While some people are quite happy to stay in their current positions, others dream of getting a promotion at work. Recent graduates start working at the bottom of the ladder hoping that they will eventually be able to climb up to the top. However, not everybody is lucky enough to get a promotion, and even those who get one will often wait for years before having the opportunity. If your goal is to become a manager or supervisor (or even the CEO of a company), there are several things you can do to improve your chances.

Work for a company where there is room to grow

Most companies will have team leaders, supervisors, managers and senior managers, so there is a clear route to the very top of the ladder. Schools, for example, hire teachers, heads of departments, heads of year groups, deputy head teachers, head teachers and many other roles in between. Starting at the bottom as a teacher means that you’ll become aware of any vacancies for higher positions. In time, it’s possible to get to the very top and become the head teacher of the entire school. However, other careers might not be so clear-cut, for example, if you don’t have the necessary qualifications to become a manager of a particular company or if the business has been family-run for years. If you’re in a job where you don’t feel like there is any growing room, maybe it’s time to look around for a new one.

Keep a positive attitude

Even though you might not be applying for a higher position just yet, your bosses will be watching you to see what you’re like in the work place. If you’re one of the employees who always seems to be complaining about one thing or another, or you don’t seem happy in your work environment, you’re very likely to be bottom of their list when they look for somebody to promote. Similarly, you might be a positive person but are quite content with doing the bare minimum required for your position. Again, employers look for people who take initiative and are willing to go the extra mile. If you enjoy doing your job, it won’t seem like hard work to do a few extra tasks or try to help out a little more. Don’t become over-confident and try to take over, but start to think like a leader way before you’re even considered for a promotion.

People in higher positions often have to meet more people, conduct meetings, hold interviews and do many other tasks which involve interacting with others. When companies promote employees to a higher rank, they’re looking for those that seem to be professional. While you should maintain good hygiene, dress appropriately and act in a polite manner all the time when at work, you should try extra hard if you’re going for a promotion. Show your bosses that you have the potential to be a leader who not only acts professionally, but also looks professional. If you’re not sure what you can improve on, have a look at those in the higher positions and observe what they wear. Dressing well can also have a dramatic influence on your self-confidence, which will make you seem more desirable for a higher position.

Have a professional appearance

Be a likeable person

In any business or organization, it’s easier for everybody if those in charge of others have a winning personality. When employers hire leaders and managers, one of the key qualities they look for is a friendly and approachable personality. When you start a job in a new place, be friendly to everybody, no matter how high or low they are within the business. Join your colleagues for a drink after work, or get involved in the weekend clubs they may have. Attend the Christmas parties and accept invitations to any birthday parties and other celebrations which other employees may be hosting. Not only will this make your job more exciting and enjoyable, but you’ll stand a much higher chance of getting a promotion if people actually like you within the company. The bosses will be looking for somebody who has the respect of others.

As much as employers like those are who honest, likeable, professional and humble, they’re also looking for enthusiastic candidates. Your colleague might be much more organized than you and have a few years of extra experience, but if you’ve got the drive and the passion that he’s missing, you’re likely to become the preferred choice. Once you feel comfortable enough with your supervisor, let them know that you’d love to be considered for a promotion if any vacancies become available in the future. Don’t be afraid to ask for some tips which may improve your chances of getting the promotion – this shows that you’re willing to take advice and ready to improve yourself.

Show interest in a promotion

Do you want a pay raise without the promotion?

Some people are quite happy to stay where they are in a company, but would appreciate a little extra cash at the end of the month. Getting a bigger salary without moving up in the company is only really possible when you have been working for several years and have been a consistently good employee.

In some cases, your boss will invite you for an informal meeting and tell you that you’ll be getting a pay raise on account of your great performance. However, if you want to try and get one yourself, you’ll need to arrange to see your boss and persuade him/her that you’re worth more money.

The key is to prove to your boss that the company would be substantially worse off without you. Jot down your achievements during your recent time in the company, and include reviews and testimonials from clients or other bosses. Ask yourself if you honestly believe you deserve a pay raise or you’re just trying to get lucky.

Many employees get pay raises after being offered a job with another company. If this is the case and you are very tempted to accept the new job, speak to your current boss. If he/she is aware of how good an employee you are, they may try to persuade you to stay by offering you a larger salary.

Whether you want a promotion or a pay raise (or both!), the secret in any company is to be hard-working, quick-thinking, approachable and professional. Be enthusiastic and if you don’t get what you want the first time around, don’t give up!