Are you sick of being passed up for promotion all the time? Are you suffering from a lack of motivation after seeing everyone moving up the ladder in their careers and leaving you behind?

If so, maybe it’s time to change some bad habits and bring fresh ideas to the table.

Hopefully, you’ll find inspiration in just a few minutes, right down below.

To show the boss an aptitude for taking the next step in a career, some criteria must be satisfied.

He doesn’t only look for a talented and hard-working staff but also takes interest in one’s attitude and behavior, respect and tolerance for other colleagues and will to overcome any obstacle that gets in the way.

How do you achieve that?

Saying “be confident” or “smile” just isn’t enough, so we asked bosses what are the most important things employees can change in their approach to impress and get promoted.

We’ve selected the top 11 advice.


Everyone is familiar with office dress code, but do you know how to use it as an advantage in the competition for promotion? How to make yourself stand out among all the others?

Bosses want employees to display professionalism at their workplace as a part of their job.

That doesn’t only involve proper clothes, but also involves an appropriate language and tons of rules we’re supposed to follow.

Starting with your look – pay attention to the smallest details because it’s not the shirt that’ll make the difference.

Tighten your tie, get your haircut done, and don’t even dare to show up in unclean clothes (especially shoes).

There are certain rules you should stick to, depending on your style. We picked some videos to show the basics:

For Women

For Men

Right pair of pants or a dress doesn’t make the whole look, so take care of your hygiene, posture, facial expression and moves.

Along with that, bosses pay attention to one’s behavior.

In order to get a complete look, take care of that as well.

Communicate clearly and concisely. Give yourself some time to turn your thoughts into clear, suitable sentences.

Also, avoid arguing and gossip at the workplace.

Carry yourself with decency and dignity. Exercise self-discipline by leaving your personal life outside your office as long as you work.


As much as it sounds easy, keeping a positive attitude might be the hardest thing when we’re under pressure and higher stress levels than usual.

When people get overwhelmed with important tasks, it’s easy to forget to take care of their appearance.

It even slips out of our mind how much our mood might affect the people around us.

Attitude expresses people’s personality. You can choose to start your day with positive thinking, to be optimistic in order to become more productive at work.

Learning how to keep cool in stressful situations will surely show the boss that nothing can stop you from getting good results and achieving goals with perfection.

Move aside random thoughts and negative emotions while working.

It’ll give you a confident look of a worker focused only on his job.

That’s the look of a person your boss will consider for a higher position.

You can also act as a role model to your co-workers by showing no fear of challenge, along with an optimistic approach to any task given.

Enthusiasts are easily recognized among others.

The possibility to cope with any problem with ease gives them way better chances at making progress in their careers.

They can handle the most stressful situations without panic, solve problems step by step and make plans for future tasks.

Stay organized and don’t lose your temper so fast.

All work can be done on time.

The key is dedication and dedication should come from a calm and serene mind.

Refresh your workplace with a huge dosage of positivity every day and see how it reflects on your colleagues as well.

Not only that it’ll have a positive effect on the atmosphere, but it will also make your clients feel more comfortable. If you gain their trust, you are one step closer to the promotion.

Bosses will appreciate these efforts since their companies become more trust-worthy and their businesses expand so much faster.


Still waiting patiently to get noticed? Change your strategy and prove that you’re a good team player. Why?

Well, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2019 survey, 78,7% of employers prefer candidates with good teamwork skills.

A group of people working together on the big project is able to finish it faster, having different people’s skills united.

This makes companies grow faster, so employers seek workers with the possibility to work in groups.

Many people think that in bigger groups they are not able to express themselves, present their ideas or get noticed.

This opinion is still very popular among many people, even if it’s proven wrong.

We are all different, so it’s normal to not get along with every single person in the group, but it’s far from being totally rejected.

In fact, working in teams can inspire and give access to several unique ideas, since there are always people with different opinions.

It’s nice to hear colleagues’ thoughts and be able to discuss the project from many perspectives.

This is a chance to prove yourself as a good leader and conversation starter, which your boss will appreciate.

Teams can also turn work into fun.

That side of the work is not seen quite often, but it reflects on the final results.

The projects get done way faster and creativity rises when workers are motivated and relaxed. This leads to a more pleasant atmosphere where ideas can be shared freely, which will increase the overall productivity at the workplace.

It’s a win-win for both sides – for workers when they get stuck working independently, and for the bosses satisfied with projects done as fast as possible.

