Executives who’ve worked at Google, Facebook, and General Electric share their best advice for landing a plum promotion

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  • Give your career a jump-start by earning a promotion.
  • We collected practical strategies from workplace experts on how to get that title bump.
  • For example, put yourself in your manager’s shoes and start doing the job you want today.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Get the cake and champagne ready: You’re about to land the promotion you’ve been dreaming of.

It won’t be easy, but it’s hardly impossible. Below, we’ve listed nine of the best and most surprising tips we’ve heard on earning a title bump.

For example, a former General Electric vice chair learned the hard way that, if you don’t tell anyone you want a promotion, you probably won’t get it. And workplace strategist Erica Keswin recommends connecting with people in different departments, so you have champions beyond your direct team.

Read on for the advice and stop leaving your career trajectory to chance:

SEE ALSO: Experts share 9 simple but underused tricks to make your job search as painless as possible

Former Google HR exec Justin Angsuwat: Think about why you want the promotion in the first place

Angsuwat is the vice president of people at Thumbtack; he was previously the head of human resources for Google’s go-to-market functions.

Whenever an employee asks Angsuwat how to earn a promotion, he responds with the same question: “Why is this promotion important to you?”

“When people answer that question,” Angsuwat said, “sometimes they tell me it’s actually about having more recognition, or more autonomy, or a greater sense of purpose.”

The next step is for the employee to communicate these desires to their manager, so their manager can help them get there. Then, the employee needs to work on crafting their job so it better suits their goals.

The point is to realize that your happiness at work isn’t contingent on getting a title bump.

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Counterintelligence expert Robin Dreeke: Put yourself in your manager’s shoes

Dreeke is the former head of a behavioral analysis program and the co-author, along with Cameron Stauth, of “The Code of Trust.”

Dreeke said that you want to think like your manager when you’re gunning for a promotion. “If you want to move into a position of leadership, or you want to move up in the company,” he said, “the first thing to ask yourself is, ‘How can I inspire them to want me?'”

He added, “You’ve got to understand what’s important to them. How do they see prosperity? What can you do to make their job easier?”

You might call it managing up, or tailoring your performance to what your boss wants.

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Former GE exec Beth Comstock: Let your boss know you want the promotion

Comstock is the former vice chair of General Electric and the coauthor, with Tahl Raz, of “Imagine It Forward.”

She nearly missed the first big promotion in her career because no one knew she wanted it. Specifically, management thought that because she was a young mother, she wouldn’t be able to handle a job that involved a lot of travel.

Ultimately, she spoke up and got the position.

Comstock said that the lesson she learned from that experience is: “You’re the boss of you. Until you tell people what you want to do, there’s no way you can do it.”

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The Muse HR exec Toni Thompson: Have ongoing conversations with your boss about your goals

Thompson is the senior vice president of people and talent at The Muse.

She said it’s important to talk to your boss about your professional ambitions so they can help you get there. But only about half of people broach the topic.

Thompson said:

“They may not be able to give it to you right away. But it’s really great if you have that conversation upfront because then they are able to tell you … are you ready for the role that you’re saying you’re ready for? And they’ll be able to keep an eye out for big assignments or responsibilities that they might be able to give to you.”

Ideally, this conversation between you and your boss will be ongoing.

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Former NYU executive coach Erica Keswin: Form relationships with coworkers across the organization

Keswin is a workplace strategist, a former executive coach at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and the author of “Bring Your Human to Work.”

When she works with clients on taking the next step in their career, she recommends that they build relationships throughout their organization. Keswin said a great way to forge those relationships is to join employee resource groups — for example, a group for women or for millennials.

That way, Keswin said, “you have champions in other areas” — not just your manager and your team.

Read more.


Former Facebook and Google exec Libby Leffler: Start doing the work of someone senior today

Leffler is a vice president and business unit lead at personal finance company SoFi. She previously worked at Facebook and Google.

Leffler’s advice to anyone seeking a promotion is to start doing the job you want … today.

Once you’ve begun tackling the responsibilities you’d earn if you were promoted, you can go to your manager and say, “Here are all the things that I’ve taken on additionally in the last [however many] days, and the ways I’ve been contributing to the team. I’d like to level up and receive a promotion to this new opportunity.”

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Facebook VP Julie Zhuo: Don’t become a people manager until you have some management experience

Zhuo is the vice president of product design at Facebook and the author of “The Making of a Manager.”

One of the most powerful leadership lessons she’s learned is that no one should become a people manager without having some management experience.

For example, they can mentor new employees or manage a summer intern. “That gives you experience as to what the job will be like,” Zhuo said, and “you can get a feel for it.”

Ultimately, the person can decide whether this type of role appeals to them — and if not, that’s OK, too.

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Etiquette and civility expert Rosalinda Oropeza Randall: If you don’t get the promotion, talk to your boss privately about the reasons

Oropeza Randall is an etiquette and civility expert and the author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”

She shared some advice for what to do when you don’t get the promotion you were hoping for — because it can happen to the best of us.

Make an appointment to see your manager privately, so you can hear their rationale for promoting someone else over you.

“You don’t know your coworker’s background,” Oropeza Randall said. Maybe they’ve been taking night courses, and that tipped the scale.

Alternatively, your manager may say they’ve had their eye on you for another position that’s a better fit.

“Before you make a scene and really ruin your professional reputation,” Randall said, “find out first.”

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IAC exec Sharfi Farhana: Pioneer a new path at your current company

Farhana is senior vice president of talent acquisition and management at IAC brand Angi Homeservices.

Before that, she was IAC’S head of executive recruitment — a position she invented for herself.

In the months before pitching the position to management, Farhana had been connecting with coworkers in different departments to learn about their projects and the specific challenges they faced. In turn, they’d put her in touch with other people in their network who might be looking for a new role, and she’d help them find one at IAC.

When she approached her boss, she presented data that showed how she’d help the company in the new role.

“Rather than me having to walk in there and really very directly say, “I deserve this,'” Farhana said, “it was more, ‘I’m here as a colleague solving a business problem. Let’s figure this out.'”

Read more.

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