How underdogs will get promoted this year.

Doing your job isn’t enough.

Working harder than all of your coworkers isn’t enough.

Having a college degree certainly isn’t enough, even if it’s in something really marketable like “marketing.”

Putting in one smiling year on the bottom of the totem pole isn’t enough.

There are thousands of other people putting in their time, too. The world doesn’t owe you a promotion, a pay raise, or even an attaboy. The people in line ahead of you certainly aren’t going to toot your horn.

Someone is clearly tooting this horn.
Someone is clearly tooting this horn, however. Creative commons image courtesy of on1stsite

The secret to standing out in the crowd: how you react to being in the back of the line. It’s easy to grin and take your lumps for a year. It’s easy then to expect some manager to ride in on a white horse to save you, pluck you into a corner office with an administrative assistant, and give you 13 people who report to you.

One of the drawbacks of the current economy is that people with great degrees, tons of experience and internships, and winning smiles are everywhere: People who went to school with the aim of being in management and eventually CEO of their own little company. Now, they are at home crawling through or at an entry-level position somewhere waiting for their chance to get promoted.

So, if you plan on being promoted before them, it’s all about attitude. Entitlement thinking is rampant in our corporate culture. The only way to stand out for promotion is gratitude. It is impossible to be grateful and entitled at the same time.

Who can you thank today?

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