However, try to avoid office gossip and focus only on your part of the project. Also, use the chance to learn from other members’ failure, but don’t get mad when they point out your mistake too.

Your contribution to the team will get noticed.

Show passion and don’t forget to support the teammates too – you never know when their help will be needed.


While bosses want to see you’re a team player, there are times when you’ll need to distinguish yourself from your colleagues. Understand that individuals get promoted, not teams.

Leadership plays a crucial part in a competition for promotion since leaders are great role models for people they work with. This skill is highly appreciated by employers.

They value workers who are not afraid to take initiative and lead projects from beginning to an end.

Showing no fear of taking the lead is essential for making progress.

Guide your team and be the one who makes the final presentation. Impress the boss with your bravery by bringing additional ideas to the table, innovations that will bring your work to a whole new level.

Although you’ll have to meet the deadlines, spend more time working and even take some more responsibilities, it will surely pay off.

Leaders get rewarded more often than those who just sit aside and nod.

“Employees need to be able to show me examples of moments when they took initiative and it paid off to benefit their department and the overall company. Promotions also help groom employees for leadership roles, so they should be able to demonstrate moments where they helped lead or guide a team too.” – says Deborah Sweeney, CEO at


This one might seem too obvious, but consider it the best way of reaching the next level in your career.

First of all, show more interest. Prove that your company’s interests matter to you by talking with your boss about them.

By asking about the projects he’s been working on, you’ll grab his attention so your efforts won’t stay unnoticed anymore. Let him feel like a role model to his workers.

Some employers even show concern about their employees not acting as part of the team.

Then have him thinking about how much you enjoy your job and love being part of the community. Commitment always gets rewarded.

Don’t forget his words. They hate to repeat anything previously said – it’s expected that workers can remember their duties and do their jobs on their own.

If the fact that you cannot remember anything bothers you, try taking notes. Put sticky notes all over your workplace, but don’t even try asking the same question twice.

One thing all bosses agreed on is that bringing up a problem with no solutions on how to fix it is what good workers never do.

This will not get you towards promotion. If you say something’s wrong, then have the appropriate solution made up for him. It might not be the best option, but at least it didn’t sound like complaining.

And if your work shows great results, don’t hesitate to talk about your achievements.

Bosses are pleased to hear from you, especially when your ideas make their business grow.

However, you should handle your tasks without asking for help all the time.

Otherwise, they might consider you unable to overcome obstacles on your own.

Being engaged sometimes goes beyond paying attention or solving problems.

It’s required to work overtime now and then, help your colleagues, go to office parties and keep track of events happening around you.


It’s very important to be prepared for any changes in the workplace so that they don’t reduce the quality of your work. Keep track of what’s going on with your company and try not to lag behind.

Work won’t always involve only your regular schedule – at some point, it could become more dynamic.

In case of any bigger change coming your way, a boss should be aware of your ability to adjust your plans and schedule to the current situation.

For example, the company runs into an unexpected expense and reduce your funds, or leading team member gets ill leaving you on your own.

Don’t use these unplanned events as an excuse for falling short on your goals.

Employers appreciate people who find a way to do more with less. In other words, use current situation, along with all resources available, and turn it into your advance. Always be ready for a sudden turn of events.

Those who can adjust easily to new conditions, withstand tough situations and adapt to all changes without decreasing the quality of their work are highly appreciated among managers.

Ability to maintain control over unexpected situations is what can get an employee one step closer to the promotion, they confirmed.

Show no fear of the new and step freely out of your comfort zone.


Learning is a life-lasting process which never ends. It’s the soul of the progress in every stage of life. When it comes to business, keep in mind that progress is what helps every business grow.

And it’s not the management that’ll make it happen, it’s you!

Developing new skills and upgrading the ones you already possess means more opportunities for your boss, and hopefully a promotion for you.

Bosses value employees who continually show them they have a thirst for knowledge by taking the time to learn new skills that could benefit the company.

As technology and other environmental forces escalate rapidly, the needs to update your knowledge in different directions increase.

And this is not only necessary for your job, but also for staying marketable.

One common mistake that most employees make is refusing to pay attention to events and trends outside their area of expertise.

You shouldn’t limit yourself to an area you like since much other information can prove useful at some point in your career.

Bosses claim that staying open-minded is the key to keeping up with new trends, technology and skills essential for their jobs.

And even if it all ends up being totally worthless, you showed your ability to learn and improve when required.

However, learning includes making mistakes as well.

Many people give up on the first sign of failure. But what we have to understand is that failure is not a dead end.

