How to Impress Your Boss, Earn a Promotion, and Make More Money

Chad Zollinger

Last Updated: July 13th, 2020

Debt, taxes, and everyday expenses can obliterate your paycheck.

As you get older, you accumulate medical expenses, possible tax debt, and other unforeseen debts. You have kids and, though they do bring you joy, they also bring additional expenses.

When you are surrounded by financial burdens, you have two choices: you can either cut costs or increase your income. Fortunately, this article will show you how to make more money by impressing your boss and earning a promotion, which is the quickest way to drastically increase your income.

Basic principles of earning a promotion

Michael D. Brown, Career Consultant and Director at Fresh Passion Institute puts the climb up the ladder into perspective: “Career growth is all about professional differentiation. This means you stepping out of the queue, differentiating yourself from the ordinary. No one is honestly going to admire you if you have precisely the same characteristics as them — if you have nothing more to offer than they do.”

Standing out always has its own dangers. By extending yourself, being unique, and drawing attention, you invite scrutiny and criticism — this is to be expected. Your superiors will begin to look deeper into your work ethic and performance.

If your superiors like what they see, they’ll consider you for a promotion.

It’s vital that both your work ethic and job performance are top notch compared to your co-workers before you bring unique ideas to the attention of your superiors.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of employee does my boss need?
  • Which employee attributes does my boss value most?
  • What type of employee would get a promotion?
  • What type of employee am I going to be every day?
  • What do I need to do each day to impress my boss?
  • What can I say to my boss that will help my cause?

Answering these questions will help you create a goal specific to what your boss is looking for in an excellent employee.

Differentiation is a lot easier when you have help. I’ve asked career experts to provide tips and proven strategies to help you stand out from the crowd and catch the eye of your boss.

If you fully incorporate the ideas given by these business executives, career experts, and professionals, you will impress your boss, earn promotions, and make more money in the long run.

1. Document your successes obsessively

Will Craig, Managing Director of LeaseFetcher

“If you want a promotion at work, you're going to have to prove to your boss why you actually deserve one. Reeling off a list of your past achievements will do just that.

A lot of people can have trouble coming up with a list of their successes on the spot though, so it's much easier if you keep a comprehensive list of every single achievement you make that you can refer to when it comes to asking your boss for a promotion, or for dropping subtle hints.

It doesn't have to be anything too complicated either – literally just a pad of A4 paper where you list your achievements, as and when they happen.”

2. Actively post about your job on social media

Son Ngo, Founder of Tankscrib

“Post a good picture of your company on social media. An employee at my previous company once put a cute picture of him and some co-workers under a huge Christmas tree at the corporation's lounge on Facebook. The caption was "This is what family is all about!".

It caused a small stir among his circle (his most liked picture!), and days later my record showed that he got a significant raise. I want to stress that the employee was doing great, and he would be likely to get that promotion had he not posted the picture. However, that picture surely gave him a much better image with his manager and within the company.”

3. Show reliability through consistent attendance

Deborah Sweeney, CEO of

“Show consistent attendance. I know that on the surface this does not sound like a 'unique' strategy, but it really does set you apart in a positive manner. Showing up and being on time in the workplace tends to tie in with other consistency traits, such as meeting deadlines or reaching time-sensitive goals.”

4. Accept the responsibilities before the title

Altimese Nichole, Founder of Altimese Nichole Enterprise

“[Don’t] be afraid to take on the responsibility before the title. Rise to the occasion and live your life as if the title is already yours. It's a little of the law of attraction and a lot of self confidence, in spite of fear.”

5. Develop strong relationships with clients

Airto Zamorano, Founder and CEO of Numana SEO

“Develop unbreakable relationships with your clients. It's hard to find good people in general, but it is especially hard to replace a key person on your team that clients depend upon.”

6. Learn to innovate

Daniel Shen, Founder of Soqqle

“Be innovative but not out of scope. Play in the lane and [win] the race but don't jump into other people’s lanes. Bring bosses and managers into innovation plans. Before that, learn how to innovate.”

7. Be strange and unique

Michael D. Brown, Career Consultant and Director at Fresh Passion Institute

“Why should your boss like you when you give him just what every other person in the office can offer? Why should your agitation for promotion be honored when there is no grain of difference between you and others in your workplace?

It is becoming increasingly obvious that being “nice” and “okay” takes you through your career (in terms of career growth) at bicycle speed while being “strange” and “unique” takes you through at jet speed.


8. Back your performance with data

Solomon King, CEO of Glacier Wellness

“If you want to win that promotion you have to show that you've earned it. That being the case, be sure to bring the data which effectively shows how you've contributed to company growth and how you've personally progressed over time. Besides communicating your value to the business, this also shows your hunger for growth and ability to track and analyze data.”

9. Get media coverage for your company or product

Nate Masterson, CFO of Maple Holistics

“Getting media coverage for your company’s products or a new project the company wants to promote is a great way to garner attention for the business and accolades for yourself. Think outside of the box when seeking a promotion so that you set yourself apart from everyone else at the company.”

10. Ask key questions in interviews

Dr. Elliott B. Jaffa, Behavioral and Management Psychologist

“As a behavioral and management psychologist, a promotion begins at the job interview.

a. When the hiring manager (not the HR person) asks, "Do you have any questions for me?" I highly recommend asking, "When would I receive my first performance review?" The typical response is, Annually. Ask if your performance can be reviewed after six months to make sure that your performance and work ethic (two very important words to use) are up to and hopefully exceeding the company's expectations.

b. Assess if there are any skills you would like to learn or further develop beyond the scope of your current duties. Bring one or two to the boss's attention and say, ‘I feel I could become more valuable to you (key word) and the company if I could be cross-trained on. . . ’

c. When given an assignment always ask what metrics (key word) are noted and captured to measure success. Further explain “This is important to me to do produce quality work.”

11. Map the power dynamics in your workplace

Will Craig, Managing Director of LeaseFetcher

“There's no denying that getting a promotion involves catching the eye of your manager or boss but you need to make sure that you're actually attracting the attention of the person who has the power to make that decision. That's where mapping your workplace comes in.

Workplace mapping is when you think strategically about where the power resides in your workplace and you note the people who can effect change there. This can help you come up with a much more effective strategy for getting that promotion, rather than wasting time trying to get the attention of people who don't have the power to actually promote you — as much as they want to.”

12. Leverage your current position

David Alexander, Digital Marketer for Mazepress

“You know what they say, it's always easier to find a job when you already have one. So if you want a promotion, consider interviewing at other companies and if you get an offer that involves more responsibility and a pay rise use that to your advantage when negotiating with your current employers.

Letting your bosses know that you are in demand and other companies are willing to pay you more and position you higher in the chain of command is a sure-fire way to get their attention and increase your chances of success when trying to win a promotion even if it is a little Machiavellian.”

13. Have an honest conversation with your boss or supervisor

Kay Rodriguez, Editor-in-Chief of

“It might feel terrifying to go directly to your boss or supervisor with a request to get promoted, but putting it on their radar directly shows confidence and strength (both qualities of a great leader!). If you do set up a meeting to discuss a promotion, be armed with specific information about what kind of role/title/salary/compensation you'd like to receive.”

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