14 Habits of Individuals Who Get Promoted Quickly

From establishing a measurable promotion path to quantifying and communicating your value, discover the top 15 habits that can accelerate your career progression, complete with real-world examples

Rising quickly through the ranks is often the result of specific, repeatable habits, as explained by CEOs and founders in our latest roundup. From establishing a measurable promotion path to quantifying and communicating your value, discover the top 15 habits that can accelerate your career progression, complete with real-world examples.


One habit of someone who gets promoted quickly is having a measurable path to promotion with their boss. This involves initiating a direct conversation about the specific skills, experience, or behavioral changes needed to bridge the gap between their current position and the desired promotion. 

By actively seeking this feedback and creating a plan with measurable metrics and timelines, individuals demonstrate their commitment to growth and advancement within the organization. This proactive approach sets them apart and increases their chances of being promoted quickly.

Jennifer Frigault, Founder and Executive Coach, Spire Vision Leadership


During my time in recruitment and as an academic associate professor, I have seen many people get promoted, and they all seem to have one habit in common: proactive problem-solving. Individuals who take the initiative to identify issues before they escalate and propose effective solutions tend to stand out and climb the career ladder more quickly.

As an example, I have worked with someone who is extremely thorough in all he does. He’s a master of preempting future risk situations and putting in place actions that prevent risks from either occurring in the first place or escalating. As a result, his career has blossomed.

Dr. Mark Farrell (FIA), Founder, CEO, Associate Professor,and Actuary, ProActuary Jobs


One of the best ways to earn a quick promotion is to be proactive in identifying and solving problems, even when it’s not your job. Employees who are observant and then make the effort to improve the business, regardless of whether it’s their primary responsibility, will be recognized and celebrated. That assertive attitude will often lead to a promotion because leaders will know you’ll get the job done well.

Logan Mallory, Keynote Speaker, Logan Mallory Speaks


Active listening with empathy is an unusual but important skill that has had a huge impact on my own development in my early years. It’s about actually knowing and connecting with your people, not just hearing what they say. 

With difficult assignments, I made a concerted effort to listen to each team member’s concerns, not only about the task but also about their personal experiences. By displaying empathy, we created an open workplace in which everyone felt heard and respected. This not only increased morale, but also resulted in more innovative problem solutions because team members felt comfortable sharing their ideas. 

Active listening with empathy has become a cornerstone of my leadership style, fostering a culture of collaboration and understanding. It can make you relatable to most people, thereby giving a positive aura around you.

Ashwin Ramesh, CEO, Synup


Actively seeking feedback—and acting on it—is a habit of those who climb the career ladder quickly. A colleague regularly requested feedback from both peers and supervisors, using it to make precise adjustments to her work approach and interpersonal interactions. 

This habit of iterative improvement based on feedback greatly enhanced her performance and interpersonal relationships, leading to rapid promotion. Being open to and acting on feedback demonstrates a commitment to personal and professional growth, a trait highly valued in potential leaders.

Ryan Zomorodi, COO and Co-founder, Real Estate Skills


Someone who takes on more responsibilities will get promoted quickly. You can do 100% of your job but won’t get promoted because that is what you are hired to do. At ListLink, we expect you to work hard and deliver your work on time. 

So, what would set you apart is your willingness to shoulder additional duties. Promotion follows responsibilities, and not the other way around. I recall a team meeting where a senior developer mentioned needing assistance with a PowerPoint presentation for an upcoming client meeting. Before he could ask, a junior developer stepped forward, confidently saying, “I will take care of it,” which he did. 

He was ready to take on more responsibility beyond his immediate role and became one of the fastest-promoted individuals. Eagerness to take on more responsibility is the fuel that fast-tracks a career. Grab responsibilities with enthusiasm any chance you get.

Serhii Antoniuk, CEO, LITSLINK


While it makes sense that doing a good job should ultimately help you move up the corporate ladder, unfortunately, it isn’t enough on its own. I personally know many high-performing professionals stuck in the same role for over a decade and average performers who have advanced into leadership positions quickly thanks to their stellar networking skills.

While making notable achievements at your company is the first step to getting noticed by higher-ups at your firm, you need to socialize and make connections with those people and express your interest in moving into senior positions as well. Attending corporate events and participating in meetings are some obvious and excellent ways of getting noticed. Moreover, stepping out of your comfort zone can further enable you to stand out from the crowd. For example, I know professionals who go as far as adopting their boss’ hobbies to spend time with them. One even learned to play golf when he found out that’s where the company C suite spends their weekends and, unsurprisingly, he’s now among them.

My point is, while promotions do take into account your overall performance, your soft skills and personality also matter, especially for positions that require you to lead a group of people. When you personally connect with key company decision-makers, you’re likely to create a strong enough impression to be a confident choice for a higher-level role.

