The hardest part is to start. And that applies to everything. Can you recall the first time you enthusiastically stepped into the office eager to start working at your new job, ready to learn new things and crash your goals? If you are in that place in your career when you are ready for the next step, for the long-waited promotion – that is probably how you feel right now again.

These kinds of feelings are normal and exciting and may pop up in our mind first thing in the morning making us want to jump out of the bed and win the day. What interferes with these emotions is the fear of not getting the promotion, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of risking the job, and so on. When it comes to fear, our mind is limitless.

But to conquer that fear, we really need to focus on our strengths and our beliefs. The question imposes itself: “How can I ask for the promotion when I’m not ready to risk?”

Many people have found themselves in this state and used different ways to handle it. There are people who have no hesitation when it comes to asking for what they believe they deserve. Unfortunately, only few people are like this, and for the rest, getting a promotion is a battlefield.

Thankfully, years of experience and studying human behavior have led to a clear image on how to achieve what you want without being uncomfortable with it. Let us teach you how to make your dreams come true and get the desired and well-deserved promotion.

THE ART OF ASKING WITHOUT ASKING

Nowadays, being straightforward is well-valued characteristic. In the past times, autocratic type of leadership was the only known type and being direct in speaking and actions was a natural thing for each leader – better say boss. In years that followed, this changed a lot.

After the industrial revolution, the type of leadership became one of the main topics amongst scientists. This led to forming a number of theories, which all have different approaches, but also one thing in common – the employees started to matter more and it was not about autocratic appearance anymore, but about common orientation towards goals.

Employees started to feel more included, as their opinion mattered and wanted to contribute even more. Probably all of us can agree that this work environment is well represented in most of the companies and many would say – a minimum condition we’re looking for when  looking for a new job.

This change in work culture had its downsides too. Even though people are more included in making decisions and choosing the path of the company, a lot of the employees still have fear of saying something that might lead to losing their job.

This fear of miscommunication and “not wanting to offend the other person” has led to people being very careful about what they are saying and having a constant need to learn new skills and techniques on how to say what they mean in an appropriate way or give the feedback to employer or co-worker.

That is why we say that being straightforward is really valued these days. Only rare people have the courage to say things as they really are, without making them sound less harsh or more appealing. But is this approach always the right way?

If you consider yourself a humble person who would rather let their actions and hard work speak instead of advocating for yourself, being straightforward probably scares you to your bones. You may find it narcissistic, egocentric or even amoral – something you definitely wouldn’t do, even if your progress depended on it.

Fear no more, if you haven’t developed the skill of speaking up your mind despite possible consequences, there’s another skill you can learn that can help you get noticed and recognized for your work.

When we say “the art of asking without asking” – we really consider it an art. Have you ever noticed people getting everything they want and just wondered – how did they make it possible? Some of them have developed the skill that helped them get to where they are now, consciously or unconsciously.

To get you completely on the track with that, we’ll go step by step and help you remind yourself of the things that really matter.

1. Be aware of your dreams all the time

We can easily lose ourselves in a daily routine and forget why we even started something. The key to always staying on the track and going forward is to always know what is at the end of the road.

What is important to you? Why do you want to achieve this? What is driving you? Why do you get up every day?

Write this down on a piece of paper and hang that paper in front of your bed. It should be the first thing you see in the morning and the last one in the evening. Everything you do, every action you take, every thought that pops into your mind should be based on this dream and contribute to it. You won’t be able to move forward unless you know where you want to go.

2. Don’t be ashamed of your goals

Let other people know what your life-goal ambition is. And by this, we don’t mean – “I want to get promoted” – that is a short-term goal which has a deeper meaning behind it. Tell people what you really want to achieve and what will make your life purposeful.

You shouldn’t be ashamed of it – that’s something that should be easily noticeable whenever someone speaks with you or gets to know you. Saying your dreams out loud makes other people respect you for that and also have no problem with justifying everything you do by connecting it to your dream.

3. Be present

Even if you don’t want to advocate for yourself, you should be present and show that you care. Your actions and your hard work should be visible to others. You don’t have to brag about it, post a status on social media or talk with others about what you have achieved – it is enough just to show up every time it matters and show your contribution to the common goals – let people look up to you for what you do for the company and most importantly, for them.

