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In an increasingly competitive job market, switching jobs is often a nightmarish proposition. If you’re fortunate enough to work at a large or fast-growing company with ample opportunities for internal advancement, your upward path of least resistance likely lies in pursuing a promotion.

Naturally, your colleagues have the same idea. Here’s what you can do to ensure that you stand out from the pack as you pursue your promotion — without alienating the people you see day in and day out at the office.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Call Out the Boss

In a roundup of tips for low-key promotion-hunters, The Muse quotes an unnamed boss who actually likes to be told they’re wrong.

“I love when someone smart challenges my thinking,” they say. “I love it even more when a person has the data, facts, or examples to actually make his or her point.”

Don’t go overboard here. Unnecessarily confrontational feedback or petty griping will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons. Pick your battles — but don’t be afraid to lean in once you’ve staked out your ground.

  1. Block Out the Noise and Focus on the Long Term

In his aptly titled blog post, “Grab the Bull By the Horns,” noted American philosopher Arnold Siegel advises his readers to ignore the “political rancor” that’s come to dominate public discourse. That rancor is at least in part a product of an increasingly fast-paced, me-first culture anathema to the sort of methodical, long-view mindset that came as second nature to our parents and grandparents.

Today, successful adults must “be prepared to refocus, reeducate, retrain, rebrand, readapt and recover repeatedly over the course of a lifetime,” says Siegel. In other words, they need to be well-rounded planners capable of anticipating and reacting to the challenges of tomorrow.

  1. Don’t Be a Reputation Addict

Forbes calls out reputation addicts in an incisive piece that should be required reading for anyone who feels the temptation to self-promote.

“In the world of business, we recognize those who sell well, but we respect and remember those who give well,” writes contributor Glenn Llopis. In the short term, you’ll be judged for the results you produce. In the long haul, you’ll be remembered — and rewarded — for how you set others up for success.

  1. Work Tirelessly Behind the Scenes

Speaking up at every opportunity actually isn’t a great way to earn your boss’s attention. The strongest promotion candidates are often dark horses — the “seen but not heard” types that make their influence felt behind the scenes, in one-on-one interactions and gestures of generosity that build reserves of goodwill and leave lasting impressions.

This work won’t pay off right away, but when the time comes, you’ll find an enthusiastic cadre of supporters willing to serve as character witnesses. If the promotion stakes come down to you and a competitor who hasn’t built the right kind of bridges within the organization, you’re going to have a leg up.

  1. Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Calling it a cliché doesn’t make it any less true.

By all means, come into work every day and do the bare minimum required to get by. You’ll probably keep your job, at least until lean times force the powers that be to cut out lower performers. But you certainly won’t earn the promotion you’ve been eying.

To get the positive attention you need to make the boss’s shortlist, you need to go above and beyond. Volunteer for extra projects. Put in extra hours to mentor struggling colleagues. Willingly take on new responsibilities. Invest in professional development above and beyond your annual allotment.

In an increasingly competitive job market, switching jobs is often a nightmarish proposition. If you’re fortunate enough to work at a large or fast-growing company with ample opportunities for internal advancement, your upward path of least resistance likely lies in pursuing a promotion.

Naturally, your colleagues have the same idea. Here’s what you can do to ensure that you stand out from the pack as you pursue your promotion — without alienating the people you see day in and day out at the office.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Call Out the Boss

In a roundup of tips for low-key promotion-hunters, The Muse quotes an unnamed boss who actually likes to be told they’re wrong.

“I love when someone smart challenges my thinking,” they say. “I love it even more when a person has the data, facts, or examples to actually make his or her point.”

Don’t go overboard here. Unnecessarily confrontational feedback or petty griping will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons. Pick your battles — but don’t be afraid to lean in once you’ve staked out your ground.

  1. Block Out the Noise and Focus on the Long Term

In his aptly titled blog post, “Grab the Bull By the Horns,” noted American philosopher Arnold Siegel advises his readers to ignore the “political rancor” that’s come to dominate public discourse. That rancor is at least in part a product of an increasingly fast-paced, me-first culture anathema to the sort of methodical, long-view mindset that came as second nature to our parents and grandparents.

Today, successful adults must “be prepared to refocus, reeducate, retrain, rebrand, readapt and recover repeatedly over the course of a lifetime,” says Siegel. In other words, they need to be well-rounded planners capable of anticipating and reacting to the challenges of tomorrow.

