How to Get Promoted
I want you to take personal responsibility for what you do at work and over-communicate like crazy. That's the formula to being good at your job. The same rules apply when it comes to getting promoted. I promise you, I can help you get promoted in one year. I don't care where any of you are in your careers, I promise you I can get you promoted in one year. I came just short of giving a money back guarantee on my book, my wife wouldn't let me do that. But I promise, wherever you are in your career, if you follow this advice, you can get promoted in a year, and maybe sooner, whatever the case may be, and actually the point doesn't matter. Whether it's 12 months, 10, or 16, life goes on, okay? I know in the moment it feels scary, but the point is to get that promotion and keep going. All right, so let's get into it. The first step to getting promoted, set super small, super specific goals. The first step to getting promoted is setting goals and a lot of people are so anxious to get promot...
ed, they skip this step, and they just go, no no, I don't have time to set goals, I just wanna get promoted and they just storm into their bosses' office and go, I wanna get promoted! And everyone's looking at him just like oh my gosh, calm down. Chill out, that's not how you do it. You don't make a lot of noise, okay? The point is get aligned with your manager and make a game plan. That's what the goals are. Now, one of the things that's really important about getting promoted is you've gotta move it out of the friend zone and you gotta move it into the qualitative zone, okay? So, friend zone is you're letting people's emotions and their feelings guide whether you're gonna get promoted or not. Does your boss like you? Do they generally feel like you're doing a good job? Do they think they should promote you or not? Those are feelings. You need to move it out of that zone and into the zone that says if I do these three things, I get promoted. That's what you need to happen. And the only way to do that is to be really, really specific. 'Cause if I go to my manager and go hey, I'm gonna increase sales. They're like great, and then I increase sales but who's to say what's the scale for one promotion? Hey, I increased sales 3% and they're like 3%? Who cares? But I said I would increase sales. Like no, what you say to your manager is hey, I'm gonna increase sales 25% by Q2. Okay. If your boss signs off on it, now you know the rules. Now, the only question is can you go do it? That's a better game to play 'cause then when you do do it, there's no question. There's no emotions, there's no friend zone. When you say hey, I'm gonna improve inner office relationships, what does that mean? That's just gobbledygook. It's like hey, how did you do on goal number two, improving inner office relationship? It's like well, I don't know, I feel pretty good about it, you know, Nicole's nice and Brian's nice to me now. It's like what? That doesn't make sense. So, instead you wanna say hey, I'm gonna have one-on-one meetings with all my direct reports and I'm setting up monthlies with all of my peers so that we can work on projects and I'm gonna seek feedback in this way. Now, all of a sudden, I've moved into the qualitative zone and it's like boom, if I do those things and keep all the weekly one-to-ones, keep the monthly meetings, at the end of the time period, they're gonna say I gotta give it to him, he did it, specifically black and white, he checked the list. Does that make sense? The other thing that you need to do is pick a day, when do you wanna get promoted? You've gotta smoke it out 'cause it's no good to just be like I wanna get promoted and let's see what happens. You need to be thoughtful about it, you need to think about it and then you need that's the same thing as thoughtful, by the way. I told you to repeat yourself, sorry about that. But you need to think about it and give a proposal to your boss. Be like I wanna get promoted by August. And all of the inputs there are you know when promotions go on, or you know when your promotion was. It's a little bit of a feel thing, there's also a structure to it, but put it out there and align it with these super specific goals and be like I really wanna get promoted by August, here's the goals I've set for myself, here's what I wanna do. And at that moment, your boss gets a look at and go the goals are great but I gotta tell you we just promoted you last week so we're not gonna promote you three months from now. It's like hey, the goals are great but then let the boss say I think more realistic is February. Now, maybe you don't wanna know that it's February, maybe you wish it was August. But at least you've opened the conversation and set expectations. Now, if you wanna push back respectfully against the timing and say hey, I'm just curious what would it take to make it August? And they'd be like honestly, you would have to increase sales by 15%. You're like okay, cool. I at least know the rules of the game. Or it'd be like you know what? We're not doing well as a business, so there's gonna be no promotions this year but I think it's gonna open up in February. You're like okay, cool. That's actually not even me, it's the company. Okay, that feels