Aah… promotion. Some people just seem to know the secret to it while you may have been floundering in your current position for the longest time. Do you remember Randy from Episode 005 of the Happy Yuppie Podcast? He got promoted several times, he didn’t even complete a four-year course.

Here are several tips on how you could get a promotion at work.

How can you get a promotion at work?

Be excellent. Always.

Go the extra mile. Don’t just settle for average performance. Don’t just aim for the minimum requirements. If you go over and above what’s required from you, the people in your organization will come to know you as an excellent worker who will accept nothing but the best performance in yourself. That will also mean that you will expect the best from the people who will be working under you when you get promoted.

Cultivate relationships.

Sometimes, the problem of “office politics” boils down to the cultivation and effective management of relationships. Don’t be a snob. But don’t be too familiar, either. Instead, cultivate good working relationships with your colleagues and if you have a chance, develop friendships, or at least acquaintances, outside of work.

Take on extra work.

These kinds of work may not necessarily be on your job description. Take on extra work that can help other people make their lives easier. If you do it often enough, people will be asking you for help regarding ways that could make their work easier. When time for promotion comes, these people can testify to how helpful and effective you are at work.

Be teachable.

Learn all you can about the business that your company is in. Understand the rules. Learn how you can bend the rules without doing anything illegal. Prepare yourself for managerial or leadership roles. Even if you are not yet a manager, learn the tricks of the trade. When opportunities kick in, display these skills and knowledge to solve the problems of the organization.

Actively look for opportunities to grow.

Opportunities will not go looking for you. Look for them. Keep your eyes open and use the opportunities that come along as stepping stones toward your promotion. Opportunities are always there and they usually come in the form of problems that must be solved.

Be friendly with your boss.

It’s not about sucking up or flattering your boss. Rather, it’s about getting to know your boss more deeply—understanding his personality, work habits and other quirks. This will also mean that your boss will come to trust you as a person and not just as an employee or staff.

Look for a mentor.

Your mentor could be one of the senior leaders in the organization, or somebody who does not belong to your organization but who wants to help you succeed in your role. A mentor can provide tips and pointers on how you can improve. He can also point out your mistakes and your weaknesses and help you improve. You can also look for a career coach and help you navigate your corporate culture and be a great employee!

Be a great team player.

Look after the welfare of your colleagues. Don’t just move ahead of them. Help them out. Share your skills and your talents to the group. This way, you also help them out. Competition can help you in your career. But more often than not, collaboration gets you there faster. Don’t be a snob and a loner. Imagine what you can do when you’re alone. What if you can inspire your teammates to multiply your efforts together? The results could be amazing!

Set goals for yourself.

Goals are amazing! They can help you move forward even when you feel as if you have nothing else to give. When you keep your personal vision in mind, you can also identify the specific goals you need to implement to get promoted at work.

Display leadership.

Even if you’re not yet a top-level manager, you can display leadership—not the authoritarian kind of leadership, mind you. Show the world what you have. Take charge. Solve problems. Be accountable. Be willing to put your neck on the line. Aim for the sky and achieve it! Leaders are not content to sit in the sidelines. They go out there and fight! They mobilize people towards achieving the goals for the organization.

Become the best in anything that you do!

That’s a great way to becoming the leader or manager that you were meant to be. A final note, though. Don’t just follow all the tips mentioned here because you badly want that promotion. Instead, you should do them because you truly care for your job, your colleagues and the company you work for. That will surely help you get ahead in due time.

Some people love playing dirty. Here are several unethical ways to get promoted at work.

Suck up to the higher management.

Flatter your bosses whenever you can—tell them how good they look in that suit or in that office. Talk to your boss about how amazing he is at leading and managing your organization. If you cannot deliver great performance, then perhaps flattery will get you that promotion.

Claim credit for what you didn’t really work for.

Even if you’re working for a team, be the loudest one and claim credit for the accomplishments of the team. Whenever there’s blame to be shared, tell them it wasn’t your fault. Point to the person next to you as the culprit; whatever happens don’t take the blame.

Shoot down the achievements of others.

If someone else in your organization appears to perform better than you do, look for ways to discredit him or her to make your own accomplishments look good. Unearth some issues about your colleague and let other people in the office know about it. If you can’t find one, then manufacture one.

Look for cronies and yes-men!

Gangsters need their assistants and their cronies so they would feel secure. Go look for your yes-men and cronies to support you as you wreak havoc in the organization. They will be your henchmen and they will do the dirty jobs for you. There’s no need to pay them. Promise them that you will reward them richly when you get that promotion. Make lofty promises so they would be willing to do the dirty job for you.

Keep doing these unethical tricks and before long you will get fired from the organization. You may get the promotion but at the cost of your reputation. The very welfare and future of the organization may appear bleak with you at the management helm.

Don’t play dirty. Do things the right way. Build your character even as you aim for the promotion you’ve wanted for so long.