One of the most important indicators of whether or not you should switch jobs is if you are in line for a promotion. It’s not so much that you should be climbing a ladder, but more that if you are not being recognized for great work then you’re probably not doing great work. And if you are not doing great work, this is not the job for you. We should all be doing great stuff.
So take this quiz to find out if you will get promoted.
1. Are you friends with your boss?
The hardest workers don’t get promoted. The most likable people get promoted.
Here is the big test for you: Did that sentence make you angry? You lose one point. That’s because you are wishing that you did not have to be likable and you are mad that people who work less than you do get promoted ahead of you.
If the sentence did not piss you off, then you are in good shape. But maybe you should work a little less and do office politics a little more. This is not obnoxious advice because office politics is about being nice.
Did you already know it’s about being nice? Give yourself a point. If not, click here to read about it. And then give yourself a point for reading. Hold it. Look. I’ve just invented a new form of the self-quiz where you become more likable by clicking on my blog posts. Great traffic-building tactic.
2. Are you working on high-profile projects?
Do you work on the project that everyone else wanted? Give yourself a point. Did you say to yourself, “Who knows? I don’t know what everyone else wanted.” You lose a point. How can you get yourself onto good projects if you are not in the middle of the fray finding out what’s available and what’s hot?
The key to making yourself useful to your boss is to work on the stuff that matters to your boss. Sure, everything matters, but some stuff matters more than others. The stuff that your boss’s bonus depends on matters more than properly filling out your expense report. That’s a good place to start. Hopefully you can approach the issue of managing up in more nuanced ways than that.
If you made a mental note to click on the link to managing up, give yourself a point, because you care. If you moused-over the link and saw you already read the post, you can still take the point.
3. Are you paid at the high end of the range for your position?
Investigate the salary range for your job. Check PayScale, and then ask around at work — don’t be shy because everyone else is asking too. If you’re at the top of the range, give yourself a point. If you were embarrassed to tell your co-workers how much more you are making than they are, give yourself two points, but don’t bring this topic up again.
If you're at the low end, then you were not highly valued to begin with, so getting people to switch their opinion of you is going to be hard. You can do it by asking your boss to get you to the top of the range, and then back up your request by listing all the achievements you’ve made in your new position.
Too scared to do this? You lose three points. Did you do this and the boss ignored you? Lose two points (and remember that you got a point for trying—it’s a good lesson meant to inspire fearlessness later.)
4. Do you work fewer hours than everyone else?
If you work fewer hours than everyone around you, I can promise you that they are annoyed. Did you just click to your email to tell me that you work less hours because you’re smarter than everyone else? Take away two points. Because no one cares how smart you are (see number one on this list).
You should not be the hardest worker because that makes you look desperate. But you can’t work the fewest hours either, because then you look like you don’t care. And that’s being a bad team player, even if you are getting the work done. If you find you have a lot of extra time because you’re a total genius and you finish everything early, spend more time networking at the office. Because you can never have enough time for that.
Can you remember the last time you initiated a conversation with someone who dislikes you? Give yourself a point for good office politics and a point for bravery.
5. Do you feel like you are due a promotion because of your experience?
No promotion is set in stone. Even if you have it in writing. You can be laid off, right? So you need to work constantly campaigning for yourself if you want to get that promotion. Do you spend your days focusing on doing your job, or do you do a little bit extra so you can be a star performer?
Give yourself a point for setting aside time each day to let people know how great you are. Take a point away if you think people who do this are annoying.
Give yourself a point if you can think of the last thing you did where you consciously said, this is way beyond the call of duty, but it will be good for my career.
5 or more points – You will probably be promoted. Maybe you should announce your score in the comments section of this blog and leave a link to your resume, because everyone should want to hire you.
3-4 points – You’re doing well. Look at where you lost points and fix it. Obvious advice but in fact, very few people can actually fix their shortcomings. With a score of 3 or 4 points, you probably can.
1-2 points – You need coaching because you’re not understanding what you need to do at work in order to meet your goals. You’re focusing on the wrong stuff and you’re going to come to a point where you want things in your life and your career that you can’t get because you didn’t understand the underbelly of the business world.
less than one point – You’re in trouble. Maybe your best bet is to retake the test…