Three habits to secure a promotion

Getting up early can improve your mood and give you time to identify longterm goals
Competence alone won’t cut it – you need to be comfortable discussing your success

WHEN it comes to getting a promotion, it can be tough to distinguish yourself from the competition. Chances are you’re already working flat out and have taken on new responsibilities. But by making some changes to your daily routine and being assertive about your successes, you can build a strategy, extend your influence and get your boss’s attention.

From Darwin and Mozart to Obama and Howard Schultz, many of history’s brightest and most successful have been early risers. It’s not easy if you work long hours, but some sleep experts recommend going to bed and getting up earlier to sync your body’s circadian rhythm with the earth’s to ensure that you recuperate better during the hours you do get.

Not only can early morning exercise calm and energise you, these hours before work are the ideal time to develop strategies for securing promotion and ensuring your working hours count towards it. Early risers are more proactive, concluded research by Harvard biologist Christoph Randler. When surveyed, they strongly agree with statements like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen”. Randler’s study also indicated that people who get up early are more likely to anticipate problems and confront them efficiently.

For those with a heavy workload, working through lunch can be an unfortunate necessity. A Bupa study has found that 40 per cent of workers feel less productive without a lunch break, and if you’re angling for a promotion, you need to be firing on all cylinders. But lunch can be more than just a time to recharge, it may be the only chance you have to network with colleagues and superiors.

“In a typical meeting, the business agenda controls the time frame. If you only have 20 minutes of substantive discussion, you will find yourself dismissed once you make your point,” says entrepreneurship coach Kevin Daum.

Lunch is different, Daum explains. “Eating is an expected social experience, you have the chance to find common ground and bond. Create a memory that becomes the basis for your future relationship”. Investing 45 minutes to grow your influence within your company and field could well help you in the long run.

If you want a promotion, you’ll probably need the confidence to ask for one. Relying on your record with colleagues is not enough. Being comfortable with publicising your achievements in the workplace is fundamental for your value to be recognised.

“It was nothing, really” can be a knee-jerk response for those who are modest by nature, and the path between assertiveness and arrogance can seem tricky to navigate. Learning to accept praise from colleagues is a good start.

“When you devalue a compliment, you can send the message that you have a low self-esteem, aren’t confident in your work or don’t respect the opinion of the person who gave you the praise,” explains business etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore.

When it comes to workplace PR, you don’t need to brag. Just fairly assess your value to the company, argue Adam Riccoboni and Daniel Callaghan in their book The Art of Selling Yourself. Back this up with examples of projects where you have made a significant impact.

Your superiors have more to worry about than your career trajectory, so reminding them of your worth could pay dividends at your annual review.

Sleep easy

The perfect partner for anybody answering emails right before bed, Twilight places a soft red filter over your screen to protect your eyes from blue light, which restricts Melatonin production and can disrupt your sleep patterns. Available for Android, Twilight adjusts its filter’s intensity depending on when the sun rises and sets in your location.