Nothing evokes hope and a positive outlook for the future quite like hearing the words, “you’re hired.” On the other hand, there’s nothing quite like the gigantic bummer that is feeling completely stuck in a dead-end job. Here are a few tips for navigating the territory between landing that hire and figuring out if there’s room for growth.  


If speedy promotions are important to you, Rebecca Koenig, Staff Writer at U.S. News and Ashley Inman suggest researching the companies for buzzwords the next time you are looking for a job. “A business that uses the phrase “development culture” will likely offer promotions. A company that touts its “stability” or “100-year history” may move slowly and not regularly provide advancement opportunities.”

Ask Questions

You know what you’re looking for, don’t be shy to ask questions before accepting a position once you’re made an offer of employment. You’re allowed to inquire about pay raise schedules. Not every company gives promotions and wage increases based on time served in their employ.   It’s best to be able to manage expectations and know what the policy on this is going to be, before you take a position hoping to make it to VP in year 2.

Climbing Ladder

Be a Leader

There’s no better way to endeavor for a promotion, than to act as though you’ve already got it. This doesn’t mean undermining your boss or staging a coup among your coworkers, it means leading group projects and taking on extra work.  It means having pride in your company and your work. The hours might be longer, but these things tend not to go unnoticed by quality managers.

Have A Talk

If you’ve been working hard for years, and you feel like you’re never going to move up, it may be time to have a talk with your boss. Get a detailed plan ready, with talking points. Whether you’re just going to bring up career growth in general, or you have an exact position in mind, you need to be able to plainly state your case. Have examples of what you’ve done for the company and what makes you an asset.


If your years of hard work and patience seem to be going unnoticed, it may be time to look for another position. If you love your current company but feel like it’s your current department or supervisor that’s holding you back, consider looking for internal job openings. You’ll probably have a better shot at getting the job than any outsider. This also opens networking opportunities and will make your name more widely known at the company, giving you an advantage for future promotions. This can also help bulk up the experience portion of your resume.

Moving up the corporate ladder and getting promotions is a long game. Don’t let the fresh hire optimism wear off too quickly and keep your eyes on the prize.

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