Want Your Boss’s Job? Here’s How To Get Promoted

Are you bored in your current role, but aren’t quite sure how to get promoted?  Do you look at your boss and think you could do his/her job?  Perhaps you’re already thinking of the next move.  The most obvious route for career progression is still the tried and tested linear approach, where you strive to obtain your boss’s job for your career development.  But have you planned your path to progression?  If you’re wondering how to get promoted, there are six straightforward steps to consider.

1. Understand his/her role

First, it’s essential that you understand the role your boss has in the company.  What are the key requirements of that job?  You are going to need to have a clear understanding of the different elements of your boss’s job in order to gear your own targets towards these.

2. Assess the opportunity

Second, assess when there is likely to be an opening.  Your boss may be extremely ambitious, and keen to move on to another position.  However, if your boss is new to the role, or looks firmly fixed in it, then the likelihood of an opening soon looks slim.

3. Evaluate yourself

Next, evaluate your current strengths and weaknesses.  Your next performance review or 360 feedback session will give you the opportunity to be alerted to these.  You will then be in a position to compare your skills with those needed in your boss’s role.  It’s important to be clear with your boss that you want to be ready for promotion when s/he’s promoted. That way, your boss will let you know where you need to improve (which reduces the danger of your not spotting your own current weaknesses).

4. Create an action plan

The next step is to create an action plan.  You should plan to close any gap that exits between what you can do and what you need to do. Again, it’s critical to involve your boss in this.  Check with your boss that, if you complete the development plan, and achieve all the objectives on it, you’ll be supported as being ready for promotion when the day comes.

5. Pursuade others

Of course, you’ll also need to get the support of your boss’s boss too, and it’s never too early to start.  Ensure you put yourself forward for high profile projects which will inevitably draw attention to your talents and skills.  It’s also worth asking your boss’s boss, if s/he’d consider being your mentor (with your immediate boss’s knowledge of course). This type of activity means that you’ll be able to persuade the people who have most influence on your career in such a way that is not overtly ambitious.

6. Consider alternatives

If the above is not successful, you should consider a sideways or diagonal move. Indeed, this approach has many benefits.  It’s essential to have broader experience as you rise through the corporate ranks and it will expose you to new and interesting opportunities and contacts.  You never know, you might find a role and path that you actually prefer and one which provides you with even greater opportunities.

Furthermore, you’re always free to look for positions externally if your current employer does not show any signs of providing future opportunities.  Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side!


So, before you complete the application form for your boss’s job, look to your own achievement and skills, in order to gain a clear understanding of the candidate you need to become and remember to get the right people backing you.  Before you can prove that you deserve to get promoted and can manage a team, you need to prove that you can manage and develop yourself.

In the words of Jack Welch, American business executive, “before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself.  When you become a leader, success is all about growing others”.

Career, job