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1. Target promotions.
This is the No. 1 piece of advice offered by business consultant Brendan Reid in his recent column at Fast Company.
"I've never been handed a promotion in my entire career -- it's very rare," Reid writes. "So if you're sitting around waiting for someone to appreciate your work so much that they present you with a promotion, you are making a mistake."
Instead, he suggests writing a promotion plan, identifying specific target positions both within your department and the company as a whole.
2. Assess your skills.
Once you know where you want to go, you can start identifying the skills gaps that are keeping you from being a viable candidate. It might be as simple as learning an in-house system or as time-intensive as picking up a new certification, but you'll never know until you get started.
3. Talk to people with the job you want.
Connecting on LinkedIn is a great place to start, but if you really want the dirt on what you need to do to succeed, make a coffee date and start picking brains. Former managers are a great place to start. Not only do they have in-person knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, but they'll have a practical sense of what you need to do to bridge the gap between where you are, and where you want to be.
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