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Moving Up in the World

Acing Performance Reviews, Asking For A Raise, Pleasing The Promotion Gods, The “unofficial” Promotion

There may be no greater challenge in business than getting promoted. For every factor you can control (such as your skills and attitude), there are at least two that you can't (such as the economy and your company's infrastructure). Career author Harry Chambers tells us that in the era of streamlined organizations, companies have been flattened and downsized so that there are fewer middle-management positions for twenty-somethings to be promoted into. Also, a “do more with less” mentality often translates into increases in responsibilities without additional compensation or acknowledgment.

For some, a job in the corporate world is just a pit stop on the way to a career in another field—such as entertainment. These individuals might define success as a check that pays for their true passion rather than a promotion that moves them to the next level. Unfortunately, there are many more twenty-somethings struggling to build careers in business, and, as such, competition for promotion opportunities has become so intense that doing all of the right things might not necessarily get you the recognition you deserve.

If you're in the latter category, giving up is not an option. You have no choice but to ensure your promotability. If you don't move ahead now while you're young and unencumbered, you may never manage it at all. Instead, you could end up stuck at or near the bottom rung with bosses who are younger and less experienced than you. Also, your resume will look suspicious to potential new employers.

The good news is that you are much more likely to be promoted in your 20s, because, as a newbie, the whole world is open to you, and you have nowhere to go but up. Everything I've discussed in this book so far—from setting and achieving goals, to maintaining strong communication and interpersonal skills—will better your chances of landing a promotion. In this chapter, I'll drill down a little deeper into strategies that will help you grab hold of that ever-elusive brass ring. I'll talk about how to troubleshoot an antipromotion situation, and how to cope when your quest for reward and recognition takes an unfavorable turn.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCareer Advice: Career 101 for Recent Graduates, New Hires, and Would-be Corporate Climbers