Want to be promoted in 2013? 4 things to do now

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(MoneyWatch) Are you determined to make next year your year? If you're angling for a major promotion in 2013, it's time to start laying the groundwork. "There's an assumption that great results will get you promoted. There's also a naive idea that you can burst into your bosses office and request a promotion. In reality, you have to position yourself to be first off the bench," says John Beeson, author of "The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level." Here's how to do just that:

Meet with your boss before Dec. 15

By mid-month, your boss will become distracted with parties and tying up loose ends before the holidays. In order to have his full attention, try to set up a short meeting as soon as possible to discuss your progress in 2012 and your goals for 2013, suggests Adele Scheele, PhD, author of "Skills for Success and Career Strategies." Go into the talk with your eye on adding value to your company, developing your skill set and boosting your visibility, says Scheele. By thinking strategically for both your company and for yourself, you'll make sure to be on the promotion radar for the new year.

Give a presentation to the executive team

One of the easiest ways to encourage people to view you as a candidate for a promotion is showing that you can handle pressure. "You have to have composure and the ability to remain poised while under fire," says Beeson. Prepare well and then impress senior management with your public-speaking prowess. Beeson calls this a "preview of coming attractions" that will show you're ready for the next level.

Drop responsibilities that aren't "mission-critical"

If you are working on projects that aren't crucial to your company's success, try to switch them for ones that are more important. "If you head into 2013 doing more of what your company must have done (and less of everything else), you become indispensable and your chances of a pay raise or promotion increase," says Larry Myler, author of "Indispensable by Monday: Learn the Profit-Producing Behaviors That Will Help Your Company and Yourself."

Join a networking group

Sometimes, a promotion won't be possible for a number of reasons outside your control. In that case, next year might be the year you seek a promotion elsewhere. "Your network can be your eyes and ears outside the company," says Beeson.

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    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.

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