As in most things, what determines your promotion is still the decisions you make and how you perform in your current job. However, just going out there “to do your best” just doesn’t cut it. Doing one’s best entails having a specific goal in mind (get promoted) to help you focus, adapting to the prevailing corporate culture or organizational structure, widening a network of influential relationships, and planning ahead. If you go out and do your best in these areas and following these strategies, you may well find yourself getting promoted.

Adapt to the new organizational structure. According to Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., a published career expert, getting promoted is also hinged on adapting to the new corporate paradigm. The impact of technology, globalization and flatter organizational structures, has made it possible for people to create and manage their own career paths. Today, the multi-tasking nature of jobs requires not just specialization but stacking up on related skills. This makes moving on to lateral positions sensible; you may need to make such a move to position yourself for an upward move in the future.

Plan ahead. According to Dr. Donald E. Wetmore’s The Productivity Institute, people who go to work each day who don’t have a plan of action in accomplishing their duties will unlikely get promoted. Having a plan for the short and long-term helps you foresee threats and opportunities that might crop ahead and act on them appropriately.

One of the most irresponsible ways to work is to simply react on what things come your way according to the sense of urgency it presents in any given moment. On the most basic level, having a daily and weekly checklist, drafted according to the deadlines you need to meet and the opportunities you’d like to take is effective in letting you see where you’re headed for and how much you’re getting accomplished. Set long-term goals by visualizing where you’d like to be in the future and make micro plans in accomplishing them.

The bottomline is to make sure that you know what you’re doing all the time. Don’t get lost in a flurry of expectations and responsibilities. And in doing so you stay focused enough to excel in your present job so that you’re ready to get higher responsibilities when the time comes.

Build good relationships. There are many ways to build career relationships Flatter working structures make team playing and broadening a network of influential relationships integral to your career move. Be a team player and establish a bond with your boss. Studies show that people who have amiable relationships with their superiors and build rapport with them make it easy for them to climb the corporate ladder.

This goes hand in hand with seeking a mentor. One recent study found that out of four out of five promotions, those promoted had a mentoring relationship with someone in a higher position and who helped endorse them for positive career moves. This is because your mentor, who has personally had a hand in your development and training, can attest from experience your competence and ability, not to mention the fact that this is one of the best ways to grow in your company. Seek out a mentor; just don’t forget that the best teaching relationships are founded on amiable friendships.

Meanwhile, actively networking not only enriches your circle of friends but also helps you be in the know when a good opportunity comes up. Being a team player helps builds your reputation and increases your value to the organization when you recognize, appreciate and harness the talents of your team mates to produce the very best value for your company.

Promote yourself. Don’t expect your superior to guess at your accomplishment. It is your job to make him or her be aware of your accolades and what you’ve accomplished for your department/ the company so far. One of the best ways to do this is to quantify results. Make a good case for a promotion by showing detailed information about your past successes. Results-oriented people usually get ahead.

Be creative in making your achievements known. Do this in such a way that doesn’t seem like you’re bragging and thereby inadvertently inspire the ire of your colleagues. For example, in sending accomplishment reports to your boss, always acknowledge the contribution of people in your team whenever applicable. The bottomline is to put your achievements in focus. This makes sure that whatever good you’ve done for the company doesn’t go away unnoticed and uncompensated.

Taking the initiative to strategize for a successful career path is a surefire way in getting ahead.

By Lolita Villa