The Qualities of a Promising Employee

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Managers look for this stuff first when they’re handing out promotions.

Promotions in your professional field should, first and foremost, be doled out based on skills and achievement. But, well, people tend to be swayed by the things that they like. Skill is one thing, but managers tend to gravitate a little more toward employees who are, for a lack of a better word, “promotable.” A promotable employee is a go-getter, someone who not only tackles their job, but does so with finesse and gusto.


For example, a promotable employee always shows up on time for work and ready to give it their all. You’ve got a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a fire in your eyes. Being friendly and easy to talk to goes a long way toward this process. When you’re that person who can energize your less enthusiastic coworkers with your presence alone, they tend to start relying on you more for stuff. If you end up in an unofficial leadership position, then making sure to share credit and praise your coworkers will go a long way toward establishing yourself as the office nice guy/gal.

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In addition to being kind and upbeat, though, you need to be a professional ninja. That is to say, a professional with ninja-like qualities, not, y’know, a career ninja. You need to be on top of your regular responsibilities and go at them with laser-like precision. As soon as you walk into work, you know exactly what needs doing and where, and you get right to it. Managers love a self-starter; the only thing they love more is an adaptable self-starter. When the game changes, and it probably will, you’re first on the rebound, adjusting your beat to the new drum.

Being a super-employee can be extremely exhausting, so you don’t need to try to shoot for all of this stuff at once. But just exhibiting one or more of these qualities will make you seem that much more attractive when the topic of promotions comes up.

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2 months ago