Show your manager you have what it takes

  • 01-05-18
  • David Landau

Do you believe you’re ready for a step up in your career? Or have internal changes created an opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on? Either way, it’s important to remember that your career path is in your hands and you need to take responsibility for it. There is, however, an art to showing your manager that you have the potential to add more value and be promotable. Although it can be difficult to know where to start, we’ve put together some key steps that you can take to help your promotion prospects in the competitive Sydney Accounting sector.


It’s easy to do what you’re told, but to put yourself in line for a promotion you need to go above and beyond the duties that would be normally expected of you. The best way to do this is to be curious, look for solutions, not problems and show that you’re interested in more than your current role. Being the person that asks busy colleagues and Managers: “Is there anything I can do to help before I head off tonight”. Doing things when you say you will and really delivering. Ensuring you only need to be told things once. Taking notes and engaging in meetings and training sessions. Not getting unnecessarily involved in company/team politics. Managing upwards.

Each of these attributes indicates a great work ethic, which managers will inevitably notice and will make you more promotable. That said, be careful not to stretch yourself too far, as this can be counterproductive. You still need to perform in your current role, so taking on so much extra responsibility that it becomes a distraction is ill-advised. Find a balance by demonstrating that you would add more value to the business by taking on a larger remit.


Sitting back and waiting to be told what to do is one of the key negative traits that holds people back in their career. Be proactive and seek out new projects, by looking out for different ways that you can add value to your organisation. If you see a problem, don’t just leave it for someone else to deal with. Demonstrate that you’re a problem solver by bringing ideas and solutions to the table and then play a role in putting them into action.

You might also want to get to know more people in your company. Find out what is going on in and around the organisation. Is there a company committee or some charity work that you can get involved in? These opportunities allow you to showcase your strengths to the wider business and gain visibility with management. It can also be another way to demonstrate your motivation and positive attitude.

Having a mentor can also be invaluable. If you don’t already have one, it’s worth looking for someone you trust and respect who can support you in maximising your potential. Not only can a great mentor offer guidance and support, but if they’re in your company it can also be another opportunity to get noticed and demonstrate how committed you are to your personal development.

Finally, self-learning is a great way to demonstrate that commitment. Assess yourself and your performance. What are your strengths? What are your development areas? Is there a skill gap that may hold you back? Learning is a continuous process and for your personal development you might need to look at some further training and/or qualifications.


With Managers often battling conflicting demands, they don’t always have your career development and advancement in front of mind, so it’s always a good move to make them aware of your professional goals and ambitions.

Do remember that there are many people who aren’t on the look out for a promotion. Some people are very happy to remain in their roles for long periods of time and (if you’re after that promotion) you don’t want your manager to think that you’re one of them. Make your intentions clear or risk being overlooked.

Be clear on what you want to do next and set yourself some long and short-term goals. One good technique for goal-setting is to start with your big, lofty end-goal, and then work backwards to set the smaller goals that will help you get there. For example, if the new role requires skills that you don’t have, outline your plan to acquire them. If you decide to share some of your goals with your manager, it shows that you’ve given it some thought and are serious about the direction your career is heading.

If you’re unsure of what those next steps might be, then it’s never a bad idea to speak up and ask your manager. By asking them what they think you can do to prepare yourself for your next role, not only are you getting useful advice, but you’re also making your intentions clear to them. Ensure you remain realistic and as the old saying goes; “We have to learn to walk before we can run” so get the balance right.


Promotions don’t happen by themselves, so waiting for a promotion to come along is the wrong move. In my experience, if someone is truly worthy of a promotion the tend to be the type of person who gets rightly noticed and is promotable. By expanding your scope and being proactive, you can position yourself so that when the next opportunity for a promotion arises, your name is at the top of the list.

If you’re considering your next Sydney Accounting job, or just looking for some advice, get in touch with our experienced recruitment team.

Follow us on LinkedIn for more recruitment tips and insights.