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"I got that promotion - now what?"




You probably work hard and smart and have been looking forward to a well deserved promotion. How much did you consider the emotional or behavioural changes this might necessitate? Was your focus on more money or the label?


It can take some people several years to get the promotion they seek and in some sectors, it takes longer than others. It can also take longer in large, global organisations. The focus can be predominantly on the title, the kudos, the money and opportunities. I'd argue that humility is equally if not more important.


Few people acknowledge openly that a promotion means you are likely to encounter new relationships at work that will require "work", there'll be unwritten greater expectations placed upon you and you'll be required to hold your ground. There'll be no mollycoddling. A promotion means that your managers or leaders have been observing you, perhaps guiding and mentoring you to this place but, ultimately, the success of the promotion is your responsibility. I urge you to take that in - the success of the promotion is your responsibility.


Personal responsibility takes many forms. In the context of this brief blog, I'm recommending that if you've just landed that promotion, or you see yourself on the cusp of one:


1) start looking at yourself with greater awareness. Be true to yourself about what your strengths are and where you can seek out resources to support yourself in this new role. A promotion does not mean you know everything for the new role.


I had a coaching client, a very senior level client. Let's call him Ben. Ben was so confident in himself and his abilities - in his existing capacity. He was, one may argue, a bit arrogant. He was offered a promotion to the board of a multi-national business. Naturally, he jumped at it. Then, the reality kicked in - nerves and anxiety about whether he was suitable for the new opportunity. Ben had failed to ever reflect and review his behaviour and certainly not how he would have to adapt to more experienced board members who would not tolerate the arrogance of a newer member who still had to learn the new ropes. We worked on identifying his attributes but also his weaknesses and behavioural coaching was implemented to support him to be a highly effective board member, respected by all.


2) Take pride in understanding what makes you the person they chose to promote and identify how you will use, and build upon, these attributes to let them know they made the right choice. Awareness of your weaknesses can also be humbling and motivating as you take action to align yourself to the new role and the opportunities it affords.


3) Get a mentor if you don't yet have one. In fact, if you can, have one from within your organisation and one from elsewhere (for this, try LinkedIn - it worked for me!). Many experienced professionals are delighted to be asked to be a mentor as it gives them an opportunity to help another and reinforce their expertise. It's their little way of giving back.


4) Set some goals for yourself in this new role and beyond. Create a timeline if that helps you visually. Reflect on what you may need to do to achieve what you want to - this may include networking with the right people in your sector.


5) Don't lose sight that once you were a more junior employee. Be the change you seek in the role. Remain humble and show respect to everyone. It'll pay dividends in the long term.



If you'd like to learn more about how you can be a high performing executive in your organisation, or achieve promotion, you can contact me at anita@anitagohilthorp.com now or call me on 07961 111 255.

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