If you’re looking to move up in your organization, you’re probably already being intentional when it comes to the skills, experiences and achievements you need to gather in order to qualify for that next step up.
But internal promotions are much more complex than simply qualifying for the job.
Office politics play a way bigger part in who gets the job than most would like to admit, so it’s important that you’re aware of the factors in play.
Here are 4 things your boss secretly considers before promoting you:
1. Will you help solve more or create more problems?
Very few bosses look out for your career development from the goodness of their own hearts. They’re happy to help you grow and move up as long as it serves their own interests on the way.
The more of a frequent conversation you’ve had with your boss up until now, the more time you’ve had to share your ideas and help them solve problems for clients and the organization, positioning yourself in their minds as a person they can rely on to make their days easier rather than putting more problems on their table.
2. How will they fill the hole you leave behind?
It’s great that you’re ready to take on a new role, but when you move on, somebody else has to take over the work you’ve done.
Whether it’s having a job description in place, recommending someone else that you’ve primed to take over your role or simply managing yourself out from the team even needing that role, the more help you can offer to make that transition easier for your boss, the more likely they are to be happy to help you move along.
3. Can you handle the increased pressure?
In order for you to happily get that promotion, the hiring manager needs to feel confident that you’re ready to take on more. Whether it’s more work, managing more people, increased travel, visibility or stress (or most likely all of the above), they need to have the impression that you are ready for it.
If you’re constantly one step behind on your work, first one in and last one out of the office in a frantic way, chances are that you’re giving off the vibe that you’re already operating on your max capacity and that it might not be the best time for you to move up.
No one wants a case of burn-out on their conscience if they can avoid it.
4. How will your promotion affect the group dynamic?
If you’re gunning for a new role, chances are that others around you are as well.
I’m sure you can think of cases in your company where the “wrong” person got the job and this could very well be why.
In the backwaters of corporate promotions lies promises, favors and instances of just needing to keep someone happy – or have them shut up.
Maybe someone is playing the card that of they don’t get that promotion they’ll leave and your company culture rewards that type of behavior.
If you get that job, it might mean that someone else won’t and that might become a head ache for your boss that they’re not willing to take on.
Make sure that you keep an eye on your competition and the relationship that they have with key stakeholders in your company.
Because at the end of the day, it’s all a game. And the more you know, the more likely it is for you to win.