It’s so hard for you to watch.

One by one, your food & beverage industry colleagues get promoted while you toil away, month after month, in your current position.  You want to wish each of them well, really, but silently you ask yourself, “Why them, and not me?  Do they know something that I don’t?”

Maybe.  If you want to realize your full professional potential, your boss must perceive you as a viable candidate for advancement.  Your hard work and accomplishments are key, obviously, but playing the personal PR game is just as critical to staying visible in your company.  If you’re looking for ways to make yourself more “promotable,” here are some great ideas to get you started:

  1. Assess where you are and where you want to be.  Before you identify specific ways to promote yourself, you need to conduct an honest appraisal of your job, your professional strengths and your goals (if you have a good boss, he may even help you with this exercise).  Take the time to write down:
    –Your current job description
    –Your key strengths, skills and accomplishments
    –A description of the job you want, including the skills and experience it requires
  2. Identify gaps between where you are and where you want to be.  Do you need to build your knowledge base?  Develop better management skills?  Learn a new software program?  Conducting this professional inventory will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and create a roadmap for where you want to go.
  3. Seize every opportunity to learn.  Stay on top of new trends in your segment of the food and beverage industry to increase your knowledge and skills in areas critical to your organization.  If you want to be promoted to a specific position, find out everything you can about that job.  Read, take classes or inquire about shadowing opportunities to prepare yourself for stepping into a new role when the opportunity arises.
  4. Make friends with higher-ups.  Establish rapport and cultivate good relationships with your boss and his colleagues.  When you attend company gatherings or fundraisers, do more than make an appearance.  Talk with people throughout the company, not just within your team or department.
  5. Create a portfolio.  Keep track of your professional accomplishments and contributions by assembling a portfolio that showcases your skills and experience.  When it comes time to make your case for a promotion (with either your company or a competitor’s), your portfolio will prove an invaluable tool.
  6. Brag the right way.  When it comes to getting promoted, “who knows you” is often as important as “who you know.”  So do what you can to get onto key executives’ radar screens, without coming across as a braggart:
    –Accept credit graciously.  Instead of shrugging a compliment off, try saying, “Thank you.  I’m really glad my hard work paid off.”
    –E-mail your boss a brief weekly status report, outlining your major accomplishments and upcoming projects.
    –Volunteer to draft your team’s memos to department heads.
    –Present your group’s milestones at the next business planning meeting.
  7. Be patient.  Promotions are not always available when you want them.  Sometimes, you have to stick with a company a little longer to get the promotion you deserve.  If you’re working for a good company, keep your eye on the prize and stick it out a little longer.

Here are a few more great tips to help you get the promotion you deserve.

If you’re in the market for a new job, or are just curious about what kind of food and beverage are available right now, please call us today.  As national recruiters specializing in the food & beverage industry, Kinsa Group offers a variety of excellent career opportunities.

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