15 signs you’re about to be promoted at work — even if it doesn’t feel like it

It might finally be your time to snag that promotion.

caption
It might finally be your time to snag that promotion.
source
Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr

  • If you’ve been working towards getting a promotion at work, you’re probably wondering what are the signs your boss wants to promote you?
  • Sudden invitations to meetings and lunches you were previously excluded from could be indications you’re about to be promoted.
  • Keep an eye out for a combination of these and other signs to know if you’re being groomed for promotion.

Maybe there’s a sense of euphoria in the air that you can’t quite pinpoint.

Or perhaps you have a new sense of confidence at work.

It might be because you’re finally getting that promotion at work, but it’s hard to tell for sure until it actually happens.

Thankfully, “there are some telltale signs that you may at long last be getting that coveted promotion – you just need to look for them,” 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,” told Business Insider.

“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,” told Business Insider that the signs aren’t always obvious, but people can usually tell if they are being considered for a new role.

“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,” Kerr said. “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 15 of them:


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

source
bbernard/Shutterstock

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

And if you’re in meetings with senior management, managers from other departments, or key clients, Kerr said that “reflects a great deal of trust in your abilities.”


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

source
Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr

Yes, it’s extra work – but it’s also a sign that you’re trusted to take on more duties.

“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,” Kerr said.


Your boss is being promoted

source
Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr

If you have an excellent working relationship with your boss and work closely with them, it’s good news for you when they move up.

It’s possible that you’ll join them on the higher rung of the ladder, Taylor said.


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

source
Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr

Your boss just had a lengthy conversation about your family life, training goals, and long-term career plans.

According to Kerr, this means that senior leaders are trying to gauge your ambition and where you stand among your colleagues.


Your boss or higher-ups start inviting you to lunch

source
Sean MacEntee/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,” she told Business Insider. “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

source
Timur Karpov/Strelka Institute/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 said.


Or, if you’re the one training your coworkers

source
Mikhail Goldenkov/Strelka Institute/Flickr

Taylor said a key sign is if management starts tappingyou to train other individuals or groups.


You’re suddenly treated like royalty

source
Gareth Fuller/Reuters

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,” Taylor said.


You are asked for your input more frequently

source
Timur Karpov/Strelka Institute/Flickr

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


Kudos are more prevalent, even in public.

source
Strelka/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,'” Taylor said.

Be sure to create a file with all of these, whether by saving the emails or writing down the praise with the date and details.


The company is rapidly expanding

source
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean you’re about to get promoted.

But it does mean there’s more money and more potential for you to get the role you’re interested in.

“If your company is thriving and your department is actively hiring, this bodes well for your advancement,” Taylor told Business Insider. “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.”


Higher-ups suddenly pay more attention to you

source
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?

It could mean that your name has made it into the meetings with company leadership and you’re on their radar.


You have a high emotional intelligence

source
Mikhail Goldenkov/Strelka Institute/Flickr

Writing for Forbes, TalentSmart president Travis Bradberry said emotional intelligence is crucial for promotion.

That means you don’t throw temper tantrums, get mad at people who misspeak or are rude, storm out of meetings, or give the silent treatment.

“You might be able to get away with being a temperamental genius in entry-level positions, but you’ll never move past that without emotional intelligence,” Bradberry wrote.


You rise above office politics

source
Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr

You’re actively engaged in the company culture, but you’re not scheming, gossiping, or contributing to any office politics. Instead, your colleagues find you positive and professional.

All this is probably making your managers’ lives easier, putting you in a prime spot to move up the ladder.


You’ve slowly picked up responsibilities that you didn’t have before

source
Hero Images/Getty Images

This is the biggest sign. If your responsibilities are at a higher level than your title, you’re primed for a promotion.

“There’s little downside, as you have a proven track record,” Taylor said. “So the title (and hopefully salary increase), become a formality.”

In fact, if you have a lot more on your plate than you used to, it’s a sign that you need a promotion or a pay bump to compensate what you’re contributing to the company.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise if it hasn’t come your way yet.

Jacquelyn Smith contributed to a previous version of this article.