How to Set Yourself Up for Promotion

Focus on these areas to climb the corporate ladder.

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Lindsay Olson
When are you next up for promotion?

LinkedIn released interesting data recently about the best months of the year to get a promotion. In the United States, the most popular months are January, June, and July. Since June and July are right around the corner, now’s a good time to think about how to set yourself up for good news.

Of course, a promotion isn’t automatic. You have to prove that you’re a problem-solver who is ready to take on more responsibilities, and that you've worked hard to deserve that next step.

Here are a few areas to focus on that will help you climb the corporate ladder this year:

1. Build relationships.

Just like most job opportunities occur through referrals, your next promotion is likely to be influenced by how well your colleagues perceive you and your work. In addition to your smarts, problem-solving abilities, and an accomplished track record, your relationships within the company will help pave your way to the next level.

[See How Perfectionism Hurts Your Career.]

2. Demonstrate your value to the company.

In as much detail a possible, keep a record of how your efforts have helped the company. Take note of all of your accomplishments as they happen and quantify them. Show how you saved your company $100,000 or reduced spending by a certain percentage, and record these accomplishments regularly. If not, you risk forgetting them. These notes will not only help you build a better case for a promotion, they’ll also set you up for a solid transition to a new company when it comes time to take that route.

3. Ask for it.

Don’t sit around waiting for your manager to offer you new opportunities. Your career progression isn’t his top priority; it’s only your top priority. Make an effort to ask for more responsibility and show your company that you’re ready and interested to learn new skills. And when you ask for what you want, be prepared with to make a strong case for yourself by showing your value to the company and having co-workers who support you.

[For more career advice, visit U.S. News Careers, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.]

4. Keep score online.

Use online tools to stay in front of your boss, mentors, and colleagues who will help you move along your career path. Experts at LinkedIn suggest one way of doing this is to document the milestones in your career by requesting quality recommendations. If a client praises you for your work on a specific project, ask if they feel comfortable writing you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Not only does it look good on your profile, but your network will be notified of your recent recommendation, which reminds them what a great job you’re doing.

Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs, a niche job board for public relations, communications and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.