Craig Pearn, talent acquisition manager at Ubisoft’s Reflections studio, offers advice on standing out from your peers

New Year, New Job: How to get promoted

How developers can improve their chances of promotion and career progression?

I was always told that the day you start a new job, you should already be planning your next step forward. For the majority of people, getting a promotion is a big deal and seen as a reward for hard work and high performance. 

At Reflections, everyone has the same opportunity to progress and your evolution is clearly mapped out. Unlike many companies, there is no glass ceiling. You do not have to wait for someone to leave, retire or advance before an opening comes up here. There is a leadership and an expertise path in place that is linked not to tenure, but to the proficiency level reached in your current position. With every evolution, you gain a new level of responsibility.

My advice for improving your chances of promotion is to take control of your own destiny, take responsibility and talk to your boss about what it would take for you to get promoted.

Having clear objectives in place is important and the benchmark of what is expected of you. You should be engaging in meaningful discussions with your manager about where you currently are with your work, showcasing your skills, explaining your career goals with the company and finding out what options are available for advancement.

You will definitely be recognised if you’re having an impact outside the scope of your normal job and taking on extra responsibility. This will benefit your professional image and increase your network in the workplace.

How can you stand out from other devs?

Keep your skills and knowledge up to date. I’d recommend talking with people around you to find out how they continue to develop their skills or finding out what kind of training is available to you.

Reflections has made a huge investment into training and development, and also holds annual performance reviews to assess employees’ current performance, accomplishments, potential for future improvement and areas for development. 

Achievement of your objectives is key, but why not get involved in extra-curricular activities, too, to get yourself noticed? If this isn’t an option for you then create your own side projects – or offer to help others with theirs.

Be involved in game jams – and always offer ideas and suggestions. Perhaps you could mentor more junior developers or attend industry events and learn about next-generation technology. Volunteer wherever you can.

What can damage your chances?

If you’re wondering why you’re being overlooked for promotion or you feel there is no advancement, then you need to talk with your manager. 

If you are sitting in silence or you’re the person hoping that someone will notice you, then you could be there for a while. You may genuinely lack the skills necessary to do the job, so you will need to be proactive and take more of an initiative to find out.

There may be other factors involved that are damaging your chances, such as not being a team player or sitting back doing the bare minimum. You might not respond well to feedback and have decided not listen to constructive comments. In the end, it’s your manager that will promote you – so take on board everything they have to say.

One thing that will definitely damage your chances is having a bad attitude around your peers and lack of engagement with your job – and don’t bad-mouth your company.

It’s not just about what you do, but how you do it. People who succeed are passionate about what they do, have never-ending enthusiasm and channel their energies into being the best that they can be.

Check out all of our New Year, New Job 2016 content here.

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