Ambitious Introverts: 7 Simple Insider Tips to Get You Promoted

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Introvert or not, most of us are ambitious even if we don’t openly admit it. Certainly, the majority of us are always looking for more pay and growth.

However, sometimes a promotion seems elusive for us Ambitious Introverts, and we’re left not knowing exactly what to do next.

Does that sound like you?

If you’re pondering what your next move is to get promoted, consider following these tips. Just so you know, I’ve had hundreds of people reporting to me over the years, which mean evaluating them for possible promotion was ongoing.

Tip #1: Know Your Performance Expectations

All too many people are clueless about what is expected of them and how they will be measured. Rest assured that you are being measured even if it is only in the mind of your management. If you are barely meeting their expectations, you can’t expect a promotion until you get this basic in place for a while.

Tip #2: Know What It Takes to Get Promoted

Again, a simple task but overlooked by most. Go ask your management specific skills they would like to see from you to get you to that next level.

Tip #3: Take On More

Take on a task or project typically performed at the next level. This will not only show you have initiative but it will show you can perform at the next level.

Tip #4: Get Visibility to Your Accomplishments

It’s not enough to simply work hard and get great results. You need to ensure that your results are visible to the decision makers. Consider doing a status report or presentation if appropriate. If not those things, at least stop by their office and give them an update.

Tip #5: Take Responsibility

As you go up the food chain, you usually take on more responsibility. Demonstrate you are responsible for yourself and others by asking to lead a project or train someone.

Tip #6: Speak Up

A tough one for introverts many times is contributing to discussions. You can gain visibility by simply speaking up, but also it shows you’re engaged. No one likes to promote someone that doesn’t show interest or engagement in the work.

Tip #7: Get a Mentor

We aren’t always objective about what or how well we do things. It may not be any easier to hear improvement input from the boss. A well-chosen mentor should be able to tell you how you are doing in such a way that you will “hear” it and do something with it. Your mentor should be at a higher level than you and have enough experience and insight that they can help guide you toward your goals. A third party is seriously helpful to your career.

Make sure your expectations of a promotion are realistic to the business situation you are in. If the business is struggling or just had a layoff, it may be a while before anyone feels inclined to pay you more.

If you do a few simple things on a consistent basis and keep the lines of communication open with your management, you are well on your way to a bigger paycheck.

Bonus Tip:


What one thing will you do next to reach for your next promotion?

Image: Photobucket


About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.
  • kakungulu

    Thanks Dorothy, I’ll print and keep this one.
    One tip I want to contribute from my own experience: Tell management you’re interested in being promoted.
    It sounds self-understood to extroverts, but not so intuitive to us introverts.
    Case and point: I left one workplace and found myself in a very different organization with my former boss. This time we were peers, only working for different departments. He obviously had management experience, better education and overall more professional mileage than me. After about 3 years we were working for the same company, my manager told me that he was upset, because someone in his team got promoted to team leader over him. She told me this gossip because she was surprised, as everybody else, that he even wanted to get a managerial position. He never expressed interest in leading, so why did he expect to be considered? I reminded her that in our former place that was the default. You stay long enough, you get promoted. It’s not the general rule, obviously.

    The lesson I learned from this and own mistakes I made along the way was that it never hurts to tell management what you want. Don’t antagonize with fantastic demands (e.g. “I’d like to be the next president of the company. Do what you want with that”), but make sure that your direct manager is aware of where you want to be next or even in the long run (e.g. “In a couple of years, I’d like to be doing similar job to this guy. What tasks/training should I focus on?”). Letting management know about what you want is a good idea in general, not just for promotion. Contrary to popular belief, managers can’t read minds.Tell them what type of tasks you prefer, what company perks you covet etc. “I like creative problem solving and dislike maintenance. I want tuition reimbursement, stand/sit desk and company car, please.” They only said no to the company car. No hard feelings. Thanks!

    • SJ21

      I agree with this. I was in Project Management and was doing great but when I mentioned my interest in Operations Management to my boss, he was totally shocked but completely willing to let me try from ground up and let me run the floor as a supervisor for couple of weeks. I ended up moving to another better position but it was a great example of where I made myself heard.

  • Scott

    I’ve been following the first 6 tips my whole life and even though I’ve always exceeded the goals set for me, I have never been promoted. Finding a mentor is impossible. It’s not like you can pick one; they have to pick you and most people don’t care about helping anyone. That’s why companies always complain about not having any qualified candidates (especially for senior positions) because they haven’t bothered to groom anybody despite having loads of talented people in their organization. Good positions are so few that they are now handed out as gifts to friends and family whether or not they are capable.

    • SJ21

      HI Scott, I do feel sometimes society is biased towards extroverts but I do think that if you make your voice heard, it definitely helps. I would love to talk to you more about this. Would you like to have a 5 min chat with me on skype?

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