Want to be Promoted? Display These 4 Qualities

May 25, 2017

If you are ambitious, you don't need to suck up or sabotage others to be promoted. Just embody these four characteristics.

Most of us want to be promoted to one role or another. Advancement comes with more money, more influence, more control over your day-to-day tasks; just to name a few perks.

But actively working to be promoted feels a bit sleazy. You don’t want to be one of those people who is sucking up to the boss, acting fake or – worst of all – making others look bad in an effort to make yourself look better.

The good news is you don’t have to do those things to be promoted. Instead, it starts with doing great work, as it’s very difficult to get a better job if you are struggling in your current one.

But, beyond that, you need to embody four key qualities, LinkedIn Learning Instructor Chris Croft said in his course, Handling Workplace Change as an Employee. And it’s even easy to remember what those four qualities are: together, they form the acronym P.E.A.R.

The four qualities are:

1. Positive

Nobody wants to be around someone who is negative, who complains about everything. And that type of person has very little chance of being promoted.

Instead, be enthusiastic about new ideas and encourage others on the team, Croft said. Positive people also tend to focus more on the present and the future than the past, he added. And when they do see a flaw, they point it out – but with the intention of fixing it, not to one-up someone else.

2. Easy to work with

High maintenance people are people too obsessed with themselves. That’s the exact opposite of a strong manager, who put the needs of others ahead of their own.

Hence, you want to be easy to work with, particularly if you want to be promoted up to management positions. A high maintenance person is sending a signal that they don’t fully get it. Conversely, someone who is easy to work with is sending the opposite message, and increases your chances of getting promoted.

3. Appear in control

People who are overly emotional or always stressed appear as if they can barely handle the job they have. How are others expected to believe they can handle a bigger job?

Instead, organizations are looking for people who are calm, people who have control over their emotions, to become their leaders. 

4. Reliable

Similar to the last point, if you don’t hit deadlines, if you are disorganized or if you are constantly late, you send the message you can barely handle the job you have. Even if you are doing great work, it makes it hard to justify promoting you to a bigger job.

Instead, organizations today want someone who is reliable, someone they can count on. For management positions, often organizations will favor someone who is reliable often over someone who is particularly talented.

So don’t shoot yourself in the foot by missing deadlines or being disorganized. By coming through on your commitments, you vastly increase the chances of getting promoted.

The takeaway

If you embody these four qualities, you are going to build up trust within your organization. And trust is essential, as being promoted ultimately comes down to leadership trusting you to take on a bigger job.

So it’s okay to want to be promoted, to want that next big role – you shouldn’t feel guilty about that and you shouldn’t think you have to act sleazy to achieve it. Instead, you need to do great work and embody these four characteristics, and promotion will come.

Want to learn the skills that’ll help you advance your career? Some other LinkedIn Learning courses you might be interested in are: