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How To … Get A Promotion

Posted June 26, 2012 by Catherine in Ramp Lists

People think that the best way to move up in a company is by working hard, getting results and impressing your boss. I am here to shatter that misconception.

Are you ready to have your world rocked?

Hard work is for poor people and the Japanese. If you want to be promoted then all you have to do is look better than everyone around you and this can easily be achieved by messing with a few heads.

◊ Use Technology

Computers are the present and the future. Managers like staff to be able to use them, so show off. Use lots of computer words like ‘HTML’ and ‘CSS’ and ‘spreadsheets’ in casual conversation with your co-workers and boss, regardless of the context. This will make you look smart and show people that you’re the kind of person who knows things. You should also tell people you have a Macbook and wave your iPhone about a lot; Apple products automatically make you look smarter than everyone else. Mentioning ‘apps’ a lot is also a good idea.

◊ Extra Credit

Identify the person who gets the best results in your company. Next time he/she achieves something impressive, casually mention to your boss that it’s a pity Random Colleague on Super-Over-Achieving Co-Worker’s team didn’t get the credit they deserved after doing all the work. This will make you look compassionate and also put a seed of doubt in your boss’ head about Super-Over-Achieving Co-Worker claims. Each time SOACW gets good results after that, tell your boss that you were actually the driving force behind that success.

◊ The Stare Down

Stare at colleagues in your immediate area during the day. Look at them over your computer screen so all they can see is your eyes. Stare intently at them whenever they take a phone call and especially when they’re eating. Maintain eye contact whenever you can and keep perfectly still. Break up the intense staring with periods of mimicking their actions. This will serve to make you appear unbalanced and colleagues will be reluctant to cross you for fear of angering you and triggering a killing spree.

◊ Jargon

Confuse people about your job and make them think you do way more than you do. Target people who hold the same position as it will mess with their heads when they have no idea what you’re talking about. Halt conversations and say things like “I have to integrate cross-platform platforms,” “I need to mesh scalable metrics” and “I’m sorry, I really have to get back to synthesizing the digital abstractions”. These phrases are especially impressive if you’re not even remotely connected with the IT department. Don’t worry if you don’t know what the words mean; you’ll sound really impressive and no one will question you for fear of looking stupid. If anyone does question you, just roll your eyes and say you don’t have time for this. Then walk away.

◊ The Fake Phone Call

Pull out your phone while talking to colleagues, say “Sorry, it’s China” and start a fake conversation. Conduct the conversation loudly so everyone can hear you and do it in Chinese. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Chinese; it doesn’t sound real anyway so feel free to just make up a fake language like Asian actors do in American movies. No one will know the difference. If you’re not good at making up languages convincingly, study your Chinese take-away menus and just repeat those words.

◊ Unagi

A jittery colleague is an unproductive colleague. Hide in cupboards/around corners/under desks and jump out at them, shrieking, at random intervals. This will make them nervous and break their concentration. If they try to tell management about your conduct, deny all knowledge of this. It sounds too far-fetched to be true so they’ll just look paranoid and neurotic.

◊ The Intervention

Pick one co-worker to frame as an alcoholic. Spike his/her coffee and tip spirits onto their jackets and coats when they’re not at their desk so they smell of alcohol. Extra points for hiding bottles in the desk drawers. Lead the intervention so that you look like a hero.

◊ Keeping Up Appearances

You must always look busy and important. Photocopy and shred things regularly. Loudly tap the buttons on your computer’s keyboard at high speed. Wear an intense expression on your face while you do this and if anyone looks over, turn to look at them and tell them you’re increasing revenue while still typing manically. You should also walk around holding folders and stacks of files. There doesn’t need to actually be anything in them. If anyone asks about them just look at them like they’re an idiot. Do this for at least a minute. Then walk away.

You’re welcome.

Readers who have been positively affected by Catherine’s How To are reminded to send gift baskets and handsome escorts. Readers who have been adversely affected are reminded that this How To is for entertainment purposes only and any negative escalation of your professional misadventures or decline in civil relations with your Asian friends after reading is purely coincidental.

About the Author


Catherine often dreams about living in a tiny Parisian apartment and penning the next great novel of her generation until she remembers how impossible it is to get a decent cup of tea in France.

  • Sinéad


    Tragically, I think if I said anything about synthesising the metrics in my office I would just be believed.

    I am all for jumping out at my colleagues to make them nervy and paro.

    • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

      You’re both my colleagues.

      This guide is going to come in very handy in the Basement.

      • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

         But if we’re all using it against each other, what kind of madness will ensue!!!?

  • Sinéad

    *stares at Lisa over top of typewriter*

  • Thepenguinmaster

    Love the casual racism!

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