How can you secure that promotion post COVID?

Updated: Jul 8

Shaking hands of two men of colour with shirt cuffs
Photo credit Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Getting promoted is not an easy task—it takes patience, tenacity, self-awareness, dedication - and probably some luck.

Despite the pandemic, organisations in most sectors are still looking to promote. Still, a hiatus last year at the height of the COVID crisis is now leading to a "backlog" in the promotion pipeline.

So what can you do to make sure your name is in the frame?

Know the process and plan early

In some cases, the promotion process can take 12-18 months. If promotion is in your sights in the medium term, then it pays to start planning now. Find out how it works. If you need to put together a business case, start thinking about that now - what it is, who can help you fine-tune it, and how you can make it compelling.

Get an understanding of how someone at the next level performs - both formally and informally. Formal can come from competency frameworks or job descriptions - informal will come from chatting to those at that level and above.

Once you have done this, then make a plan as to how you will get yourself ready. This plan will evolve as you go through the coming months, so keep coming back to it.

Get people on your side and make sure they know your intentions

Work out who your stakeholders are, and have honest conversations about your intentions and whether you have their support. Your line manager is your first port of call - if they don’t think you’re ready, no one else will. Ask them for an honest opinion of any skill gaps and what you can do to fill them.

You may also want to talk to a few people 2-3 levels up from you. Introduce yourself, make it clear to want to progress to the next level and ask for their opinion on what makes a good promotee. Be specific and feedback any responses into your plan.

Young lady in checked blouse and dark hair looking at camera with half-smile

Raise your visibility

In large organisations, promotion decisions may be made by people you have no direct contact with, so raise your visibility by introducing yourself to a few strategic people, using the guidance above.

Showcase your talents through company meetings, newsletters or by just sending tactical emails to people. Demonstrate a success you have had recently and how you could help their projects have that same success.

An almost pre-requisite for any promotio