4. Let others speak for you

It’s not always about your achievements or how good you personally are. The best way to get your employer to notice you is to let others speak good things about you. This shouldn’t be something you do just to get a promotion or achieve another short-term goal. This is the mindset you should develop, especially if you want to progress and find yourself on a higher position where helping others is the biggest part of the job description.

Think about your strengths and how you can use them to help others with their own achievements. You will still achieve your own goals, and people will appreciate what you’ve done for them. Soon, it will become well known to everyone in the company, including your boss, what you know and how many people see you in the leading position.

This is something that should become a part of your personality. Implement thinking about these 4 things to your morning routine to help you get on the track and be ready for the day.

However, it isn’t enough just to learn how to speak without actually speaking. It is also important to work on the things that are being spoken.

WHAT SPEAKS INSTEAD OF YOU

After you got familiar with the art of asking without actually asking, you should now focus on yourself. How well do you know yourself? Are you aware of the things that are your highly expressive strengths and also the things that are not that much developed yet? Most importantly, are you ready to work on becoming the best possible version of yourself?

1. Your work ethics

If people were judged only by their work ethics, would you be proud of who you are? This is the question you should ask yourself before thinking about the promotion. Getting promoted and getting a raise seems difficult, but actually, it’s easier than maintaining a new position. Where many people make mistakes is that they wait to get promoted, to prove themselves capable for the new responsibility.

What would it be like if you started to handle more demanding tasks at the position you are currently on? It would be hard for your boss not to notice that somebody is being proactive and giving extra hand in the company.

If you want to earn somebody’s trust, don’t wait for somebody to give you that possibility, but seize the opportunity by getting the job done.

If you are wondering from where to start, think about what is the person who is currently in the position you desire responsible for. See if there is anything from their job description that you can take and work on.

Even if there isn’t exact same thing you can do right now – for example, you need access to the confidential information or tasks are delegated only to that employee, you can still find something relevant to do.

Think about what is in the same range as the abovementioned tasks. After you find that thing, make sure you do your best job. But don’t forget – you have your prior role, and if getting other tasks to prove yourself means neglecting the position you are currently on, that isn’t proving yourself ready for the promotion, but being irresponsible.

In the end, if you would really like to be the hero of the month, all you need to do is find something in your company that is common for every employee and that affects work on each level. It could be the way your company stores data, choose new projects or anything else. If you can find a way to make it more efficient and beneficial for the whole company, you will definitely be recognized for it.

2. Your behavior

You should be aware of one thing – it is much harder to change your behavior than to gain new skills. People in higher positions have more impact than those on the lower ones. Therefore, it is very important how they behave and how their daily actions support the desired culture in the company.

That is why many companies have a hard time finding the suitable person for some higher positions – many people have needed skills and knowledge, but lack concrete actions in behavior that represents the culture of the company.

This leads to the state where top management tends to find somebody within the company and promote them, rather than bringing someone outside of it who is not yet familiar with the values.

This is your opportunity! You’ve been in the company for quite some time now and you are familiar with what’s important to the management and how they want to be positioned on the market.

We encourage you to learn even more. Re-listen to the story of how the company was founded and what was the main idea behind it. Find people who used to work in it before you got there and discover how it was back then and what the main changes are.

The company consists of its mission and the people who work on achieving the mission. How well are you connected to your company’s mission? Since you want to find yourself leading the company, it is very important for you to know what the main purpose of its existence is and how you can contribute to it.

Your daily actions should be leading to fulfilling the goals of the company, but most importantly, should be in accordance with the values that the company demonstrates. Start by revising how you work and how you get your job done. There is definitely something you can improve.

For example, if one of the company’s main values is striving for excellence, next time you get a task, put some extra effort in it, so it can easily be seen that you are striving for excellence in everything you do.

Don’t forget the casual talks you are having with your co-workers and the boss. Find the way to demonstrate company’s and your own shared values even outside of the workplace.

Our values and beliefs are the essences of our thoughts, thoughts are the essence of our actions, and our actions represent our work.

3. Your care for the others

Nowadays companies are nurturing teamwork. Whenever you walk into the company, you have a high chance of seeing some motivational quote, such as “the bigger the dream, the more important the team”. It is no surprise since it has been proven that by working together business achieves more.

