Successful companies are hard to land a good position in and once settled, promotion can be slow to arrive as content employees tend to stay put. However, if a leadership position has arisen, how can you be sure to catch the eye and the approval of the bosses? There are some dos and don’ts…

Don’t run down the opposition

It can be tempting to point out all the flaws and faults with your competition (other employees trying out for the same promotion) but resist this as hard as you can. Not only might they have skills and values that you have not seen or issues that you do not know about (but management do) but you will diminish yourself in the eyes of HR and management. There is something sleazy about running down a competitor, and even if it works it will also colour the way that your bosses think about you. There are set processes for reporting problems with other workers, so make sure you stick to them, and otherwise, try to be courteous to others applying for the same position that you are going after – manners are always in style!

Do think about the good of the company

Instead of thinking about how much you want the promotion: the extra prestige, the bump in pay, the move to a bigger office, or even the chance to tell others what to do – think about the benefits that you could bring to the new position. List your skills and brush up on any gaps that you uncover. Make sure that you fully understand the new job’s duties, and perhaps even think of a few ways where systems can be streamlined or profit lines improved. This will sound excellent in the interview for the position, showing that you fully understand your current job and the one that you are applying for, giving management confidence that you are ready for leadership responsibilities.

Do remember you’re only as good as your least experienced team member

Leadership positions tend to provide a team of subordinates, and a poor leader will glory in wielding power over their team. A good manager will monitor the whole team, seeing who is overly reliant on others to get their own work done promptly, who is needy and constantly craving assurance and praise, and who works competently but quietly and thus is often overlooked. Management will see you and your subordinates as a single unit, so it is in your own best interests to keep your team happy, productive and aware of the team’s goals.

Often, managers know how to spot talent in their subordinates, so if you are confident that you have the skills and experience to ace a promotion, give yourself the best chance to be seen, put your name down as a candidate and continue to work quietly and competently – while not being afraid to blow your own trumpet when it is appropriate to do so!