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Reader Survey Results: Job Promotion Factors


I asked what factors affected a job promotion.

Being humble, but speaking up in meetings (especially with solution ideas for important problems).

Many factors worked together to promote me through three levels in five years. An ability and willingness to drive change and tackle challenges in areas traditionally labeled as “impossible” because they required revamping entrenched negative habits. An unflinching determination to get tasks done on time (with no short cuts) and work out compromises even with the most difficult stakeholders. The ability to get to the root cause of an issue and focus on how to avoid future snafus with education and documentation without dwelling on placing blame. Consistently keeping EVERYONE very well aware of a projects progress and problems – so everyone felt in the know. Taking copious and diligent notes so as to instill trust and confidence when making statements at meetings, allowing decision makers to move forward more quickly. It also didn’t hurt getting another master’s degree specializing in a key niche area! Never let your skills become stale or your attitude become obstinate.

Proving myself works in getting more responsibilities. Moving to a new company was required to get a promotion.

Paying attention. I don’t believe in random luck, I believe that if you keep your mind open, you will be able to see the opportunities that are all around you. Luck is the ability to see the doors that are already open, waiting for you to step through. Also, be kind and generous.

I do not seek a promotion as something to have, a title to add to my business card or resume. I do not seek a promotion as a reward for time served or deeds already done. I seek a promotion for the opportunity to connect with new people to share ideas, the ability to move forward with new kinds of projects, the ability to tap into new resources. If you can articulate your desire for promotion in the context of moving forward instead of looking backward (a reward) or appearance (new business cards), then your organization will see you as a part of their future as well.

Always doing what I think is the right thing,and the best things for my customers. Always be honest and when I see a problem or an opportunity for improvement, regardless if I am responsible for it or not, I try to identify a solution.

Not looking for the promotion and focusing on making my boss(es) look good. Supporting their ideas and approaches.

I’ve had three offers to get a significant bump in salary and/or role. Every time was when I threatened to quit.

Receiving offers from other companies willing to pay me more.

Job changes, willingness to take on new projects, show value and communicate it.

Building relationships and consistently delivering results.

Who you know and certifications. Also geographical location seems to be a factor — if the person who is doing the hiring is from the same area of the country as you, then that helps with a connection.

Being better at the job than all the other people around me.

I’m a white male. I am also smart, talented, and hard working. But judging from my colleagues, being a white male is often all that is needed to climb the ladder. Competency does not seem to be a requirement.

A good boss. There are ideas, and there is doing. Do. Prompt responses to your boss and your boss’s boss.

#1: Asking for them. Having competing offers (that helped with salary level). Having (at the time) a relatively unique background with IT and medical experience. Having the right networks of people who give your request credibility

Company laid off one-third of people. We all applied elsewhere, they begged us to stay. To stay, I requested improved salary, vacation, and title. They obliged.


Most of my promotions have occurred when I’m working for someone who gets things done and cares about my career. Lesson: Think about who you are aligned with professionally.

Self-sufficiency and a willingness to figure things out on my own.

The ability to lead others, even if not in an appointed leadership role. Last promotion to Lead Analyst role earned by demonstrating ability to assist new and current co-worker analysts to achieve positive results. Sometimes though one is born with an innate nature to lead and enjoy doing so (without be overbearing – i.e., “bossy”). One can always possess a technical ability to perform job duties, but needs guidance and mentoring to achieve success.

My ability to smile while professionally dealing with the jackasses that infest our fine HIT industry.

Being a woman. Just kidding!

My top 3: specific measureable business results from work. The ability to communicate effectively with both non-IT and IT people. Reasoned risk-taking.

Integrity, dedication to performing at the best of my ability, and respect for everyone’s role and contribution to delivering quality services.

Being in the right place at the right time. Having a track record of delivering results. Being helpful and useful. Thinking critically and anticipating my next action. Dressing nice, being well groomed and presentable, speaking clearly and confidently, having a sense of humor, and being able to relate to everyone, not just my peers.