If you're an ambitious person and want to get ahead in your career, there are a number of things that you should consider and that you need to do.
First of all, you should be certain that you're in the right career for you and that you work at a company that prefers promoting its employees to hiring from the outside. To be in the right career means that you're good at what you do and that you enjoy it.
Secondly, you should be approachable and friendly towards everyone with whom you come in contact on the job. Being friendly doesn't translate into spending a lot of time in the kitchen or at the proverbial water cooler. It means being pleasant around your coworkers and others with whom you come into contact. It's wise to not participate, actively, in office gossip, although it's hard to avoid hearing it. If you're asked to volunteer an opinion, it's best to be noncommittal or neutral. Since it's not always easy to discern who is gunning for the same promotion that you'd like to get, you don't want to say anything that could be damaging to you if it were to be repeated to the wrong person or misinterpreted.
Thirdly, you should do the best work of which you're capable at your current position. Don't be content doing the bare minimum just to get by. Go above and beyond what's expected of you, whenever possible, and make sure that your boss knows what you've done. Also, if you have free time, ask your boss for additional assignments with which he or someone else in the department might need assistance. Try to find out as much as you can about how things are done and/or how things work in positions other than your own.
Fourthly, you should dress appropriately for the position that you're seeking. Image counts.
Fifthly, try to become expert at an important function of your department. Try to be the "go to" person of the group.
It goes without saying that you should show up on time and try to avoid being the first person to leave for the day.
Of course, it makes sense to investigate what the possible promotion entails so that you're gunning for a position that you would enjoy. If it turns out that you wouldn't enjoy the next move up, you might consider whether there's another position that's a promotion that you would enjoy or whether you could make a lateral move that could lead to a somewhat different career path.
Once you've been at your current position for a while and you know that you're a valued employee, you should let your boss know that you would love to be considered for any positions that should come up that are more advanced than your current position.