Ben Lamarche, General Manager, Lock Search Group


Clarifying expectations with managers and regularly asking for feedback often fast-tracks employees for promotions. Asking questions and getting clarity before and throughout projects ensures you make fewer mistakes and improves the quality of the end results. When you ask thoughtful questions, it also signals to managers that you have strong communication skills and a keen eye for potential roadblocks. And when you show that you’re strong enough to predict those potential challenges before they arise, managers take notice. 

Combine that pre-project clarity with an interest in receiving constructive feedback and using it to improve your skills, and you show the maturity, critical thinking skills, and drive needed to deserve a promotion.

Robert Kaskel, Chief People Officer, Checkr


During my tenures as an employee, business owner, and consultant, teachability has been a high-priority quality that often gets promoted. The idea that someone is not just open to feedback but seeks it out and desires to grow and be better speaks volumes and is often the kind of person you want to build around. 

At my last venture, I promoted someone on our team to management not because of their skill set or overwhelming talent, but rather because they often did what they said they would do, they were coachable, and showed up more often than not as a help, not a hindrance. That’s worth promoting.

Matthew Sanjari, Founder and Business Coach, PRIME Consulting


Being the CEO and founder of Toggl, I have seen how certain habits can propel individuals up the career ladder more quickly than others. Toggl, with its focus on building productive tools for hiring, planning, and tracking, has given me a unique vantage point to observe the traits of swiftly promoted individuals. Let’s explore one such habit and a specific example illustrating its impact.

Exceptional communication skills are crucial. Individuals who can clearly and effectively communicate ideas, feedback, and solutions across all levels of an organization tend to excel. This ability to articulate thoughts clearly ensures that their ideas are heard and understood, positioning them as invaluable team members and leaders.

An engineer from our Toggl Track team exemplified exceptional communication by launching a “Customer Insight” newsletter. This initiative bridged the gap between complex user feedback and actionable development insights, translating technical jargon into clear, relatable content. Her efforts improved our product’s responsiveness to user needs and enhanced the development team’s connection with our customer base. By effectively communicating across technical and non-technical audiences, she not only boosted customer satisfaction but also highlighted her leadership qualities. Her ability to make complex information accessible and engaging led to her rapid recognition and promotion within the company.

Alari Aho, CEO and Founder, Toggl Inc


One habit of someone who gets promoted quickly is their ability to consistently go above and beyond the expectations of their role. A specific example that illustrates this habit is a member of our creative team who significantly elevated our product by leveraging outside skills and technologies. 

This team member dabbled in animation and created stunning visuals for our virtual events. They also meticulously researched and tested software that boosted our production design. Although these were not mandatory requirements for the role, the employee used their drive and abilities to make an extraordinary, unique impact on the organization. Recognizing this fact, we promoted the employee several times.

By consistently exceeding expectations and demonstrating a strong work ethic, he stands out among his peers as someone deserving of advancement within the organization, even though our company is small and opportunities are limited. This proactive approach not only showcases his dedication to success but also highlights his potential for taking on more responsibilities in higher positions.

Michael Alexis, CEO, teambuilding.com


Waking up early and staying ahead of everyone, from industry updates to upskilling, increases your likelihood of getting promoted quickly. An early bird indeed catches the worm, which correlates with discipline and dedication. Consistently demonstrating initiative, efficiency, and a willingness to learn makes you stand out as a valuable asset to your employers. 

I personally believe that this habit opened many career opportunities for me, which enabled me to level up from being a technical field representative to an executive vice president and chief operating officer at Wainbee.

Campbell Tourgis, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Wainbee


Maintaining a positive attitude and showing resilience in the face of challenges are common traits among those promoted quickly. A team member once faced a critical project setback due to unforeseen circumstances. Instead of succumbing to frustration, she viewed it as an opportunity to innovate, leading her team to develop a new solution that not only addressed the immediate problem but also improved the project’s long-term viability. 

Her positive approach and resilience not only salvaged the project but also earned her recognition and a swift promotion. Leaders value individuals who can turn challenges into opportunities and inspire others to do the same.

Shawn Plummer, CEO, The Annuity Expert


From my observation, getting promoted isn’t just about doing quality work; it’s about making sure your boss knows it, too. I’ve come across high-potential professionals with low self-esteem. Let alone not communicating their value, they don’t even recognize their own worth to begin with, and that often stunts their career advancement. 

Track whatever you do, use KPIs to measure your success, and bring up numbers or any extra responsibilities you’ve handled in one on ones and performance reviews. You saved your company $4 million, great, but if nobody knows about it, it doesn’t matter. Knowing how to quantify and present your achievements is key to getting promoted.

For example, if you’re going for a director-level role, you could say something along the lines of, “Not only was I X times more efficient than my peers in managing my accounts, but I also undertook X, Y, and Z, which are actually a director’s responsibilities, and I would love to get promoted into a role that reflects my work.”

Joe Coletta, Founder and CEO, 180 Engineering

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