Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Do I Get Promoted?

So you have been an officer for a while and you want to move up to field training officer, corporal or even sergeant. What do you have to do in order to promote? First of all find out what requirements you agency has for the next position. Sometimes they want a degree, or perhaps there is agency or state training requirements for supervision. Talk to your existing supervisors and find out what they think you need to do to get promoted. There may also be time in grade requirements you have to meet.

First thing to do is master your present position. If you want to supervise others, you should know how to do the job you are supervising. If you can’t do the easy job, how can you do the harder, higher ranking job. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be very good at it. Once you have mastered the skills in your present job, start learning the next level up. It makes it easier to promote you if you already know how to do the job and have been doing it for a while.

See if the there is an opportunity to fill in temporarily when a supervisor goes on vacation or if their position becomes open for a while. Particularly learn those skills you don’t know now. Can you write a schedule? Do you know how to minimize overtime? Can you do a department budget? Can you manage a fleet of vehicles? Do you know how to write an effective evaluation of a subordinate? These are typical skills for first line supervisors and they are often not performed by lower level employees. Pick up some skills, and pick up a promotion; that’s what the SGT Says.

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