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How Initiative Can Gain You a Promotion?

Handling Promotion
Leadership
Meetings
Internal Communication
Feedback
Coaching / Training / Mentorship

4 February, 2022

Artem Vysotsky
Artem Vysotsky

Software Engineering Manager / Staff Software Engineer at People.ai

Artem Vysotsky, Team lead Manager at people.ai, shares his recommendations to gain a promotion by being explicit with your manager and implementing a promotion plan.

Taking the Initiative to Pave Your Destiny

Many people come to me wondering how they can gain a promotion. Some time ago, I was in that position myself learning that nobody owed me anything unless I proved myself. The mindset that somebody has to hand down a promotion is the wrong mentality, as it’s best to get it. At the end of the day, you own your density.

Many managers are too busy to notice their report’s signals. The reality is that only 30% of the time, leaders will share clear steps regarding the career path and promotion. Many companies have confusing and challenging career paths; these can ultimately halt the growth of team members.

Taking Action to Implement a Promotion Plan

When starting on the journey to receive a promotion, step one is to change your mentality. The idea that someone is going to hand you a promotion may work, but it won’t be as quick as you want.

After changing your mindset, it’s time to be explicit with direct managers and leadership. Explain to them exactly where you want to go and ask them what you can do to meet those requirements. In my experience, certain managers will recognize this while others may not be trained to handle promotions efficiently. Depending on the next steps, I recommend beginning to act in your ideal role.

In many companies, you need to take action first to get promoted. From my experience, the easiest way to ‘take action’ is to follow your manager’s duties and begin taking over responsibilities. Your manager already knows what they are doing, meaning if you perform tasks like your manager, you already act on a managerial level. For some, it may be challenging to start operating at the managers level; I recommend:

  • Asking your manager how you can help them. By connecting with your manager, you show interest while gaining practical experience for your next role. I have used my manager’s tasks like a roadmap to plan for my promotion.
  • Following up on your assigned tasks. Once your manager has delegated some of their work to you, it is vital to begin regularly connecting with them. Schedule a one-on-one weekly or bi-weekly to discuss your progress, feedback, and the promotion plan.

The Importance of a Promotion Plan:

From my experiences, having a promotion plan is the critical part of receiving the role you want. The plan should provide a concrete step-by-step guide on the tasks and projects you need to complete to become a manager. Ideally, this plan outlines the progression you’ve made while showing your manager that you’ve been progressing as an individual.

Physical documentation provides a point of reference that neither party can disagree on. By scheduling regular meetings and keeping a line of communication, ideally, it will take you around half a year to meet your goals and be up for promotion.

Providing Career Growth Mentorship

So far at Plato, I’ve provided mentorship to a data scientist looking to grow at a startup without a career path. By implementing the promotion plan with his direct managers, he built a program for himself to hit the next level.

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