Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away

Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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Promotion is a goal that a lot of high-achieving working professionals want to achieve. It is a symbol of success and progression up your career ladder. It is a solid recognition for your achievements within your career.

It is in many people’s New Year Resolution to fast track their career this year in 2018.  

Have you tried to fast track your career but feel stuck and wonder why your colleagues are getting more recognition than you?

This article will give you guidance on some of the best ways to stand out from your colleagues. If you haven’t taken any action yet, there will be 10 actionable step that you can implement right away starting tomorrow.

Promotion doesn’t just come without actively drawing your attention to your manager to your boss. Where do we draw a line between actively ‘selling’ yourself and ‘standing out’ from the crowd to be noticed?

Let’s dive into the 10 actionable steps that you can use right away to stand out from your colleagues without upsetting your colleagues or come across as pushy.

1. Dress Up
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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The way you dress is a statement of who you are. Human brains are designed to make a split second judgement of your capabilities based on the way you dress. Someone who is nicely dressed and groomed on a daily basis will inevitably perceived as someone more competent and highly skilled.

A less well known effect of dressing up is that dressing formally can help you focus and improve your confidence.

By dressing up for work, you are effectively doing yourself two favors simultaneously to influence both your work performance and the impression you give.

2. Punctuality and Work Ethics
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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People who arrive and leave work on time is often seen as someone who is responsible and competent in what you do. It is important to note that this works for both arriving and leaving work. The effect of arriving to work on time is very well known – you will come across as disorganized and lack of commitment to work.

Unless there is something that is seriously out of control – like an emergency – there should be no excuses for constantly arriving to work 5-10 minutes late.

Aim to arrive work 15 minutes earlier and you will soon thank yourself for keeping this habit when you can still arrive on time after driving through a congested road.

On the other hand, leaving work on time is very often associated with the inability to complete allocated work on time. The mentality of staying over time to be noticed as a hard worker is out of date.

Doing so can very easily be viewed as incompetent at finishing work within allocated time frame. How can your boss trust you to finish the work once you take on a higher responsibility and work load (i.e once you are promoted)?

Don’t fall into the game of working over time just to please your boss. You will be much better off in the long run showing that you can work smart rather than hard.

3. Take Initiative for Extra Responsibilities
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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If you have another 5+ colleagues doing the same role as you, take initiative on extra responsibilities. This doesn’t have to be a huge responsibility boost – it can be as simple as summarizing everyone’s work into one document at the end of the week, or taking on a portion of the project that people don’t like.

Most average workers tend to allocate equal work amongst themselves so that everyone feels balanced. That’s great in theory, but if you actually take initiative for more responsibilities, you are ultimately the one that will stand out while other average colleagues are happy to do less work than you. It’s a win-win situation.

4. Live Up to Your Words
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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Once you promises to take on responsibilities, you need to live up to it. Set realistic goals and targets that you can reach. It is much more important to show that you can achieve 20 small but realistic goals, rather than aiming for one massive but unrealistic goal that you do not reach in the end.

Reaching goals after goals will portray a characteristic of trustworthiness, and reliability. Build a record of your reliability with the goals you promise and you will very soon stand out as the go-to person for specific business needs.

5. Go One Extra Step
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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Bosses and managers love it when they see you go one step further and do extra research, learning or planning without them having to nag you. It is a sign of you taking ownership of your own personal development and your ability to reach a solution independently. If you can take the stress off your supervisor/manager/boss, then they will see this and appreciate it.

Go even one step further and always do an excellent job delivering amazing result time after time then you will be noticed very easily. You can easily leverage this achievement as a strong point as to why you should be promoted when the performance review comes.  

6. Achieve Results That Matters For The Company
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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People like to achieve certain goals that they value such as clearing your email inbox by the end of the day, being the first one to finish a set amount of workload, or hearing at least 1 compliment a day from your manager. These are achievements that can boost your confidence and self-satisfaction, but how much of that translate a ‘value’ for the company?

You will only start to become visible to the boss when you starting bringing in value for the company. Find out what results matter for the company – is it the revenue? Is it the client number? Is it client retention rate? Learn to speak in the phases and wordings that your boss cares about.

Achieving results that matters for the company is the most effective way for your boss to measure your success and this strategy itself can score you a promotion with a pay rise up to 38%.

7. Throw In Ideas
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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Many times people come up with great ideas that can actually change company for the better. Unfortunately, due to the employer-employee relationship, most don’t speak up. People feel scared to input ideas because they don’t want to make themselves look like a fool suggesting something the company doesn’t care about.

Truth is, A LOT of managers and bosses love to hear what you have to say – provided you say it right. Present your ideas in a well structured and friendly way.

Let them know what X idea you have because of how it can solve problem Y, and how that will bring Z value to the company. You will be viewed as an active thinker for the company.

8. Show Interest In The Company’s Growth And Your Seriousness To Stay
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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Sometimes you may feel lost whether this effort of getting noticed at your current workplace is worth it and whether it would be best to change a company and start fresh. Or you may be wondering whether you can really get the pay rise you want after the promotion.

No matter what goes on through your mind, remember to constantly show interest in your company. Don’t disclose any unhappiness about the company to your colleagues or your manager – you never know who that negative comment will be passed on to.

Promoting an employee can be costly so your boss needs to see your seriousness in your commitment within the company before you can even be considered for a promotion.

9. Connect With Your Manager
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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It is important to follow instructions and orders from your manager but it is also important to be able to connect with them at a more social level. Make them feel like you are an outgoing person who is easy to talk and can freely bounce ideas around.

When considering who to be promoted, 99% of the time your boss will ask your manager for feedback on who stands out more, or more specifically whether you stand out. If your manager feel that you are just a hard worker and nothing else, you will most likely be categorized as the ‘worker’ and that’s it.  

10. Ask For It!
Stand Out For A Promotion :10 Actionable Steps You Can Implement Right Away
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Set up a meeting with your manager and bring to their attention that you are keen to take on more responsibility. Ask what would be appropriate for you to take on, and discuss about the possible career pathway for you within the company. This is a friendly discussion that can give a hint that you are keen to move up the ladder.

There is no direct ask here – this initial conversation should just be how you can improve and what career pathway is out there. Show your curiosity and interest.

Majority of the time your manager would be happy to guide you in the right direction on how to improve your performance. The next time a position opens up you will on the top of the list simply because you have raised their awareness that you may potentially want to move up the ladder.

Better yet, if you have done a fantastic job at delivering valuable results for the company and stood out with the above 9 points, your boss may also consider creating a position just for you.


Getting noticed is definitely not as easy as downloading an app to solve a problem on the phone – it takes effort and time to build your reputation up within the company.

You can speed up this process with the action steps above and fast track your way to a more successful career. Get in there and start making a difference now!

Author: Eric Hu

Eric Hu is a blogger who aims to help high achieving working professionals move up the ladder within their career and fast track their way to a more fulfilling life. He has helped people land their dream job, score a promotion and excel to a 6-figure income to reach a more fulfilling life. He can be reached at Growth And Career View all posts by Eric Hu