Being promoted takes more than just applying for the next job or even getting an interview. You can set yourself on the path to your next promotion right now, by getting promotion-ready. Today you have to be out there creating and managing your career path.   Here are four tips to help you develop and grow your promotion strategy.

  1. Find a mentor

Having a strong mentor is crucial for a successful career. A recent study showed that having a strong mentor in the company was a factor in four out of five promotions.

Many companies have a mentoring program you can join, but you can also look around for someone in a more senior position and ask them to mentor you. The important thing is that your mentor is someone whose judgment and experience you trust and who has respect in their field.

A good mentor can provide advice, contacts, and guidance and can put you in touch with a range of other contacts.

  1. Be authentic and professional

It’s much easier to practice self-promotion if you’re your authentic self. Being your true-self makes it a lot easier to relax and do your best at work.

Being professional also means being your best you. And that means being polite, punctual and supporting your boss and your colleagues. It also means being neat and professional in both your appearance and workspace. Become noted for your trustworthiness, your loyalty and for volunteering to do tasks others might reject.

  1. Network effectively

Effective networking is based on sincerity, not collecting business cards. Some of the best networking organically happens, as you say hello or good morning, as you hold the elevator doors open for someone, as you chat with your neighbor before the meeting starts. Try to make a genuine, positive connection with everyone you meet, smile and make eye contact. Follow up with people you meet at conferences and meetings. You never know who is going to end up on the other side of the interview table!

  1. Build your skills and knowledge

If you’re seeking a promotion, do your research and find out what skills and knowledge you need to get that job. Whether it’s another job in the same company, or you want to make the jump to a different industry, it’s always a good time to invest in new skills or qualifications, so you are ready to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along.