Earning

The top 10 U.S. jobs where it's easiest to get promoted, according to LinkedIn

"You are your own PR team and the people you interact with at work have a significant influence on your career."

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The Great Resignation prompted many Americans to quit their jobs in search of a better one. More than 4 million people, or 2.8% of the workforce, left a job in October, according to the latest Labor Department data — the third-highest quits rate ever. At the same time, other hopeful workers are looking for a position that's a better fit with their current employer.

Getting a promotion can expand your role, boost your pay, and send a message that you're on the right professional track. But it can be easier to achieve in some jobs and industries. To find the top U.S. jobs where it's easiest to get ahead, LinkedIn's Economic Graph team studied internal promotion data at companies with more than 10 employees from November 2020 to October 2021. 

Here are the 10 roles where employees got the most frequent promotions.

10. Purchasing

Internal promotion rate: 12% above national average
Top regions: Fayetteville, Arkansas; Columbus, Ohio; Atlanta
Top skills: Strategic sourcing, procurement

9. Consulting

Internal promotion rate: 13% above national average
Top regions: Chicago, Boston, New York City
Top skills: Business analysis, agile methodologies

8. Sales

Internal promotion rate: 13% above national average
Top regions: Austin, Texas; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, California; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Top skills: Account management, cold calling

7. Finance

Internal promotion rate: 18% above national average
Top regions: Boston; Wilmington, North Carolina; Pittsburgh
Top skills: Financial analysis, finance modeling

6. Business development

Internal promotion rate: 26% above national average
Top regions: Fayetteville, Arkansas; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, California; Chicago
Top skills: Tableau, strategy

5. Human resources

Internal promotion rate: 44% above national average
Top regions: Fayetteville, Arkansas; Boston; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Top skills: Onboarding, applicant tracking systems, recruiting

4. Accounting

Internal promotion rate: 47% above national average
Top regions: Boston, Denver, Chicago
Top skills: Account reconciliation, generally accepted accounting principles

3. Program and project management

Internal promotion rate: 51% above national average
Top regions: Wilmington, North Carolina; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Top skills: Cross-functional team leadership, agile project management

2. Marketing

Internal promotion rate: 94% above national average
Top regions: New York city; Boston; Austin, Texas
Top skills: Digital marketing, email marketing, content marketing

1. Product management

Internal promotion rate: 149% above national average
Top regions: Fayetteville, Arkansas; Austin, Texas; Richmond, Virginia
Top skills: Product strategy, product road mapping

'Knowing how to navigate your company' can help you get promoted

To gauge your chances of advancement, get a sense of how promotions are handled where you work. Some companies may encourage workers to move up the ladder every few years, while others may wait for a vacancy. In certain cases, you may have to negotiate with your manager to create a brand-new role.

"Advancement relies on a combination of knowing how to navigate your company structure and your skills," says Angelina Darrisaw, a career coach and founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach.

When you figure out what the patterns are, she suggests you keep in contact with your boss to monitor progress toward your end goal together. Offer to help out where possible. That can include not just meeting but exceeding your responsibilities, and building good rapport with co-workers.

"Networking is key when developing your personal and professional brand to make sure that you're creating opportunities for yourself," Darrisaw adds. "You are your own PR team, and the people you interact with at work have a significant influence on your career."

Networking is key when developing your personal and professional brand to make sure that you're creating opportunities for yourself.
Angelina Darrisaw
career coach and founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach

Outside of understanding how your company works, put some time in learning more about your own role, says Monster career expert Vicki Salemi: "You can angle for a promotion by becoming a knowledge expert. Pay close attention to skills needed to succeed. Look at job descriptions for the next level and identify the gap on your resume to see what needs to be filled."

During a performance review or scheduled sit-down with your manager, ask if your company offers online training or provides opportunities to upskill, Salemi says: "Express your interest in advancement with specific action items of what it will take to get there."

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