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The Question:

I am a manager in a mid-sized private company. I have been in the position for five years and I would like to move to a more senior management level. What do I have to do to get noticed? What key traits or actions will help me get promoted? How do I ask or push for a promotion?

The Answer:

I understand your desire to be promoted. You will want to ensure that you have the education, skills, and experience necessary to move to the next level of management. Review the job postings for higher-level position in the company and make sure that you understand and meet the qualifications and have the experience that the company is looking for in the senior management position.

Make sure that your boss and human resources know that you are interested in being promoted. Discuss this with your boss both now and during your formal performance review process. Ask your boss and HR what you need to do, accomplish, learn or experience in order to be promoted. Ask for specific recommendations and suggestions regarding training, leadership experience, relationship building or team building, etc. Develop a professional development and learning plan and include this in your performance review package.

Take action to address the areas of development identified such as completing a leadership development course, completing your MBA, or working with a coach to improve your leadership, relationship, emotional-intelligence, and conflict-resolution skills.

The following are a list of other things that you can do to get noticed by your boss and get that promotion you are hoping for:

Excel in your job. Do the best that you can in your role. Aim to complete assignments on time and on budget. Be willing to take on additional work and go that extra mile to help out your boss and the organization.

Be an exemplary boss and leader yourself. Motivate, inspire, coach and recognize the staff members who work for you. Treat staff with respect and dignity. Challenge them to be their best. Give credit where credit is due. Let your staff engagement scores speak for themselves.

Deliver high-quality customer/client/guest service. Treat your clients/customers and stakeholders with utmost respect. Ask them to provide feedback on you and your staff. Share this with your boss.

Volunteer. Volunteer to serve on committees and task forces both in your company and outside on professional and business committees.

Give professional presentations both within and outside the company. Write articles for the company and your own blog. Send links and copies to your boss.

Socialize. Get to know your boss and other members of the senior management team on a social level. Participate with them in company functions such as fundraising events, golf tournaments, and so on. Go for lunch or coffee with your boss and other members of the senior management team. Ask them about what they love to do outside of work and on vacations. Look for areas of common interest and build on them. Send follow-up thank you e-mails and make suggestions around areas of interest.

Ask your boss who she thinks would be a good mentor for you either in or outside the company.

Talk about succession planning. Build a solid, supportive and aligned relationship with your boss. Indicate how you might help her in her career development and succession plans.

Offer to fill in for your boss when she is away on business trips or vacation. This will give you exposure to the senior management position and show your boss and the other executives that you can and are ready to take on a promotion.

Continue to look for other appropriate opportunities. Look for these opportunities both inside and outside the company so that your boss knows that you are serious about your career growth and development. Ask her to be a reference. If you are doing a great job and you have the qualities they want in the company, your boss and the senior management team are going to want to keep you by finding or developing a new, more senior role for you.

Bruce Sandy is Principal of Pathfinder Coaching & Consulting and

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Bruce Sandy was online Friday, June 29 at noon (ET) to talk about how you get can yourself noticed and promoted at your company.