How to Get Promoted Sooner Than Expected

In my last personal update, I mentioned that I recently got a promotion!

As much as I would have loved to have this opportunity just fall into my lap, realistically it didn’t happen that way. In general – opportunities like this don’t happen out of no where. It’s a result of many things that I had control over.

Here’s what lead me to my promotion and how you can get promoted sooner than you expected, too!

get promoted

Efficiently Work Your @$$ Off

“Work your @$$ off” is a phrase used by many. It may even seem like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. I’ve added the efficiency component for a reason, though.

In my opinion, there are two kinds of workers – 1) the ones who try to get away with doing their job with as little effort as possible and 2) the ones who know how to efficiently get their work done so they can productively work their @$$es off.

Lesson – Don’t be the first kind.

Yes – there’s a huge difference between an extremely efficient worker and a worker who tries to just get everything done as soon as possible without covering all their bases. The latter looks at all the tasks and duties they have to do and says, “How can I get away with doing just the minimum amount of work to get by?” while the former looks at the same exact list and says, “How can I get all of this done well and in a timely manner?”

Toot Your Own Horn

This year was the first year I ever had to do a self-performance review. I wasn’t too worried, though, because I was told from the beginning to keep a track record of all that I do. This “brag list” includes what I accomplish on a daily basis as well as projects and ad hoc assignments I’ve assisted in. When it came time to turn in my performance review, I pulled out the brag list and filled it out with ease.

Lesson – Put together your Brag List. What are your daily duties?  What projects have you accomplished for the company and how has your effort impacted the company? The Brag List does two things – 1) keeps you accountable with what you’ve done and 2) encourages you to keep accomplishing goals at the company so you can keep adding to your brag list! The more you record what you’ve done, the more confident you become in your work. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn!

Know What You’re Worth

After I submitted my own performance review, I sat down with my immediate supervisors and managers to discuss my own review and, what we’ve all been waiting for, compensation. For the most part, they agreed with my performance review, but the compensation aspect of the review just didn’t match up, in my opinion.

My opinion was reinforced when I went to sites such as and, plugged in my title and location, and saw that the number just didn’t add up. I saved these reports and ended up referring to them a lot in the future step.

Lesson – Do your research! Ask around, look it up, and put together a case for yourself. Of course, keep compensation and benefits in mind and also look at the job descriptions online since many companies’ job titles vary one from the other. Save your research, study the numbers, and know your worth!

Be Vocal to the Right People

After my disappointing performance review, and after all the salary research, I asked to sit down with my supervisors and managers again. I basically made my case – I’ve been doing this for the company, this is what I expect to be compensated, and this is not matching up with what you’re offering me. Immediate changes did not happen, which was fine. But being vocal to my higher ups was definitely what got the ball rolling in terms of my recent promotion.

Lesson – Speak up to the right people! It’s easy to be disappointed and to complain to your peers. Honestly, that’s what I did at first! But complaining to your peers, other than having something to talk about, ultimately does nothing. So instead of complaining, put your case together (your brag list + your compensation research), and talk to the right people. Nothing will be fixed if they don’t know anything is broken.

I was told that people at my company didn’t really get considered for a promotion until they’ve been there for 18 months. I’ve only been there for 14. Be consistent in your work, don’t be afraid to brag, know your worth, and speak up and you’ll be on the path to get promoted!

What do you need to work on to get promoted? Be honest.



  1. Syed June 4, 2015

    Love this post (especially since it was posted on my birthday). It really does pay to maintain communication with the right people. This is how I was considered for the promotion i received. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask what needs to be done to get a promotion, and work hard at getting it. Great job!
    Syed recently posted…Student Loan Interest Deduction: Who Really Wins?My Profile

    • Lisa E. June 4, 2015

      Hey congrats on your promotion, too! You’re right – sometimes all you’ve got to do is ask and many don’t get around to doing so.

  2. Congrats on the promotion Lisa! I used to hate tooting my own horn (well, I still do) but realize you are your best advocate and if you want to get ahead you need to feel strongly about your accomplishments!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Real Money Stories: HeatherMy Profile

    • Lisa E. May 4, 2015

      Thanks Tonya! I totally feel uncomfortable tooting my own horn, too. But you’re right – I am my best advocate!

  3. Michelle April 29, 2015

    Good job Lisa!! Am so proud of you 🙂

    • Lisa E. April 29, 2015

      Thanks Michelle 🙂

  4. Tre April 28, 2015

    Congrats on getting promoted! The Brag List is a great idea.
    Tre recently posted…What A Week! 2015-7My Profile

    • Lisa E. April 28, 2015

      Thanks Tre! The Brag List definitely helped me out!

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