Moving Up: Getting Promoted

Promotions are great for career advancement and increasing your spending power. But if you want to get one, you’re going to have to work for it.
The gradsingapore Team
Dawn Yip
Writer, gradsingapore
Moving Up: Getting Promoted

You’ve been working hard at your job, getting things done, and doing them well. While you should absolutely be proud of your progress, you might also be thinking about taking your career to the next level. Specifically, you want to snag your very first job promotion.

You’d be far from alone in that endeavour, though – a survey found that over 50% of employees hope to get a promotion or a pay raise in 2023. Yet at the same time, it isn’t easy to get promoted, with only about 9% of employees getting them. That means that if you want to stand any chance, you’ll need to know how to stand out from the crowd and show the upper management that you’re more than ready for something new.

Preparing ahead

If you’re serious about landing that promotion, here are a few things that need to happen first:

1. Make your intentions known

Even if you’ve done everything to be promotion-ready, that doesn’t mean that you can just sit back and silently wait for management to offer it to you. Rather, the opposite is more likely to be true: no one will know that you want to be promoted if you don’t speak up about it!

But when’s the best time to bring it up? Generally, there’s nothing wrong with mentioning it during your performance appraisal, but you can also arrange for a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor to discuss this. Just remember to be civil and polite during said meeting – being too forward or aggressive will only hurt your standing with not just your supervisor, but potentially the company as well. 


2. Go beyond your job scope

If you want to be considered for a promotion, you’ll need to do more than just be good at your current job. More specifically, you’ll need to prove that you’ve outgrown your current responsibilities and that you’re ready for a bigger job.

So do take up additional projects or tasks beyond your current job description, or offer to step up by covering your supervisor’s duties when they’re busy or away. This will paint you as not just dependable, but capable of more.


3. Be professional

While you shouldn’t underestimate the power of professionalism, it goes a little further than just showing up on time and being compliant with the company’s rules. From showing up well-dressed, treating your fellow colleagues with courtesy and respect, and steering away from office gossip, this will show that you care about every aspect of your job, not just your responsibilities.


4. Work on your soft skills

Sure, with a promotion comes a higher salary, more influence, and other benefits, but it also often requires a whole other skillset. As such, if you want to show your value to the company and stand out, you should focus on upskilling your soft skills. This is especially so if the role you’re gunning for is a managerial position, as you’ll need to develop the right skills to be a good manager.


It’s entirely possible to have a solid case for getting a promotion, only for you to get overlooked or worse, rejected. But before you blame the management, keep in mind that promotions in themselves can be dependent on several other factors, such as changing business strategies or the company simply not having any higher roles to be filled at the moment.

It can feel discouraging, but this is not the end of the world. Look at this as a chance for you to gain feedback on your performance and learn what you can do to maximise your next promotion opportunity.