13 signs you’re about to get a promotion at work

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Look for the signs.
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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

A feeling of euphoria is in the air. You suddenly have new sense of confidence at work because you suspect that you’re finally going to be recognized for your hard work. But until you get the great news, you really can’t be sure – and you most certainly shouldn’t start celebrating.

“However, there are some telltale signs that you may at long last be getting that coveted promotion – you just need to look for them,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”

“But remember, false reads on promotions happen every day, so even if you think you see the signs, you’ll want to remain as neutral as possible and stay focused on doing your best work.”

Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humor Advantage,” says the signs aren’t always obvious, but people can usually tell if they are being groomed, or at least considered, for a promotion.

“Being self-aware is a critical skill for anyone to develop and so you should, ideally, always have a reasonably good sense as to how you are perceived by your colleagues and senior leaders,” he says. “And talking about your career goals and potential career paths should be a conversation you have on a fairly regular basis with your boss.”

Whether you’re having those discussions or not, you’ll still want to keep an eye out for the signs a promotion might be in your future. Here are 13 of them:


You’re suddenly invited to meetings that you were previously excluded from.

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Flickr/John Benson

This is a good sign, especially if you’re invited to join meetings that involve senior management, managers from other departments, or key clients. “This obviously reflects a great deal of trust in your abilities,” says Kerr.

Taylor agrees. “This is a great sign, especially if your advice is sought during these meetings and you’re asked to lead future ones.”


You’ve been asked to take on a special assignment or project with added responsibilities.

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Shutterstock

“It shows that you’ve earned the trust of at least your immediate leader and it’s a great opportunity to grow and demonstrate new skills,” says Kerr.


Your boss is being promoted.

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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

When your boss moves up, it’s a prime opportunity for you to advance – especially if you’ve worked closely with your boss and they’ve groomed you for the spot, says Taylor.


Your boss is leaving the company.

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Volt Collection/shutterstock

Similarly, if your boss is moving on from the company and your employer needs to replace him or her quickly, they might be considering you for the role.


You’re being asked to talk about your long-term career plans.

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University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment/flickr

If your boss takes the time to have an in-depth conversation about your family life, training goals, and long-term career plans, then this is a sign that senior leaders are sussing out where you, and possibly your colleagues, stand in terms of career goals and ambition, says Kerr.


Your boss or higher-ups start inviting you to lunch.

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Gareth Williams/flickr

This isn’t the case in every workplace, but often, prior to a promotion, you may notice more invitations to lunch, says Taylor. “Good bosses view themselves as mentors and enjoy sharing in your success. They may also want to show appreciation for your work or want greater camaraderie through lunch or coffee breaks, as their level of trust increases. All positive signs for a promotion.”


You’re offered training opportunities or asked to attend a special conference to help build your skills.

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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

When senior leaders invest money in your professional development, it’s because they see potential in you and may be grooming you as part of their succession plan, Kerr explains.

Another good sign is if management starts tappingyou to train other individuals or groups, Taylor adds.


You’re suddenly treated like royalty.

Do you practically feel like the red carpet is thrown before you as you enter your office space?

“Maybe your boss and other managers are aware that you will soon be rewarded for your contributions, so they begin treating you like gold, with newfound respect,” says Taylor.


You are asked for your input more frequently.

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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design

Being asked for input is a sign that people respect your wisdom, judgment, and experience, Kerr says.


Kudos are more prevalent, even in public.

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University of Exeter/Flickr

“If you’re seeing more emails with ‘Good job!’ and higher ups are being copied – or you’re even praised in public more frequently – your boss may be making a case to clinch the deal for your promotion by creating a positive ‘paper trail,'” says Taylor.


The company is rapidly expanding.

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Flickr/Random Retail

This may not, of course, mean that you’ll be in line for a promotion, but it does mean that there’s the potential for new roles to open up and for people, including your immediate boss, to be shifted somewhere else, Kerr explains.

“If your company is thriving and your department is actively hiring, this bodes well for your advancement,” adds Taylor. “But you’ll need tenure at the firm, and solid recent results to show for it, of course. Promotions are merit-based, not tenure-based.”


Managers suddenly pay you more attention.

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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

Do higher-ups seem to be paying more attention to your perspectives, ideas, and communications in emails and proposals? Do they suddenly say “hi” and smile every time they pass you in the hallway? Maybe it’s because you’re on their radar.


Your job description has already been upgraded functionally.

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Tech Hub/flickr

When you’re already doing more senior work that is suited for a higher-level job description, you’re considered a good candidate for a promotion, Taylor says. “There’s little downside, as you have a proven track record. So the title (and hopefully salary increase), become a formality.”