Increasing numbers of young people are expecting to get promoted after only a short period of time. What does it take, regardless of age, to earn a promotion and how can a supervisor support and develop an employee who is not yet ready for a step up the ladder?

In order to qualify for a promotion, or even a raise in the same position, you need to be certain you have fulfilled all the requirements for your current job. And have done so to your supervisor’s satisfaction.

Look through the job description for the position you are currently in, and one by one, identify, specifically, how you have fulfilled that requirement. Be sure to have data to back up your claims for each of the required tasks! This information is also useful for the written self-evaluation you provide at the time of your performance review.

Next, ask yourself what additional responsibilities have you undertaken in your current position. How have they contributed to the needs of the organization? List those added responsibilities in the document you prepare for your performance review, along with the benefit to your supervisor.

Maybe you’ve picked up some responsibilities for a person who has left or been out for an extended period of time. Maybe you’ve offered to stay late to finish a project that was urgent and pressing. These contributions must be above and beyond what is required in your current job description.

Do you have a position in mind that you intend to apply for? Is it aligned with your current skills and abilities? Do you meet all the requirements for that new position? Can the position be seen as the next step in your professional growth, or is it far too big a stretch?

Be honest with yourself here! If you truly are ready, go for it!  And if you need to work a bit on accomplishing more so that a hiring manager or a search committee will take you seriously, it’s time to create a plan for your professional development!