Expert job search advice.

Get promoted: What makes you promotable?

What can employees do to help get themselves promoted?

A promotion can be a great way to advance your career, gain new responsibilities, and increase your earning potential.

Why do employees get promoted? Why was one employee promoted over another?

Is it because they are clearly the best? Do they out work or out perform their colleagues? Did the promotion come because they were consistently a top performer and someone others in the office look to for advice?

Is it because they are available and willing to do the job? Moving into a more advanced role means more responsibility. Not everyone is willing to take the position. Did the promotion come because someone either raised their hand or accepted the ask?

Is it because they have the longest tenure? Have they been around the longest and have the most institutional knowledge?

It is because they are a master relationship builder? Are they known and respected by the right people?

I asked the question, why did the get promoted?

I recently posed the question “Think about the last person you know who was promoted, why do you think they were selected for the new opportunity?” on LinkedIn. Over 4,600 people responded and the overwhelming majority said strategic relationships were the main driver of the promotion decision.

Results from my LinkedIn poll where over 4,600 responded.

Strategic relationships proved more influential in promotion decisions than tenure, performance and being willing and able.

If promotability comes from the health and wealth of strategic relationships, how does one build them?

Be a team player: try to avoid saying “no“.

Being a team player is important for success in the workplace because it helps to foster a positive and productive work environment. Working as a team player helps you to build strong relationships with your colleagues. This can lead to greater trust, respect, and understanding, which can improve communication, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Professor Geoff Koboldt recommends having a relentless focus on the customer and an “owners” mindset.

When you can remove all excuses from the equation when solving problems, you build personal brand trust.


Working well with others is an important quality of a leader and can help shine light on employees well positioned for a promotion. As a team player, you are able to work effectively with your colleagues, share ideas, and provide support to one another. This can lead to greater collaboration, increased productivity, and better outcomes for the team as a whole. It is important to show that you are willing to collaborate and support your colleagues.

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Making people feel important is a great way to build relationships and establish trust.

Senior recruiter Ed Han shared that his secret sauce is providing URGENCY. He said he’s known for high availability and high urgency, which has led to deeper, more trusting colleague relationships.

Supporting other at work, and making them feel important, is crucial for building strong relationships and creating a positive work environment. When we support our colleagues, we create a sense of teamwork and collaboration, which can lead to increased productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction. Supporting our colleagues can also lead to increased trust and respect, which can strengthen professional relationships and create a more positive work culture. Ultimately, by prioritizing others at work, we can create a more successful and enjoyable work experience for everyone involved.

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Many people think putting their heads down and churning our great results is enough. It’s a start but you also need the right people in your corner advocating for you internally. – Reno Perry

A career mentor can be incredibly valuable for your professional development and career growth. They can offer insights into the industry, provide feedback on your skills and performance, and advise on how to navigate challenges and opportunities. A good mentor can also help make networking connections, offer perspective and encourage new skills and challenges.

Executive positioning coach, Gina Riley, shared that from her observations, those who get sponsorship + mentorship + strategic projects = stacking closer to the top

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A demonstration of loyalty shows that you are committed to the organization and its goals. It shows that you are reliable and dependable.

Demonstrating loyalty can help to build strong professional relationships. When we are loyal to our colleagues and support them, we build trust and respect. This can lead to stronger working relationships and better teamwork.

“You’ve gotta know the right people, and they need to believe that you have the ability to do the job.”

Adam Broda

Finally, demonstrating loyalty can help to advance our careers. Being committed to the organization and its goals, we are more likely to be seen as a valuable employee and may be considered for promotions or other opportunities.

In conclusion, getting promoted is rarely the product of running people over and beating everyone else to the top. Those who get promoted are seen a loyal leaders in their company. They are well respected by their team members and clients. Employees who are well rounded and have strong relationships within the company are more likely to level up than those who work in silos seeing coworkers as competition.




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