Professional Development

5 Traits of People Who Always Get Promoted

Written by Peter Jones

Ever feel like you’re doing all the right things, but watching everyone around you advance while you’re still stuck spinning your wheels?

Here are 5 things that successful people—you know, the ones getting all of those promotions every year—seem to have in common.

1. They Have a Strategy

Rather than continuing to apply blindly up the ladder, highly successful (and highly promoted) people tend toward a more strategic approach. They choose jobs not based on simply getting to the next rung up, but on their particular strengths. And they have their next move already in mind. They figure out what their next job should be before applying to a new one. That way they’re always thinking about the skills and experiences they should be building now to move seamlessly towards their next position.

2. They Say No

You may think that you need to say “yes” to every proposed project in order to get ahead, but that’s not true. Truly successful people (even Warren Buffett) know that picking their projects and their battles—and prioritizing what they need to do to end up where they need to be—is the better strategy. They’re ruthless and discriminating in their choices.

3. They Know How to Handle The Boss

Successful people realize their bosses hold the key to their advancement. If a boss is getting in the way, they find a way around it. They work their bosses, using “we” language and getting involved in what matters most to the person in charge of their next career steps. They challenge their bosses and gain their respect. Consequently, their bosses know when to promote them.

4. They Keep Proof of Their Successes

Successful professionals know they need hardcore proof that they are capable for their next job. They’re always strategizing how to work on projects that will impress their next boss as much as their current one. They don’t rest on their laurels or pursue extraneous education. They just build up a laundry list of proof that shows they are ready to take things to the next level.

5. They Make an Impression

The most successful people understand that, in order to get anywhere in office life, they have to build influence. This doesn’t mean backstabbing or politicking. It just means: comporting themselves with integrity, honesty, and professionalism. They build relationships with the people and institutions that can make a lasting difference in their careers.

About the author

Peter Jones