If you want to move forward in the company, you have to rely on others, too. Nobody likes an independent achiever who feels no connection to other employees, thus this means feels no connection to the company.

Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing bad with you constantly trying to over-achieve everything you are doing and working on improving yourself – that’s for the praise. But also, bear in mind that improving yourself and improving others is not self-excluded.

From the company’s perspective, an employee who works on themselves and shares the knowledge and the skills they have is much more valuable than the one who is good in their own field and takes no interest in others.

This isn’t something that is necessarily hard or demands extra time. All you need to do is focus on your strengths and see what are you good at, and then share it with others. If someone is struggling with something you are good at, that is your chance. The best thing is – you will feel amazing afterward.

If you always want to be one step ahead from where you were yesterday, you have to accept the concept of ever-learning and improving. This means that everything you do can always be done better and it is up to you whether you are going to read a book, take a course or attend a conference and then apply everything you’ve learned to your workplace.

Whenever you find something that helps you do your job better – share it with others. It would mean a lot for them and it is multi-beneficial for you. It shows that you care for the others and also represents your expertise. You want to be seen in this light when managers are deciding who they are going to promote.

4. Your knowledge

This isn’t something that is crucial, as this is something that can easily be improved, but is definitely very important and worthy of your time. Can you remember when you first started your job – what set of skills did you have? When you look at yourself now, what changed?

You probably have improved a lot. Now take a look a bit in the future – there is a position you would like to get. What set of skills should you have, in order to be able to do extraordinary work in that position?

The answer to this question should be the first step on your journey to improving yourself. If you are not sure yet what you should know, go ahead and ask people who are currently in those positions what their main challenges are and how do they cope with them. This should give you a clear picture of what you need to develop in order to overcome the same or similar challenges.

Don’t refrain yourself form learning as much as possible. There are lots of resources that are available. If you are more of a traditional learner, go to the local library and see what you can get there. Don’t forget online courses and webinars which are more and more popular, due to their availability and time flexibility.

If you have some additional knowledge or skills that are not connected to the job or position, don’t think that they are completely irrelevant. It should be well known that each experience you have in your life can be valuable to you and you can apply things you’ve learned from it to your daily tasks.

Check your company’s internal knowledge base – there are probably lots of materials you could use to gain knowledge and skills which would qualify you for the desired position.

Whatever you do, and whichever approach you choose, bear this in mind – it is very important to be capable of accomplishing things, but what is even more valued is the eagerness to learn and improve constantly.

So, whenever there are some extracurricular activities organized by your company, make sure everyone notices that you are first in the line to learn new things. It shows that you will be modest no matter how big of an expert you are, which gives you solid ground to improve constantly and one day become the most important person in the company.

WHAT IF THERE’S SOMEONE AS EQUALLY GOOD AS ME?

This is something that could definitely happen. You are probably wondering – what now?

For the starters, you should stop comparing yourself to the others. It is not healthy and can be self-destructive. There will always be somebody who is as good as you, even somebody who is better than you. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get the promotion.

Whenever you get this fear and start doubting yourself, just go to the beginning of this article and read it once again. If you start comparing yourself to others, just stop for a minute and focus on you.

What are your ambitions? What do you want to achieve in your life? Why do you want to achieve this? What is your biggest strength and how does it influence your work? What is your unique contribution to the company? Why do you deserve this promotion?

These are the questions you should be asking yourself, and to be sure you won’t forget them, write the answers down and read them from time to time. That is how you build your beliefs, which you demonstrate with your actual work that results in building the self-confidence. It is everything you need to feel empowered and ready for the next step.

FINAL WORD

Wherever you are in your life right now – whether you are satisfied with the company you are working for and you want to progress, looking for a promotion, or on a journey of self-improvement, bear in mind that this journey may be a bit longer and it will take you time to start implementing everything you need to change, but eventually, you will get there and it will be worth it.

You don’t have to be straightforward and demand something you wish for – there is a much more influential way you can approach this situation and get out of it as a winner.

For the end, remember this – it is not how good you are, it is how good you want to be.

How to Get Promoted Without Asking

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