Signs you are ready for a promotion 

What you need to know:

  • Being promotion-ready frames your thinking in a way that propels you to take initiative rather than simply being expectant and hopeful. 

You deliver and meet all deadlines. You are the department's go-to person for advice. Your department has downsized and you’ve taken on the workload. Your roles and responsibilities have exceeded what you originally applied for. 

Those are just four universal signs that you might be ready for a promotion. While there are differences across organisations on what merits a promotion, they are also not self-awarded. Your higher-ups make that call. But what you can do is focus on what I like to call being ‘promotion-ready’ and ask yourself what you want to see in the next chapter of your career journey.

Being promotion-ready frames your thinking in a way that propels you to take initiative rather than simply being expectant and hopeful. 

Consider these additional five qualities and pressure-test them in the context of your organisation. Take the time to also consider what other qualities are relevant in your industry to assess if you are promotion-ready.

You have innovative ideas that feed into the bigger picture. 

You see a better way of doing things and have proposed strategic ideas and improvements that have made an impact in the past. With a higher-altitude role, your ideas could move the organisation forward in the best way possible. Additionally, the feedback you get on your ideas is well received and recognised positively by your seniors. 

You are ready to take on more responsibilities

You work ahead of schedule and are seeking more challenging work. You’ve developed a good workflow and are able to prioritise tasks based on necessity.

You are battle-tested. 

You’ve been on the frontline of professional pressure and possess the foresight and experience to handle new tasks at a higher level. You're known to step up when challenges present themselves. 

You are dependable. 

You focus on completing tasks at hand rather than working to watch the clock. You have proven yourself to be reliable time and time again. 

Lastly, you have a good rapport with the team. 

You are not necessarily “work besties” with everyone on your team, but you strive to treat everyone fairly and with kindness. While these qualities indicate readiness for a promotion, it’s crucial to remember that promotions are ultimately decided by your superiors and influenced by various factors beyond your control.

Maintaining a balance between demonstrating your readiness and managing expectations is key. Being ‘promotion-ready’ is not just about being qualified; it’s about preparing yourself mentally and professionally for the next step, regardless of when it might come.

Keep pushing forward and excel in your current role. Keep sharpening those qualities that make you an indispensable part of your team. Be proactive. Seek out feedback. Align your career aspirations with the broader goals of your organisation.

By doing this, you're not just waiting around for a promotion. You're actively positioning yourself as the obvious choice when the opportunity arises. You're not just hoping for that next step—you’re prepared for it, ready to seize it, and equipped to excel at it.

This isn't about wishful thinking. It's about taking deliberate action every day to make sure you're the best candidate for advancement. So, stay focused, stay driven, and make sure you're ready when the moment comes. You've got this!

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