So, you’re an ambitious marketer ready for your next challenge, but you’re not sure exactly how you’re going to reach that promotion? Good, you’re in the right place. We know that navigating the career ladder can feel daunting, so we’ve crafted a five-step plan to help you make the move.

The key to a successful promotion is all about knowing yourself and planning like a boss. You have to have a clear understanding of yourself as a marketing professional, to make sure you’re moving into a position that you’re ready to smash. You also need to have a clear plan of how you’re going to get there, otherwise you might end up stuck in a role that doesn’t fit your career goals.

Working through these steps will help you level-up your career in a way that works for you. Our advice is not to go it alone – you can ask for help from a trusted connection who knows you well, to make sure that you’ve got a rounded plan. It’s also a good idea to have support as you work towards a promotion, because we all know a job transition can be stressful. 

Assess your current situation 

Your first step is to take a look at where you currently stand professionally. With a firm understanding of what you bring to the table, you will be able to articulate your strengths clearly during interviews or performance reviews. 

Some questions to consider when you’re assessing your situation are:

  •  What are your strengths and how do these make you an asset?  
  • What are your weaknesses and how are you working to improve them?  
  • How has your experience so far prepared you for the next level of your career?  
  • What are your professional values and how do these align with the work you do? 

Make sure you’re completely honest when assessing yourself. It can be difficult to evaluate yourself honestly but doing so will make sure you aim for roles that are perfectly suited to you. This is where having a colleague to help can keep your assessment as accurate as possible. Once you have everything written down, be sure to update your CV so it reflects where you are currently and not when you last applied for jobs.

Identify your goals 

Next you need to consider what your career goals are. It doesn’t need to be a plan for decades into the future but having an idea of how you’d like the next few years to look will help focus your energy. Consider where you’d like to be in 10 years and think about what steps you need to take to get there. For example, if you’re currently a Social Media Executive and you’re aiming to become a Content Director, then a Content Manager position is likely to be a good stepping stone for you.

If you’re not one for planning that far ahead, consider what you enjoy about your job, what skills you have to offer that are above and beyond your current position, and what you hope to gain out of your next one.

You should also decide if you’re looking for an internal promotion in your current role, or if you’re wanting to move to another company. You can then plan your next steps, whether that be hunting for new roles, or arranging a meeting with your current team to discuss your progression. 

Refine your professional brand 

With an understanding of where you are currently and where you want to be, you can look at your professional brand to ensure that you have a clearly communicated profile. It’s no good keeping your achievements to yourself, you need the rest of your network to understand how brilliant you are. 

Your skills and values are key to refining your professional brand. Your strongest skills will guide the type of marketing roles you should work in, and your values will influence the type of companies you will be a good fit for. For example, if you’re a digital marketing wizard who feels strongly about animal rights, then this should be clear in your online presence, so that you demonstrate what a good fit you would be for a Channel Manager role at the RSPCA. 

Spend some time updating your CV and LinkedIn profile to make sure they both reflect your professional profile and are consistent with each other. An employer will likely take a look at your LinkedIn profile with your CV, so you don’t want them to be different. Don’t think too hard about it, just be your natural awesome self. It can be difficult to do but being confident in yourself is key to showing future employers how you stand out.

Upskill yourself 

When you’re assessing yourself, you might have identified weaknesses that you want to improve. If there are any gaps in your knowledge that you need to fill, it’s a good idea to look for training courses that can help.

Whatever your motivations are, training demonstrates to employers that you’re actively progressing yourself and investing in your future. If you’re investing in high-quality courses, these will also show that you’re caught up on the latest methods. You might find that you’re able to bring fresh skills to a team and be a real asset in your new role.

Set your plan into action 

Congrats, you made it to the final step! This is where you make a real start on your progression. Having worked through this plan, hopefully you now understand yourself as a marketing professional, you can communicate it to others and you’re sure of the type of role you’re aiming for. Step number five is to set your plan into action – just get started!

Send over those applications or arrange a meeting with your manager. Be confident in asking for what you want and explaining why you deserve it, because you’ve done all the hard work to get yourself this far. Be proactive in pushing yourself forward, because the only person who can truly advocate for you, is you.

We’re super passionate about helping ambitious marketers level up their careers, so we’ve written loads of our advice on our Insights and Tools page. We’ve been in the marketing game for a while, so we’re confident you’ll find some insightful information over there. If you have any questions or want a little extra advice, just head over to our Instagram or LinkedIn and drop us a message.