  1. Don’t Be a Reputation Addict

Forbes calls out reputation addicts in an incisive piece that should be required reading for anyone who feels the temptation to self-promote.

“In the world of business, we recognize those who sell well, but we respect and remember those who give well,” writes contributor Glenn Llopis. In the short term, you’ll be judged for the results you produce. In the long haul, you’ll be remembered — and rewarded — for how you set others up for success.

  1. Work Tirelessly Behind the Scenes

Speaking up at every opportunity actually isn’t a great way to earn your boss’s attention. The strongest promotion candidates are often dark horses — the “seen but not heard” types that make their influence felt behind the scenes, in one-on-one interactions and gestures of generosity that build reserves of goodwill and leave lasting impressions.

This work won’t pay off right away, but when the time comes, you’ll find an enthusiastic cadre of supporters willing to serve as character witnesses. If the promotion stakes come down to you and a competitor who hasn’t built the right kind of bridges within the organization, you’re going to have a leg up.

  1. Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Calling it a cliché doesn’t make it any less true.

By all means, come into work every day and do the bare minimum required to get by. You’ll probably keep your job, at least until lean times force the powers that be to cut out lower performers. But you certainly won’t earn the promotion you’ve been eying.

To get the positive attention you need to make the boss’s shortlist, you need to go above and beyond. Volunteer for extra projects. Put in extra hours to mentor struggling colleagues. Willingly take on new responsibilities. Invest in professional development above and beyond your annual allotment.

In an increasingly competitive job market, switching jobs is often a nightmarish proposition. If you’re fortunate enough to work at a large or fast-growing company with ample opportunities for internal advancement, your upward path of least resistance likely lies in pursuing a promotion.

Naturally, your colleagues have the same idea. Here’s what you can do to ensure that you stand out from the pack as you pursue your promotion — without alienating the people you see day in and day out at the office.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Call Out the Boss

In a roundup of tips for low-key promotion-hunters, The Muse quotes an unnamed boss who actually likes to be told they’re wrong.

“I love when someone smart challenges my thinking,” they say. “I love it even more when a person has the data, facts, or examples to actually make his or her point.”

Don’t go overboard here. Unnecessarily confrontational feedback or petty griping will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons. Pick your battles — but don’t be afraid to lean in once you’ve staked out your ground.

  1. Block Out the Noise and Focus on the Long Term

In his aptly titled blog post, “Grab the Bull By the Horns,” noted American philosopher Arnold Siegel advises his readers to ignore the “political rancor” that’s come to dominate public discourse. That rancor is at least in part a product of an increasingly fast-paced, me-first culture anathema to the sort of methodical, long-view mindset that came as second nature to our parents and grandparents.

Today, successful adults must “be prepared to refocus, reeducate, retrain, rebrand, readapt and recover repeatedly over the course of a lifetime,” says Siegel. In other words, they need to be well-rounded planners capable of anticipating and reacting to the challenges of tomorrow.

  1. Don’t Be a Reputation Addict

Forbes calls out reputation addicts in an incisive piece that should be required reading for anyone who feels the temptation to self-promote.

“In the world of business, we recognize those who sell well, but we respect and remember those who give well,” writes contributor Glenn Llopis. In the short term, you’ll be judged for the results you produce. In the long haul, you’ll be remembered — and rewarded — for how you set others up for success.

  1. Work Tirelessly Behind the Scenes

Speaking up at every opportunity actually isn’t a great way to earn your boss’s attention. The strongest promotion candidates are often dark horses — the “seen but not heard” types that make their influence felt behind the scenes, in one-on-one interactions and gestures of generosity that build reserves of goodwill and leave lasting impressions.

This work won’t pay off right away, but when the time comes, you’ll find an enthusiastic cadre of supporters willing to serve as character witnesses. If the promotion stakes come down to you and a competitor who hasn’t built the right kind of bridges within the organization, you’re going to have a leg up.

  1. Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Calling it a cliché doesn’t make it any less true.

By all means, come into work every day and do the bare minimum required to get by. You’ll probably keep your job, at least until lean times force the powers that be to cut out lower performers. But you certainly won’t earn the promotion you’ve been eying.

To get the positive attention you need to make the boss’s shortlist, you need to go above and beyond. Volunteer for extra projects. Put in extra hours to mentor struggling colleagues. Willingly take on new responsibilities. Invest in professional development above and beyond your annual allotment.

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