The Non Obnoxious Career Path

Published 10/05/2020

Getting a Promotion in the Best Way



Any office environment can be fraud with peril. Potential personal missteps that can hamper your career can appear at any time. You want to stand out, but doing it at the expense of someone else will more often than not come back to bite you in the future.


No one appreciates someone who brags about their accomplishments or who much they know. However, is your boss doesn't yet know how good you really are, how do you get them to notice you? How do you stand out without sticking out?


There are several ways to impress your boss without putting others down, bragging, our being seen as the office brown nose.


Jennifer Winter, writing in themuse, provides strategies on how to advocate for your own success in positive, non-confrontational ways. She writes "When you’re first starting a new job, or even a new role, it’s important not to make a big entrance right off the bat. For example, if you want to show off your Excel wizardry, simply declaring you’re the best in the land isn’t going to impress anyone.


Instead, start small and subtle. Craft your best spreadsheet possible for whatever project you’re working on, and ask your boss to take a look with you to make sure you’re on the right track. As your boss is reviewing your work, it will quickly become apparent you’ve got some talent in the spreadsheet department.


This is easily my favorite form of self-promotion, as it doesn’t require you to actually brag at all, and it allows your manager (or whomever you’re trying to impress) the opportunity to share her expertise with you as well. And who knows, you just might learn something new, too."


Put Yourself In Your Bosses' Shoes


If you think about it, one of the primary jobs a boss is tasked with is solving problems. That's why there were hired - they have the experience and expertise to keep the ship afloat and on course. As we all know, problem solving is hard. The last thing your boss needs is an employee walking into their office with another problem. What they REALLY want is someone who walks into their office with a solution.


If you want to impress your boss, get to know how things work, and using your knowledge and experience, tackle a problem, figure how how to solve it, and take it to your boss. (Note) Don't go in with some half-baked idea, warmed over solution, or a vague, ambiguous solution that simply forces more work on them. Bring a well thought-out, detailed, realistic approach to the meeting, also with what resources will be needed, how you can gather those resources, and offer to spearhead the endeavor with his guidance. Be sure to avoid looking like you are trying to take over. And, anticipate what her questions may be and have ready answers.


Finally, always be ready to acknowledge others' expertise and help. The quickest way to make enemies at work is to steal someone's ideas or to ignore their accomplishments while taking credit for someone else's efforts.


Just as you want to publicly recognize someone's work, don't let an overblown sense of humility stop you from letting you shine your own light when it's appropriate. Self-aggrandizing is never a good look, but honest acknowledgment of your own accomplishments makes you look confident without being obnoxious.


Promotions are hard to get and too many employees either simply expect that if they put in time, they'll move up in the organization and don't realize that it takes more than just longevity. It takes initiative, professionalism and the right mix of hard and soft skills.