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Congratulations, you’re employed!  You don’t have to worry about the toils of the job search and can relax in the comforts of your day to day routine, right?

But, maybe your job has become a bit stagnant and you’re wondering why you’re getting passed over for promotions and raises?  Guess what: If you’re getting passed over at work, you’re letting your interview skills get rusty and go to waste.

Interviewing is a life skill, not just an every now and again skill you brush up on when you’re out of work or wish to change companies.  If you think you can stop interviewing just because you’ve landed a job, think again.

When you already have a job, you’re interviewing every day for your next role, and if you want to land that promotion or raise, you need to go back to your interviewing basics.

Research the Company/Interviewer

Who is the person making the decisions on promotions and raises?  What criteria have they based their decisions on in the past?  Do they have exposure to your work?

If they don’t have exposure to you, a good idea is to start networking internally to build your referral base and make sure everyone has something great to say about you.  If the role you want is in another department, you might ask your manager to put in a good word or take on additional responsibilities being a liaison to that department to gain exposure.

Know what the hiring manager looks for and make sure you are always exemplifying the skills and characteristics they hold in high regard.  Talk to people who are currently in the role you want to know what it will take to be successful, and make sure you are working towards being able to replicate or improve upon their success.

Apply for the Job

All too often people get passed over for promotion merely because their managers didn’t know they were interested in moving up.  Some managers will be proactive in their employees’ growth and look for ways to help their careers, but some just don’t have that focus or the time.

Don’t wait for them to approach you if you know you want to move up.  Make sure you approach your manager early and often (but not every day) about a career path in the company and what you can do to reach your goals and theirs.

If they don’t know you’re interested, you might just get looked over and build up resentment  and start job hunting elsewhere, when you could be forging stronger relationships internally.  Set reasonable expectations, be proactive in your ambition, and you’re more likely to see the results you want as you mature in the organization.

Show Value Added

One of the biggest mistakes employees make is asking for a raise without offering any sound reasoning behind their request.  Just because you show up every day and do the job you were originally paid to do, does not mean that you should now be paid more to do the same job.

If you think you are deserving of a raise or a long-awaited promotion, build your business case.  How have you contributed to the organization?  What roles and responsibilities have you taken on (or are willing to take on) outside of your original position?  What benefit is it to the company to promote you or offer you a higher compensation or bonus?

Just like in the interview, even though it’s a two-way conversation, the bottom line is: it’s still about the company and what you can do to help your organization thrive.  If you haven’t been adding value and have been just been maintaining the status quo at work, your manager is not likely to see you as motivated and ready to hold additional responsibility.

Don’t just pick up the pace when the rumor of a promotion comes around–show what you add to the team each and every day, and higher-ups will be looking to promote you, when you’re ready, rather than looking who to promote or hiring externally to fill a gap.

It’s never too late to shift gears.  You might not get the promotion this time around, but you might turn a few heads with your change of attitude and focus and be remembered the next go-round.

If you want a successful career, always keep your interviewing skills fresh.  From networking to self-promotion to referrals, your competence for interviewing will continue to open doors to new opportunities, internally and externally, if you continue to use your skills on a regular basis.  Don’t put your skills away just because of a little job security, use them to enhance your career and reach higher, each and every day.

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