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Image / Editorial

#IMAGEinspires: How To Land A Promotion

by Jeanne Sutton
29th Oct 2015

Businesswoman talking in office meeting

Feel like it’s high time you got an impressive new title in work? Because you work so hard and welcome both challenges and increased wages? We asked the nominees in the Management Professional?category of this year’s IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards for some advice on landing a promotion. What sort of skills should one hone if they want to be taken seriously? What attributes hold people back?

Buy tickets to next Monday’s ceremony here.

Put in the hard work

Never wait for someone to hand you a title. Prove you can excel in a new role by going beyond the expected in your existing role.
Elaine Carey, CCO, Three Ireland

There is no substitute for sheer hard work as well as a ?can do? and positive attitude.
Fiona Egan, managing director, head of corporate banking, Rabobank

Don’t just do your job well – go above and beyond, whether that’s helping others, finding solutions to problems outside of your role, or just being a general source of energy; management will notice.
Fiona Flannery, CEO, DEPFA Bank plc

promotion hard work late night

And let people know that

Document your ideas, findings and recommendations in an email and CC as many stakeholders as possible. This will ensure you build your credibility bank at work. Make as many deposits as you can into your credibility bank every month and then when it comes to draw down on that promotion.
Orla Moran, head of EMEA sales, New Relic

Be human

Learn how to ask for help. Some see this as a sign of weakness. I think it’s even braver to ask for help when you need it.
Fiona Flannery, CEO, DEPFA Bank plc

Don’t miss a once off life event for a meeting that happens every week or month. This may sound obvious to many but so many times people miss birthdays, anniversaries, family occasions instead of delegating the meeting to another team member.
Maria Smith, Vice President, Assistant Corporate Controller, Oracle

Always treat everybody how you would like to be treated – junior or senior. Always have respect.
Avril Clare, property recruitment specialist, Recruitment Plus

Mother and daughter reading on sofa promotion be human

You do not do it alone. Make sure you pass recognition for wins and successes to the team ?as they are the ones, who really achieve them. Why? Bottom line, there are over six hundred professional accountants on my team. I am only one of them!
Maria Smith,?Vice President, Assistant Corporate Controller, Oracle

Above all else, be yourself. Hone your influencing and people skills. Be self-aware and have empathy for your colleagues.
Gillian French, chief people officer, CarTrawler

Have the right attitude

If you want to be taken seriously, you firstly need to take yourself seriously. Look at your career, how you present yourself in the work place, the role you play in your team, and ensure that you are bringing the best of yourself to the table.
Elaine Carey, CCO, Three Ireland

Key skills required are strong communication skills, curiosity and strategic thinking; curiosity about the business world via reading and keeping up to date and strategic thinking in terms of thinking longer term and putting ones head up from time to time and looking forward.
Fiona Egan, managing director, head of corporate banking, Rabobank


Businesswoman working at laptop

Think big picture, think globally. Imagine you are the CEO and the CFO of the company. Why? It ensures your initiatives and resources are adding value at the strategic level. This is also important for influencing.
Maria Smith, Vice President, Assistant Corporate Controller, Oracle

I am a fan of following your own curiosity when it comes to success. One of Steve Job’s greatest qualities was his intense curiosity. Curiosity drives business people to learn their companies and their competitors inside out and never stop looking for ideas to improve. Curious people will search out great mentors & coaches and learn their successful patterns.
Orla Moran, head of EMEA sales, New Relic

Don’t forget to upskill

Finally, when you move into a people management role, its important to get some extra training on skills required to manage, lead and motivate people which are a very different set of skills to what you have been using up until then.
Fiona Egan, managing director, head of corporate banking, Rabobank

Businesswoman on cell phone working at laptop

Work on your confidence

Confidence can be a big issue. If you believe you are not good enough, others will believe that too. Also, people can be slow to say what they want. Be open about what you want in your career, commit to it and then go get it.
Elaine Carey, CCO, Three Ireland

Never be afraid to express your ideas to superiors. You will win some and you lose some, but you win nothing if you keep your opinions to yourself and limit your creative abilities.
Fiona Flannery, CEO, DEPFA Bank plc

Believe in yourself, love what you do and the rest will come naturally.
Avril Clare, property recruitment specialist, Recruitment Plus

Be positive and be authentic. There is opportunity in everything so as a manager the more you focus on what’s positive and what’s possible, the more everyone around you will. And this creates a great working environment.
Maria Smith,Vice President, Assistant Corporate Controller, Oracle

What still surprises me is the number of men who throw their hat in the ring for a promotion over women. It reminds me of the study done a few years back by HP (Hewlett-Packard)?when it was trying to figure out how to get more women into top management positions. A review found that women working at HP applied for a promotion only when they believed they met 100 percent of the qualifications listed for the job. Men were happy to apply when they thought they could meet 60 percent of the job requirements. So success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence. Why do women only feel confident when they are perfect? Perfection does not exist. There is never one way to be the perfect mother, the perfect manager, the perfect partner but there are 1000 good ways. My advice to all women is to just go for it! Throw your hat in the ring, even if you “feel” like a fraud by doing so.
Orla Moran, head of EMEA sales, New Relic

Women having coffee together at cafe

Keep those people skills honed

To give yourself the best chance of landing a?promotion, keep your head down, work hard and understand the value of networking.
Gillian French, chief people officer, CarTrawler

Learn how to ask

Become comfortable with negotiating- think of this as a skill you need to learn and conquer as part of your job responsibilities. Find out what is negotiable in your workplace and proactively ask for more; it will stand to you in achieving career advancement.
Fiona Flannery, CEO, DEPFA Bank pl

Be Persistent. Most women reach the top after three decades of hard work. Success takes persistence, stamina, fortitude and patience.
Fiona Flannery, CEO, DEPFA Bank plc?web_ezine_banners_pink