The obvious answer is “Yes I do, of course, I do, what the heck! How dare you even ask me this question, I worked hard to get there and I deserve it”.
I have zero doubt you do deserve it. You did everything by the book, crushed your goals and objectives, been a team player and led by example – you did the shmoozing and … now wait and see? not quite!
I have something special for you. An off-the-books checklist of those non-quantifiable things that can cost you if you don’t give them a tad of attention.
If you want to be promoted, do this:
- Understand what the title entails for the business you’re in
Before you can genuinely act the part, you must first not only comprehend the responsibilities that come with it, but be prepared to take those on, right now.
If you find yourself still stuck in the “I don’t want my boss’s job” then this is a good time to re-evaluate your desire to be promoted, or even whether this team/company is a good place for you to be.
Once you are in the yes I want what they are having (they = your boss, management etc), then time to do more in-depth research and start asking the questions.
- Make a plan about how you can achieve (at least partially) those requirements
Because promotion isn’t just about future potential; it’s about current impact. Begin to integrate some of the duties or responsibilities of the higher role into your current position. Show initiative by going above and beyond, taking on projects that align with the higher title’s requirements. This is the best way to demonstrate to decision-makers that you’re ready and capable.
- Enlist the help of mentors and coaches
We all have blindspots and fears. The more prepared you are to confront what can be an obstacle to your promotion, the less self-doubt you will have when you go and claim your prize. This goes hand-in-hand with the “I don’t want my boss’s job” because it has this hidden extension to it: “because I am not sure I am capable of doing it”. Find mentors and coaches (like me, of course!) who can support you and push you outside your zone of “safety”.
- And the final and most important do: show, don’t tell, your potential
Play the part so you are giving the decision-makers the vision of you already being it.
The second reason for the fake it till you make it is that it creates familiarity with what the new job entails, and the more you do it, and the better you will be at it. And so it will only be natural for you to ask for and “embody” that title.
If you want to be promoted, don’t do that:
- Don’t be forceful
Nobody likes bullies – when considering your promotion, your management will also evaluate how much you embody the Company’s culture and how suitable you are as one of the faces of the Company. Be assertive, and stand your ground while staying strategic and diplomatic.
- Don’t assume your work speaks for itself
A personal crusade of mine if you follow me on Linkedin or Instagram . There is no way around this one, you need to be promoting your achievements and be visible to the right audience (who can sing your praises for you too!). Time to book that lunch and learn?
- Don’t play small
This is not the time to hide behind anyone. Not your boss, not your team… When aiming for a promotion, you need to step into the limelight and accept challenges head-on. Take on leadership roles in projects, volunteer for high-visibility tasks, and be proactive in offering solutions. Playing it safe rarely leads to promotions.
- And the final and most important don’t: don’t be excessively and exclusively focused on acquiring the title only
Consider the journey to your promotion as another path to learning and mastery. Yes the title is important and is a testimonial and validation of your efforts and seniority, and also it is just that – a title. What truly matters is what you will be learning during this process and how you can leverage these new data in the future. Focus on the skills you acquire, the relationships you build, and the impact you create. View each step towards your promotion as an opportunity for more growth and development.
Mastery, after all, is a lifelong journey.