career advice
Moving up the proverbial career ladder is never easy. Being a diligent, hard-working person will only get you so far, and landing that promotion you’ve been chasing may require a bit of strategy. In a terrific Daily Muse post titled “4 Subtle Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Chances for a Promotion,” MIT career development specialist Lily Zhang highlights some tiny things many people do wrong. Below is our takeaway — tips for avoiding those mistakes. Read on — and good luck!

1. Impress Your Bosses and Your Coworkers — While the higher-ups at your workplace will ultimately decide whether you get a promotion, you can’t spend all of your time brown-nosing and currying favor with people in power. You’ll appear to be “running for office,” as Zhang puts it, and you might take on a reputation as a ruthless go-getter willing to crush others on your way to the top. The solution: Think about how your actions will be interpreted; if you get promoted, you’ll likely continue working with the same people.

2. Don’t Neglect Your Current Job — When you’re trying to paint yourself as promotion-worthy, there’s a tendency to take on new projects and try to prove yourself with some next-level business. That’s fine, but make sure you don’t let your present duties fall by the wayside. “You won’t make a very compelling case for yourself to take on a greater role in the team if you can’t even manage your current assignments,” Zhang writes.

3. Make Your Efforts Known — You’ve been coming in early, leaving late, and taking on all sorts of new projects. You’re destined for that promotion, right? Maybe not. As Zhang writes, you can’t depend on others to notice what you’ve been up to. You need to toot your horn, and to that end, Zhang suggests “setting aside time to talk about and celebrate team successes with your manager.” There’s a way to do it without looking like a braggart.

4. Devise a Post-Promotion Plan — If you get a new job within the company, who will do your old one? While Zhang admits there’s something presumptuous about creating a plan for how someone will transition into your role, it’s a crucial step many people overlook. Just think how prepared and professional you’ll seem when the moment comes.