10 tips on getting a promotion

10 tips on getting a promotion

If you attended my session on Developing a Career Strategy on ADP last Saturday, thank you. It was a great turnout. I learned a lot from the questions; they gave me ideas for iterating upon my content. A nice bonus was making new connections, even with people who couldn't make it. I've decided not to post a recording. In the future, I'm working towards a course and expanding into coaching.

My manager went on a three-week vacation last Friday, and right before she left, she made me the lead for a 3-day on-site conference in Seattle. 😳 I'll be in Seattle May 15-19. After that, I'm taking my mom on our first vacation together since HS to Hawaii. Pray I survive this trip. 🌱

My promotion went through at the beginning of the month. I delayed my manager's attempt to promote me in 2022 due to health reasons. I was sad about my decision to turn it down but had to. When the promotion was announced, everybody wanted to know. "What do you have to do?"

Common sense that doesn't seem...common

  1. Be realistic. Everybody believes they deserve a promotion today, but that's delusional. Some believe if we put our heads down and finish a project means promotion as a surprise coronation. It's way more complicated than that. Progress and promotion aren't on a fixed timeline. Seek to understand what skills, milestones, and distance to get to the next level and what it means. Asking your manager for a promotion forces them to say yes or no and put them into an adversarial position. Document what you have been doing and make this conversation objective, so your manager is an ally building together towards the right plan forward.
  2. Stop focusing on promotion. There's no guarantee anybody deserves anything. It would help if you concentrated on strategy and how you will sustain high performance. I only focused on doing work nobody wanted or knew about and doing it well. Take risks and deliver because you must demonstrate the next level.
  3. Is the work good? Doing good work in your mind isn't good work. Does the company want this work, and what do other people say? Does your peers and/or bar raisers think this work is good?
  4. Close the loop. When you get feedback from others, do you close the loop or ignore it? Most of the time, people don't follow up once the action has been taken, proving they don't listen to feedback to make positive changes. This is critical to showing others you are willing to learn and advance.
  5. Results don't speak for themselves; people do. Do you work in a vacuum, and nobody knows about it? If nobody is aware of the impact of a project, results will be overlooked. Make a point to keep people visible and updated on your progress as much as you are doing the work.
  6. Find a Senior Supporter that believes in you. Find someone senior to you who keeps an eye out for your success that can open doors for you. That person does not need to be responsible for your promotion, but having someone who supports your career can make a big difference.
  7. Your manager must support you. Let your manager see you are a shining star. Align with your manager and work with you on a plan to grow. Frequent check-ins to get on the same page to eliminate the guesswork and define the roadmap.
  8. Know your strengths. What do you do well? Are you in the wrong role? Sticking it out would be like running a race with the wrong shoes or shoving a square peg into a round hole. Match your strength with the right opportunity you want to be in.
  9. Change roles. Sometimes you have a terrible manager that's not your ally despite all you've done beyond your control. You feel there's no growth and are unwilling to shape your career. Getting promoted where you are will always be easier since it takes time to build trust, support, and credibility. Sometimes, cutting the cord and finding a new path is necessary.
  10. Your success as a person is not based on promotions. These are arbitrary rules set up by someone else. Focus to invest on yourself to learn with growth mindset, and action plan, the proper promotion at the right time will come along.