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Getting promoted is great! It often includes new roles and responsibilities, a pay increase, maybe even some stake in what you’re making.

But how do you go about getting one? There doesn’t seem to be a “best method” for getting a promotion. Some get ahead through loyalty, hard work, others perhaps benefit from nepotism, or raw talent. In an effort to understand how we can get promoted let’s think about promotions as a subset of career development.

Career Development is a process

Career Development is the lifelong process of shaping your career. In most cases it involves education, a field of interest, stages of development, and is a NAVIGABLE PROCESS taking you towards an end goal.  Often we may not even comprehend what that end goal looks like, but we have an innate understanding of what the next move could be. Then we try to muster the courage or de-risk the next move until we can make it happen!

Since this process does not always follow a clearly defined path, we often discover the “next move” through opportunity discovery. Perhaps a former colleague emails you to tell you there’s a new position that just opened up in the company he just started working for. The role is a step up for you in both wage and authority and you jump on the opportunity by applying. You’ve moved into a new stage of your career development resulting from a relationship with a former colleague.

Widen your frame of context

Forming these broad networks of positive relationships within your field of interest directly correlates to more inbound opportunities. If others know and trust you, and know what you have to offer, they will introduce you to these opportunities.

In this way, your professional relationships are the well spring for understanding your career from a wider frame of context. With this increased context, small career moves seem smaller, and larger moves seem more attainable. Give it a try!

How to start:

  1. Ask to be sent to conferences. It’s the best way to meet people in your field of interest.
  2. Go to networking events in your city. Eventbrite.com and Meetup.com are great places to start looking.
  3. Start tweeting and following industry insiders. Inbound opportunities come at unexpected times, from unexpected places.
  4. Join Facebook groups. Find open or invite only Facebook groups in your field. (LinkedIn groups are wastelands)
  5. Make an effort to lookup the people you interact with through work email. Follow them on Linkedin/Twitter/Facebook. This includes both internal and external professionals.

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