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October 6, 2015 5:37 PM EDT

We all know those people who seem to breeze their way up the corporate ladder. They’re the ones who get promotion after promotion, seemingly seamlessly, and who leave everyone else scratching their heads and wondering, “How did that happen?” Chances are, the people you watch getting promoted aren’t just lucky or best friends with the boss. They have found success by following these five habits of people who always get promoted:

1. Find solutions: People who get promoted have demonstrated their problem-solving abilities. They find solutions to problems rather than complain about them. Further, they identify problems and speak up when they think they have a solution. Don’t just sit at a meeting listening to other people discuss a problem, make your ideas known and then put them into action.

2. Step outside your comfort zone: It’s tempting to stay within your current range of experience and expertise, but you will never get more experience without stepping outside of your comfort zone. Say yes to assignments as they come up, even if they extend beyond your current level of experience.

3. Study the boss: Take the time to observe your boss in action and find out what she or he values in business and in the world. Identifying your boss’s values is an important step toward learning how to become a successful industry leader.

4. Look at the big and little picture: Successful people understand the need to identify the big picture outcome in order to succeed at doing daily tasks. Identify why your daily tasks matter and how they fit into the larger scope of your project and company. It might take some effort at the beginning, but soon you will be able to anticipate what needs to be done without being told or informed by a supervisor. This type of initiative is essential for being promoted.

5. Be a team player: You might not always like your colleagues, but learning how to work with difficult people is essential for moving up in your company. Work on your team-building skills, and take advantage of opportunities to lead.

You won’t get promoted by sitting around waiting for your boss to notice you. It’s important to take initiative by solving problems, seeking out new opportunities, and serving as a team leader. Incorporate these habits into your workday to position yourself for the next promotion opportunity that comes along.

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article above was originally published at

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