On getting promoted

Dear Profit Prophet,

How do I get promoted? I really enjoy my work, perform better than my colleagues and take on more than they do, but several are politically tied to the people who make the decisions at my workplace. It seems insurmountable.  

Dear Motivated,

What you are saying about politics is not an unreasonable belief about the way things work. However, neither is it law or the absolute truth.

First, I would recommend dropping the word “insurmountable” from your thought dictionary. It is a belief that will not serve you and could be an obstacle to pursuing your goal. There are things you can do. 

To be outstanding, first you must stand out … but how? Your boss already expects you to do a good job, so that is just not enough. However, you can stand out with your drive and confidence. Inform the people that can make a difference in your growth and development something like the following:

“Boss, I want you to know how I value this company. I am committed to doing my best and whatever it takes for us to excel. Please let me know what I can do to further contribute to you and develop myself.”

Bosses do not hear that every day. Stating your drive with confidence and enthusiasm will set you apart. People can’t read our minds, and mentioning your desired succession plan once yearly gets forgotten. Use your language, as well as your actions, to affirm your commitment and intention.