Articles From the Team

How do I get a promotion at work?

Ultimately at some point in our life, we are going to attempt to go for a promotion; if might be a flashier title or maybe a pay rise Whatever it is, the vast majority of us are looking to climb the career ladder.

The question of how to get a promotion comes with no easy answer unfortunately. “Its hard work and grafting” according to Mo Farah.

Now I appreciate everyone is not heading for Gold Medal Olympic stardom, but below are a few hints and tips which will hopefully help along the way:

1. Develop relationships: A recent study found that 4 out of 5 people promoted had a mentoring relationship with someone higher in the company who helped spread the word about said person looking for promotion. Bear in mind your networks are not only external but internal within the firm. Make a name for yourself, but in a good way. The thought of missing an office party for me is a ridiculous idea (read: free booze!), but for some it’s a given that socialising outside of work is a no go. This is a fantastic place to network in an informal setting; build those relationships, make friends and get people talking about you.

2. Know your worth: Sometimes promotions are based upon performance. Within the legal field with chargeable hours and billing targets looming over our heads, the reality is an under performer will not be promoted over an over performer. Sometimes, to put it simply, those who get the results get ahead. But aside from smashing your targets, what else to you bring to the table? Can you think commercially? Do you know when to prioritise one matter or another, and what to spend 5 hours on or 5 minutes? As Benjamin Franklin once said, time is money.

3. Self promotion and self awareness: Modesty is a virtue! But with job hunting you won’t get anywhere if you can’t promote yourself. If you have major accomplishments, then tell people about them. Actively make it know you are seeking a promotion and why you feel you deserve one. You should be your own biggest fan, but also your own biggest critic. Do you know your weaknesses? Are you working on how to fix them? If you’ve paid attention to point 1, then you should be building relationships internally which means you will have someone already in your corner!

4. Smile!: Who would want to promote someone miserable? Be the positive influence in the office, don’t create the drama or be the problem maker; be the problem solver. As the person paying your wages, I think your boss wants to feel you actually enjoy your job! So smile despite your ever increasing workload and fast approaching deadlines, and show your boss you appreciate the opportunity. Stress, what stress?

5. Set yourself a plan: Most routes to progression now within a number of practices are very transparent and can be found on the intranet or shared database. However, if you don’t know how to get to the next level, ask! Most bosses will not want to lose you, and therefore should take the time to sit down with you and put in place a tailor-made development plan. At BCL Legal one of our key values is to make sure every day we take the time to plan and have the discipline to implement it!

If all of the above fails, and you still feel like you are hitting that glass ceiling, then please give me a call 0121 230 1020 or I specialise in placing legal professionals in disciplines across the East Midlands and Cambridgeshire.

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