Enlist Your Boss’ Support
It’s common sense: To position yourself to move ahead in your career, enlist the help of the person who can help the most.
As soon as you feel you’re ready for advancement, schedule a meeting with your supervisor. Let him or her know that while you’re happy in your current position, your long-term plans include X, Y and Z, and you want to identify the logical next steps to put you on the right path.
Then let your boss take charge. Once the next step has been identified, ask what you need to do to be considered for that position. Request concrete objectives and get them in writing (at the very least, take copious notes and recap the list at the end of your discussion). Next, ask when your boss thinks you might be ready. If he or she is hesitant to give a specific date, talk in general terms (“next quarter” or “next year”) in order to give yourself a workable framework.
Thank your boss, and ask if it’s okay if you check in periodically on your progress–every 3 months or so.
Now you’ve got a roadmap to follow as your pursue a promotion. Each time you see an opportunity to learn another skill or add a responsibility on your list, go for it. You can also remind your supervisor of your goals: for example, “This would be a great chance for me to learn how to fill out a bill of lading sheet.”