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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Getting Ahead

Your New Year's Goal: Get a Promotion

If you made a big, career-related New Year's resolution this year, we're betting it's one of three things: finding a new job, getting a big promotion at your current company, or finally venturing out on your own.

Well, no matter what your goal, we're here to make it happen.

We'll start with getting that promotion. If you're aiming for a new job title and new responsibilities (and yes, a big new salary) in the new year, here's your action plan.

1. Make Sure You Know What Your Next Steps Are

Whether you've just had your annual review or not, the beginning of the year is a great time to get some clarity from your boss about what needs to happen for you to move to the next level. Ask for an informal review, let your boss know you're committed to advancing your career within the company, and make sure you have these five pieces of information.

Read on: 5 Things You're Forgetting to Ask in Your Review

2. Take on More Responsibility

The easiest way to show your boss you're ready for a lot more is to take on a little more—and nail it. So, spend some time this month thinking how you can take on more within your current role.

Read On: 5 Ways to Take on More Responsibility

3. Do Some Internal Networking

That said, keeping your nose to the grindstone can actually be counterproductive when you're trying to get a promotion. Part of career advancement is about networking with the higher-ups and promoting yourself as a team player and leader within your organization—so make sure you make time for the water cooler.

Read On: The Secret to Succeeding at Your Company

4. Get the Skills You Need

When you're trying to show that you're ready for a promotion, getting some extra training or professional education can go a long way. Think about what skills might make you even more qualified for that next position, then look for tangible ways to gain them—such as taking a public speaking course, learning basic HTML, or going through your company's management training program.

Read On: Great Ideas for (Cheap!) Professional Development

5. Uncover What Your Boss Wants

In addition to these basics, there are likely a few other specific things your boss is looking for before she'll promote you. What are they? Every work place is a little different, but these 11 managers give some helpful insight.

Read On: Bosses Tell Us: 11 Things That Will Get You Promoted

6. Ask For It

When you've tackled all the steps above and you're confident you're ready for more, well, now's the time to go for it. Asking your boss for a promotion isn't easy—but remember, the payoff could be huge.

Read On: Moving On Up: How to Ask for a Promotion

7. Ace the Internal Interview

Also remember that at many companies, you'll actually have to go through the interview process in order to get a promotion (and this is particularly true if you're changing departments). If that's the case, check out this guide to perfecting your internal interview.

Read On: How to Nail an Interview at Your Current Company

Related Reading

Do you work for a small company, where the path to a promotion isn't so clear? Are you looking to get promoted from intern or assistant level? For further reading on these specific career advancement scenarios and more, check out these helpful articles:

  • From EA to Anywhere: How to Get Promoted from Assistant Level
  • Nowhere to Go: Advancing Your Career at a Small Company
  • From Intern to Colleague: 3 Secrets for Landing a Full-Time Gig
  • Office Peon With Big Ambitions? 5 Ways to Get Noticed
  • 7 Reasons You Aren't Getting Promoted
  • Photo of woman working courtesy of Shutterstock.