Kiwi Hacks – How to get promoted at work

Written by Julia Holmes.

isaac smith wbNzlrrRK4 unsplashWith the turn of a new year, many of you will be setting goals, thinking about how to move ahead in your career and how to achieve work/life balance. We are therefore delighted to bring you a 3-part series of Kiwi Hacks, featuring top tips from the Network’s own Jude Sclater, a highly experienced team development specialist. Over the next three months, Kiwi Hacks will be dedicated to addressing the most common development themes we all struggle with; how to get promoted at work; how to manage work/life balance; and finally, managing yourself and others in the workplace. So get pen and paper ready and let’s get into it!

Jude Sclater's top tips on how to get promoted at work

If you put your head down and work hard you’ll get promoted.

Unfortunately, many of us are operating under a mistaken belief that hard work alone leads to promotion. The fact is, if no one knows who you are and what you do, the likelihood of promotion is low.

I spent eight years in professional services helping people position themselves for promotion and bounce back when things didn’t go to plan. Here’s what I used to tell them.

  1. Talk about your what you’re doing. It may feel like boasting but how else will your bosses know what you’re capable of. To ease into It, try asking for their advice on a tricky situation, sharing your own ideas of course, or highlight the great work your team are doing.
  2. Be clear on your vision for the new role. I used to sit on assessment centres and the most common reason someone was deferred from promotion was a lack of vision. As Simon Sinek put so well in this TED talk it’s all about having a clear WHY.
  3. Get feedback and act on it. Ask people above, below and at the same level as you:
    1. What is one thing I could be doing to support you better? Then do it!
    2. In what ways am I already operating at a higher level? Do more of this!
    3. What is a key element of the position that I am not demonstrating right now? Start doing this and see point one.
  4. Know your organisation and industry. The more senior you are the more you are expected to have an understanding of your organisation’s strategy as well as the opportunities and threats in your market place. Talk to people more senior than you about this, it’s a great way to demonstrate you’re thinking a level higher than you are.
  5. Widen your network. Most people I talk to shudder at the thought of networking. What made it easier for me was to start by staying in contact with people I genuinely like. If you think about the number of times you’ve said no to a request for a coffee and a chat that will give you an idea of how often others say no. And really no one says no, they just stop responding, in which case that persons an egg and not worth your time anyway!

Jude Sclater Nov19 62Jude Sclater is a highly experienced leadership and team development specialist who spent 8 years working for Deloitte supporting Senior Managers, Directors & Partners. She is accredited through the European Mentoring and Coaching Counsel and holds a MSc in Organisational Behaviour from Birkbeck. Find out more at or click here to sign up to her monthly newsletter featuring four ideas to inspire new thinking towards success.

What's the Goss?