How to Get That Next Job or Promotion

Bill Abbate

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There is plenty of advice on what to do and how to get that next promotion or job you want. Of all the ways people espouse, there is still a more straightforward, fundamental way to achieve what you want.

I realized this when I ran across a quote written early in the last century by one of the most successful men in the country, P.G. Winnett. He ran the highly successful, upscale department store chain Bullock's for many decades as an owner and shareholder. Unfortunately, within 30 years of Winnett's death, the new owner, Federated Department Stores, shut the business down.

Nonetheless, Winnett, a brilliant and successful businessman once said:

"When a man has equipped himself by thought and study for a bigger job, it usually happens that promotion comes along even before it is expected." P.G. Winnett

In this simple statement, Winnett provides the key to upward mobility in the workplace. The experience of many people bears this out, including my own. Let's break Winnett's words down.


Most people are familiar with the quote

"As a man thinketh, so is he." James Allen

Allen took this thought from scripture in the ancient book of proverbs, and it is as true today as it was thousands of years ago. Everything starts with thinking.

It is only common sense if you seek a promotion or a better job and begin to give it thought, the likelihood of it happening increases significantly. Because of your thoughts and the questions that inevitably come to mind, you will seek answers. You will find ways to improve yourself to secure a promotion or a bigger job in those answers.

"Change your thoughts and you change your world." Norman Vincent Peale


Once you are out of school and in the workplace, what you take an interest in can further your career. When you develop the desire to move up and move ahead, you will learn what you can to facilitate it. Your formal education may have gotten you the position, but it's what you do after you have the job that matters most. When you continue to learn and grow, your chance of climbing the ladder increases tremendously over the average employee. Most companies have far too many average employees who have little interest in learning more, so you can easily separate yourself from the crowd by studying what they never will.

"Never regard study as a duty but as an enviable opportunity to learn…" Albert Einstein

Final words

"Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential." John Maxwell

The final point in Winnett's words is that the promotion (or job) will come along even before expected. This is true, and having both seen and experienced it many times in my career before I retired, it indeed happens quite often. Each of the promotions I received, especially early in my career, was due to studying technical books, manuals, and journals, providing me with much of an engineer's knowledge without having the formal education. This knowledge took me to the top of my profession.

Additionally, I promoted many people throughout the years, especially in sales. I can think of several that studied and applied what they learned, advancing into management and executive roles. All it takes is a little reading. You will find numerous stories of people getting ahead in the workplace by applying themselves to thought and study.

Since you must think anyway, why not think about what you want next in your job and life? Since you will need to learn more anyway, why not study those things that will help you get more out of your job and life? This straightforward solution can be as easy or as difficult as you wish to make it!

I leave you with some words of wisdom to encourage you to make your thoughts and study count:

"It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste." Henry Ford

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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