I’ve had several promotions over my 16 years in retail. I started as a cashier and now I’m an assistant manager. I was also a Customer Service Manager, a Department Manager, and a Zone Supervisor. I’ve also helped several associates that I supervised receive promotions. Last year alone, I had five! So, I know a thing or two about how to get promoted. And here are my top seven tips:
Be the best at your job
This may seem like obvious advice but it you want to get promoted – be good at your job. If you don’t meet the expectations of your current role, why would you be considered for another? The fact is that you won’t. It’s a simple concept that so many people fail to grasp. Also, show up to work! If you’re someone who calls out a lot, you won’t be considered for a promotion. Trust me on this one.
But don’t be irreplaceable
You need to be good at your job, but you don’t want to be irreplaceable. You don’t want to be overlooked for a promotion because your boss is too worried that they won’t be able to do without you in your current role. So instead train your replacement. Don’t worry that that person might be better at your job than you are. You want to get promoted, and when you get promoted you want to know that your old job is in good hands.
Have a positive attitude
No one likes to work with someone who is negative all the time. You hate your job. Your hate your life. Nothing ever goes right. No one can do a good job but you. Blah, Blah, Blah. The more your complain, the more likely that your boss will start tuning you out. Not a good idea if you want to get promoted. Your boss will also be concerned that your negativity will hurt the morale of the team. So, find ways to be more positive, not just at work but in all areas of your life.
In retail, I need to know my stores sales, our shrink numbers, what items are selling well and why. I need to know all the processes and how we are doing on those processes. In short, I need to know what’s going on with the business at all times. It’s called being engaged, and it’s a quality that your bosses are looking for. So always keep your self up to date on your field.
Make your boss’s priorities your priorities
What is important to your boss? My boss likes to come in to a clean store. This means the parking lot is clear of buggies, the foyers have been swept, all the trash cans are empty, and the backroom is organized before he walks in the door. Because this is important to him, it’s a priority for me to ensure that this done every night. Knowing what is important to those that you work under and ensuring that those things are done will get your promoted.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned in all my years of retail is that everything changes. Everything. And those who are unwilling to change get left behind. As a supervisor it is often my job to convey changes to my associates. And I have to look for the positives to do so. Sometimes the changes are great, sometimes they are terrible. But no matter which one they are, if you always see change as a negative, you’re hurting your own chance at promotion.
Ace your interview
I have seen so many people lose out on a position that they were qualified for because they could not interview well. If you want to get promoted, start practicing your interview skills. If you can get a copy of the questions do so, so that you can come up with your answers ahead of time. If you can’t, ask someone that you are comfortable with and that has been through the process before to help you. Look online for tips.
These are my tips for promotion. Did I miss anything? What are some of your tips on how to get promoted? What’s the best career advice that you ever received? Let me know in the comments!