How to Get a Promotion (The Hard Way)

This video started as a response to a question about getting ahead on minimum wage. But I quickly realized that my advice for someone working an entry level job is the same I would give myself today to get noticed.

The short version is you need to become your boss’s most responsible and reliable employee.

Here’s a few ways you can do that:

  1. Show up early or on time for every single shift. No excuses.
  2. Always be working. Even when things are slow, never stop doing. Depending on your line of work that might mean cleaning or organizing, stocking, or even just smiling and greeting. (When all of your co-workers are on their phones, you be doing side work.)
  3. Be a good co-worker. Being unlikable will cast a shadow on all of the hard work you’re doing. Do the things that make their jobs easier, even if it makes yours more difficult.

Once you’ve proven yourself responsible, you’re ready to become a silent influencer. Silent influencers are the ones who are quick to perform and slow to take credit. The raise themselves up by bringing everyone around them with them. (Example in video)

Once you have influence, you’ll be given more responsibility and opportunities to prove yourself. Now is the time to step up and perform. You need to become INVALUABLE. We are not paid for our time, we’re paid for the value we create. Make sure you provide more value for your boss then you are paid for. Only then are you in a position where you can confidently ask for a promotion and raise.

UPDATE: One of our subscribers dhawkins0000able had some great tips to add to the list. Here they are:

1) Show up. Be on time, if not early.–Sounds simple…it is. Don’t call in sick 5min before your shift…call as early as possible.
2) Volunteer. Sometimes managers would let us pick from a list of closing duties…picked the hardest, nastiest, or dirtiest (cleaning floor drains, grease vents)–This helps you stand out as a “go-getter” and “hard-worker”.
3) Ask. Express an interest in becoming a shift leader (advancement), and work toward it (learn SOPs).
4) Be Flexible. Often, the more flexible with your schedule, the more opportunities you will be able to accept. Would you be ready if a 3rd shift supervisor slot became available?
5) Attitude. Smile, and act like you want to be there. Nobody likes to be around people who just sap the energy right out of you.

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