Everyone wants that coveted promotion – a shiny new title, the ability to do more and have more influence, and of course, a higher paycheck. But before you start hounding your boss about that next step, here are a few tips to consider:

Make Sure There’s Room to Grow

Before you even think about approaching your boss regarding a promotion, take a step back and think realistically about your company. Is there room for growth? Is this a company you see yourself at long-term, where you truly want to invest that extra effort? If you answered either of those questions with a “no,” you might want to start looking for a new job elsewhere. However, if the answer to both of those questions is a resounding “yes,” then read on!

Excel at Your Current Position

Getting a promotion is exciting, but it ultimately means taking on more work and more responsibilities. Make sure you’re proving to your boss that you can handle the extra work by going above and beyond when completing your current tasks. Be efficient, ask insightful questions, and ask for more projects when you have the time. Think independently when tackling your work and try new angles. If issues arise, don’t shy away – seize the opportunity to show your incredible problem-solving skills. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed.

Keep Track of Your Successes

Any time you get an email praising your excellent work, stow it away in a sub-folder of your inbox. If your boss says something about your incredible ability as a leader and a team player, jot down the quote with the date and context. Keep a copy of projects that you’re particularly proud of. If you are in any kind of creative industry, maintain a portfolio of your best work. When it comes time to ask for that promotion, you will have tons of supporting evidence as to why you truly deserve it!

Flex Your People Skills and Avoid Drama

Getting a promotion relies heavily on your ability to do the work, but also on your ability to contribute to the company culture. Make sure you don’t focus so hard on moving up that you alienate yourself from your coworkers, even if you might be competing with some them for the position at stake. And for goodness sake, do not start rumors and perpetuate office drama. It is part of your job, no matter what that job is, to act in a professional and mature manner. Don’t lose sight of that attitude and your boss will surely notice.

Remember – Your Promotion Should Benefit the Company Overall

Don’t become so hyper-focused on what this promotion will mean to you personally that you lose sight of the company’s overall goals. Your boss is not going to promote you just for fun – he or she is going to carefully consider what your promotion would mean to the success of the company. Remember this when you prepare to ask, and include just how your being promoted would be of overall benefit. Coming from this angle will remind your boss that you truly care about the business and simply want the ability to contribute even more than you already are.

Asking for a promotion can be daunting, but taking these preliminary steps will prepare you to make a great offer and give you the best shot at getting that new title!