Promotion: Get Ahead or Off With Your Head?

By Shari Bench

The best part about wherever you are in life is having the ability to go wherever you want. Regardless if you are happy with the results you have achieved in life or desire change, it is natural for you to want more. This is not a sign of greed, but rather a very healthy part of your human existence. Improving your professional position through promotions can be very rewarding. Conversely, a promotion could also be a disappointment, resulting in stress and even job loss.

As with any change in your life, if you are striving to advance in your career, it is important to properly prepare yourself. Changing job responsibilities can have a significant impact on your career and your personal life. If you are expecting a promotion or seeking career advancement, it is important to prepare yourself for the personal “metamorphosis” that will occur.

Here are ten questions to ask “The Mirror”:

1) Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I deserve a promotion at all? This is where you need more than your friends’ and family’s feedback. It’s not that your support system isn’t being honest with you; it’s no different than how you perceive yourself. It’s filtered!  Unfortunately, the full truth isn’t always revealed when it is being viewed through a filter. As a professional, you will want to seek feedback from your mentors.

2) Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I really want a promotion at all? The answer may seem obvious at this point, but there are a very high number of individuals who want a promotion and quickly fail once they get it. Why is this? There are many reasons, which are discussed below. However, it’s possible you have not spent enough time fully understanding the promotion, the change in responsibilities and relationships that may come with your new role.

3) Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I sending the right message at all? Are you behaving as if you want and deserve a promotion? Many times an individual will wait for an opening before expressing an interest in a promotion. That may be too late. Just because you are familiar with the company, the operations and the people does not automatically make you the best candidate. They will look first to those that continually express interest in growing within the company.

4) Mirror, mirror on the wall, have I stopped trying because there never seems to be opportunities in this company at all? Why? Because you never get recognition? Or the person who is currently in the position you want has been there since the computer was created? Whatever the reason, you are correct!  If you know you will never get ahead with the company you are working for, what are you doing to create the results you want? Your ability to be promoted must start first from within. Expect it..

5) Mirror, mirror on the wall, have I proven myself at all? Even if you have finished the necessary education or training needed for the promotion, don’t stop proving yourself. You want to always be performing your very best. You might be missing out on additional opportunities to increase your experience or knowledge.

6) Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I seek opportunities to train at all? The more you learn about your new position, the better prepared you will be. Also keep in mind that a promotion can put you in a stressful situation where you are learning a new job while training someone for yours. How can you help prepare someone else for a promotion? Look for opportunities to train others on your position. Train and be trained! 

7) Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I know how my responsibilities and relationships will change at all? A promotion is likely to bring more money, authority, responsibility, and accountability. Carefully evaluate how your responsibilities will change. What do you like about your job today? As your position changes, will it change so much you won’t even be doing the things that you enjoy today? Additionally have you considered how your relationships will change? Will your supervisor be different? Will your co-workers become your employees? Will all of your professional relationships be different?

8) Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I know what experience, education or knowledge is needed to qualify for a promotion at all? The best time to prepare for a promotion is now!  While in your current position, utilize your time well. Are there classes you can take to enhance your skills? Are there individuals you can spend time with to stay aligned with your goals? Do you have volunteer opportunities that can contribute to your experience?   

9) Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I a problem solver at all? Experience has shown that there tends to be two types of employees:  Problem Finders and Problem Solvers. Start now by demonstrating your ability to be a problem solver!  Although your boss may appreciate your ability to identify issues within your organization, the real value is also bringing your boss solutions.  

10) Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I prepared to sell myself at all? Don’t be caught off guard. You never know when a promotion opportunity may be presented. Physically and mentally prepare yourself by planning for your interview. Do you know who will be interviewing you? If you have the opportunity, seek out others who have interviewed with this person and learn what you can about how to best prepare.

Achieving balance in your life is the key to happiness. Will a promotion help bring you more in balance, or potentially create vertigo in your life? Any time you are out of balance, it will eventually affect other areas of your life. People spend most of their waking day on work-related activities. If you are unhappy at work or stressed, this will impact your personal life and your health. Maintaining health is more than exercising and eating right. It’s maintaining a healthy environment.

The effects of an unhappy work environment can become damaging to your overall life and impact your relationships. Do not underestimate the amount of stress that can be experienced when being promoted into a position for which you are not truly prepared, mentally and physically.

Read other articles and learn more about Shari Bench.

[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis. Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and requirements.]

Home      Recent Articles      Author Index      Topic Index      About Us
2005-2017 Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc   ▪   privacy statement