Have you ever been promoted? If so, congratulations. If not, there might be something you can do about that. And we don't mean "be more confident" or "be more passionate." We mean specific actions you can take to impress your superiors—and take home a bigger paycheck. Even if you're not specifically looking for a flashier title or more money (although who isn't?), these tips will help you become—or remain—a valued employee.
How did we find such useful tips? We asked the boss.
In fact, we interviewed nearly a dozen bosses, in fields ranging from marketing and tech to new media, executive recruiting, and financial planning. They spoke, on the condition of anonymity, to share exactly why they'd promoted a direct report in the past. From telling the boss when she's wrong to schmoozing at happy hour, their answers just might surprise you.
1. Tell Me I'm Wrong
"I love when someone smart challenges my thinking," says one boss.
That's not to say you should be arguing with your supervisors on a regular basis, but if you have a well-thought-out point that disagrees with your boss's plan, consider bringing it up directly. As this boss says, "I love it even more when a person has the data, facts, or examples to actually make his or her point."
2. Bring the Bad News First
"Don't tell me how fantastic you are. Tell me what is going wrong and, even more importantly, what you are going to do to fix it." Ultimately, a mistake or issue is your boss's responsibility, so make sure your supervisor is aware of any large-scale or constant problems. This doesn't mean you should email every time the printer is a little wonky, but you should make sure your boss is apprised of any serious issues.
This serves two purposes: First, it lets your boss know you're on top of the problem and working to fix it. Second, it gives your boss the time to work on her own solution, or at least prepare for a different course of action—and to present it to her boss.