There will be more chances, more opportunities to prove yourself.

Don’t let any mistake distract you – after all, nobody can avoid them.


Sometimes, we tend to forget how it feels to get stuck in a hopeless situation when things are going well for us.

But just imagine yourself sinking in despair and having no one to help you out.

Perhaps it’s best to provide yourself with some allies.

Having co-workers on your side has many benefits and being closer to your promotion is just one of them.

Do you know how?

Instead of focusing only on your personal success, consider offering an extra hand around the office. The more you get your co-workers impressed, the more likely your boss will learn about your work.

Good employees know that the ability to collaborate is equally important as the ability to work independently.

Bosses love people who raise the whole team’s performance and productivity since it speeds up their companies’ deployment.

If you’re eager to show how thoughtful you are, it’ll take you some time and effort but will definitely be worthy.

The idea is to become valuable by supporting and adding value to other employees.

This is a perfect opportunity to reach your goal through the act of helping others.

Help them in need so they can return a favor to you. It’s as simple as that.

Take some time to help them accomplish whatever they want, show the support you are hoping to get in return.

Read more about why it is important to help develop and support your colleagues.


How many times did you catch yourself listening to someone complaining about your work, but not hearing a single thing?

Surely you lost a count.

It’s in our nature to think we know everything and hate being judged.

Tuning people out when you’re not particularly thrilled with their words is a common mistake you want to avoid if you really want to impress your boss.

Nobody likes their advice not being taken seriously. And the boss will be the first to notice no changes since his last feedback.

The first step in obtaining this important skill is to learn how to listen. No matter who is the person you’re talking to, give him the respect he deserves.

Show gratitude for the time spent on discussing your problem. Don’t hesitate to ask for more.

Be aware of the negative comments too, since not all feedbacks will be praises. But both negative and positive feedbacks play a big role in your career, so it’s crucial to learn to accept them.

“Dealing with criticism is part of being a professional”, author at WeWork explains in his article Accepting positive and negative criticism.


Perhaps this is the most confusing one, but there is a logical explanation behind it.

In order to satisfy the boss, it’s necessary to get familiar with his taste.

Not all of them are the same. They all have things they like and the ones they don’t.

This is the reason why you’ll never find a perfect manual on “how to please your boss”.

We taught you basics that every employee should work on to get a chance of being chosen for a promotion, but there is more than just that.

Every person has a specific taste and so does your boss. Now it’s up to you to find out what he’s looking for in candidates. Find what he’s interested in and see if you can pursue it.

Establish a bond with your boss and earn his trust to get to know him better. Use all opportunities to make him a key supporter of your promotion.

And if it means meeting him at least once a week or staying an hour longer on a regular basis, than do it. It’s a small sacrifice for such a great gain.

Use these meetings to talk about the company’s achievements and plans for expansion. Listen carefully and remember what he talks about the most.

If he feels comfortable enough talking to you, you’ll get to learn so much about his interests and taste.

Some experts even suggest building a stronger connection with him by showing interest in his outside hobbies. Give it a try.


Now that you showed you’re the best person for the job, it’s time to get prepared for your future position.

One thing people constantly keep forgetting is that the next step in their career holds more responsibilities, have longer work hours, along with much more difficulties.

And that’s the reason why such a small number of them get promoted.

If everything above seemed too complicated for you, then you’re simply not ready for the promotion at the moment. Stop for a second and consider this option.

Make sure you’re ready to deal with your emotions and thoughts after a choice is made.

Don’t expect to do the same job for a bigger salary in a higher position.

Be prepared for harder tasks with shorter deadlines and lots of stressful situations.

You’ll need to do twice as hard to reach the goals, maybe even manage small groups of people.

Assume that your work doesn’t stop the moment you get promoted and let your boss know you’re aware of it.

You might want to learn what it takes to be good at doing a job on the position you desire.

Ask around the office, gather information. Analyze them properly.

Ponder the obligations this step would bring and see if you’re capable of doing the job. Get yourself ready for the change mentally.


Now that you’ve reached the end, we wish you all the luck in pursuing your dreams and reaching career goals.

Hopefully, your boss will appreciate all the effort made and recognize the real hard-worker.

If you’re sure that you are the best person for the position and it means a lot to you, don’t let someone take your place.

Keep in mind why this is important to you.

Be brave, be wise.

And don’t fear taking risks now and then. Now it’s time to show your full potential.

Bosses Tell Us: 11 Things That Will Get You Promoted

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