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How To Move Up Quickly In Your 20s

8 May 2008 4 Comments

Any ambitious 20-something wants to move up quickly through the ranks of their employing company.  Promotions come with more money and sometimes more interesting work and responsibility.  There are a few things you can do to put yourself in a position for early promotion and get your footing on the fast track.

Demonstrate The Responsibilities of the Higher Level at your Current Level

In order to make it known that you would be competent at the level to which you wish to be promoted, you need to demonstrate those qualities and responsibilities that are attached to that higher level.  If you are unsure of what is expected of each position or level, ask a manager or executive to provide a roles and responsibilities description for both your current level and the next level.

Talk to your boss or lead about your desire for more responsibility and for the opportunity to demonstrate some additional responsibility.  Your boss will be impressed with your proactive style and your desire to move forward.  This conversation will always have a positive result even if there are no opportunities for additional responsibility.

Get To Know The Right People

Unfortunately, it is tough to move forward at a faster than average pace without someone above you lobbying for your early promotion.  Make a point to get to know the people who make important decisions.  Even the highest performers sometimes go unrecognized if they don’t have the right relationships.

If you don’t have much exposure to executives or managers, send one an email and ask him to get lunch at some point in the future.  Tell him you are interested in learning about his career and would love to get any advice from him regarding your own direction.  Good executives love to speak into the lives of their younger employees when they have time.  If they are too busy, don’t get discouraged.  Continue to look for opportunities to connect.

Get Proactive

Landing an early promotion will probably require you to do a combination of both concepts described above.  Get proactive and put your career on track for success.


  • brian said:

    I think another important move is to switch jobs fairly often every 18-24 months. I’ve done this for the past 3 jobs over the last 5 years and have doubled my salary, and broadened my experience while still gaining valuable knowledge and skills.

    I should note you can only do it 3-5 times, at which point you should settle down and not continue the job hopping.

  • Charmi said:

    Yes Job Hopping can help you, but you need to be very sure of the reasons you give everytime for your quitting of the previous job. It should not have an impression that you are a job hopper or that you are unable to stay in a company for long