okay. You've gotta get it out there and find out what they're thinking. If you haven't had the conversation to talk about promotions you're not gonna get promoted. Promotions should not be a surprise ending, okay? So, take control of the situation by setting super small super specific goals. Let me give you one more example of a bad goal. A one year, I wanna increase sales for a year. That's too long and it doesn't mean anything. Set smaller goals of one month or three months, okay? Now, let's keep moving. One of the other things about getting promoted is it's not just about you. People think it's just about them and they're like everyone's looking at me thinking about me, everything's about me. The truth is it's not about you. And it's not about you and your boss. It's about your boss' boss, it's about HR, it's about other peers and coworkers and what they think about you. More people, more problems. So now, promotion's got way more complicated 'cause it's not just you and it's not just your boss. So, one of the things you need to ask yourself, you well, let me just say this first. You will not get promoted if your boss doesn't endorse your candidacy. So, trying to go over their head is a losing formula. Stop it, fix your relationship, get them on your team and get going, okay? Second thing is does your boss' boss even know your name? Most of the time they don't. Think about that. What are you doing to build that relationship? You need to be on the radar in some way. And by the way, I'm not asking you to set up meetings with them and try and be like a climber who's just like trying to meet people. That's annoying. No one likes that person. Instead, does the person know your name? One way to get them to know your name what's your hobby outside of work? What are you famous for in the office? When I was a beekeeper, more people talked to me about being a beekeeper than about the results of last quarter. I mean, here I am working so hard to deliver great results, and actually all the CEO wanted to talked about, he goes hey, I heard you have bees on your roof. I was like yeah, that's me. I was like oh, the CEO knows my name. Actually he didn't know my name, but he knew of me. And so when someone goes to say we are promoting Justin, they go who's Justin, they go he's the beekeeper guy. Oh yeah, I know him. He smiled at me once. That's all it takes. I'm not asking you to move mountains. I'm just telling you make sure people know who you are. HR's gonna be a critical factor in this. How often do you meet with HR? Usually people don't meet with HR 'cause they're like it's only if you're in trouble. My advice is you've gotta meet with HR once a quarter just to check in and have a relationship. They're gonna be in meetings you don't know about. They're gonna be in conversations about promotions you have no idea were coming. If they know you're looking for a promotion, they bring that information into the room. Do you have a relationship with the HR? If you don't, go get one. The next thing I have to say is go to court. You need to present your case for being promoted not on the tennis court, I just took this 'cause I was at the US Open last year, it was really fun. You need to go to court like you're a trial lawyer. You need to build your case. It's not about sitting back and be like I wonder if they're gonna promote me. That means you're giving up on your ability to influence a situation. Instead, you need to do the work. Summarize all your accomplishments, put them in an email with bullet points, set up a meeting with your boss, sit with your boss, walk them through and say hey, I wanted to give you a recap of everything I've accomplished this year. It's written down in bullet points, it's really easy. This is easy for you, boss, to take to your boss when you go into the promotion conversations. 'Cause what usually happens is bosses are so busy they forget to put that list together. They get in the promotion room, they run out of a meeting, they're in a promotion room, they're like should we promote Justin? And the person sitting going yes, I think we should. And they're like why? And they're like you know, 'cause I think he deserves it. That's not gonna change anyone's mind. If instead the answer is yes, you know what, let me just pull up this email I've got actually I'm handing this out to everyone, let me forward you this email, here is his key accomplishments. My boss can suck, but I did his work for him and I wrote the email with the bullet points that at that moment he showed up and he could get me that promotion. So, it's about you doing the work and timing is important. End of your promotions don't happen on January 1st. The conversations start all the way back at the beginning of November. So, start making your recap list in October. Set up a meeting and say hey boss, I wanna check in on my promotion. Check in. This should not be a surprise ending. You have the power when you talk about it. It doesn't mean every day you're talking about my promotion, but you check in quarterly to be like hey, are we still on track? Hey, is there anything I can do better? Hey, do you have any advice for me? Don't sit back and say no news is good news. That's not the case when it comes to promotion.