An executive coach says there's a creative strategy for earning a promotion — but too many people ignore it

@telyfotoMake sure you have champions besides your manager, says Erica Keswin, pictured.
  • You have a better chance of earning a promotion if you have supporters throughout your organisation.
  • That’s why workplace strategist Erica Keswin recommends joining employee resource groups – such as a group for millennials – and taking on leadership positions within them.
  • You might also volunteer for side projects, outside your current role and responsibilities.

Erica Keswin calls it “playing the long game.”

If you know you’d like to be promoted within the next year, you’ve got to start thinking – and talking – about your plan today.

Keswin is a workplace strategist, a former executive coach at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and the author of the forthcoming book “Bring Your Human to Work.” When she works with clients on taking the next steps in their career, she recommends that they build relationships throughout their organisation.

That way, Keswin said, “you have champions in other areas” – not just your manager and your team.

Keswin said a great way to forge those relationships is to join employee resource groups – for example, a group for women or for millennials. “Maybe you go in there and you take on a leadership role and you help plan events and you connect with the people,” she said.

These are all ways of “broadening your reach within an organisation” (in addition to supporting a cause you’re passionate about or learning more about it).

Another piece of earning a promotion is simply communicating with your boss, Keswin said, and being specific about what it is that you want.

“Do you want a higher title? Do you want more money?” she said. If you want a promotion because you feel like you’re stagnating and not growing, find a way to convey that.

You might also consider volunteering for projects outside your current role and responsibilities.

Keswin gave an example of how you might frame the request to your manager: “The sales role has been great, but when I look forward, I would love to get exposed to different areas in the company. I know there may not be a role currently in marketing, but I would be open to doing a project even on the side of my current job.”

Keswin said, “It comes back to knowing who you are and what you want.”

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