway? Make sure you not only exceed expectations and take it upon yourself to anticipate problems — and then create solutions — but be sure you have allies in “powerful” places. This isn’t to mean you should become a sycophant to higher ups just because you want to be promoted. Your ruse will be quite transparent and could easily backfire.
Instead, be friendly, cooperative and a go-getter. And be sure your boss and other managers know of your good deeds. Keep a log of your accomplishments and periodically send it do your boss. You’ll also want to have this document handy when it comes time for your yearly performance review.