Rejected for promotion? Here are 5 questions you must answer now.
You’ve just gotten the bad news: you’re not going to get promoted this time around. Unfortunately, this is the kind of news that 70% of middle managers like you receive routinely. So the good news is that you’re in good company with other talented managers. The bad news is that the good news isn’t going to help you get promoted - one of the major factors affecting career development.
But before you read on, are you really ready for a promotion? Take my survey to find out.
So if you really are ready, I can help you get on the right track. The first thing you need to do after receiving the rejection blow is to handle the emotional aspect. You’ve been let down and it’s your absolute right to be upset. Give yourself a few days to absorb the blow and to get back into your usual mode - one of the important factors affecting career development in your future. Now it’s time for a little introspection.
The reason you’re so disappointed is because of the difference between how you view yourself and how your employer views you. You see yourself as a very valuable employee, worthy of promotion, while your employer is willing to let you wait a bit while evidently more qualified candidates are promoted. So what can you do about this?
Find out how others really perceive you - not just your boss but also your co-workers. This will take some investigating, but it will provide with a powerful image for you to work on so that you can be better poised for that next promotion. And you might get some great tips in the meantime.
Next, you’ve got to investigate yourself honestly. Doing so might require involving some of your trusted co-workers.
Here are 5 crucial questions to answer:
1. Are you performing your job with excellence?
If your boss or co-workers had to rate your job performance, would they say that you fulfill every requirement excellently? Do you meet or beat deadlines consistently? Do you provide detailed reports of your activity so that others don’t have to seek clarification? Do you meet your monthly, quarterly, and annual goals?
2. Do you go above and beyond?
Do you seek and execute challenges that are not part of your job description? For example, when selling a product, do you personally follow through on after-sales service, even though that’s the responsibility of the customer service folks? If you’re in finance, producing reports, do you ensure to provide extra material that will help your readers understand the full picture, not just your little island of data?
3. Do you work well with others?
Being professional at your job isn’t enough. With local, national, and global teams collaborating across geographical borders, time zones, different languages, and cultural differences, your interpersonal skills are probably your most precious commodity. Is it pleasant to work with you? Do you answer emails, texts, or other communication on time and politely? At meetings, whether face to face or virtual, do you let others voice their opinion?
4. Do others know of your accomplishments?
While modesty is a virtue, in the business world, it won’t get you very far. I’m not saying that you should be a show off, but remember to give yourself credit when credit is due. Have you surpassed a sales goal? Delighted a customer? Been recognized by a local organization? Make sure that the right people know about it. Oftentimes, you might assume that such information is public, but it’s more likely that your accomplishments are listed in an email your boss hasn’t (and won’t ever get to) read.
5. Does your boss know that you want to be promoted?
This is another issue that many middle managers like yourself take for granted. You’re probably thinking that of course your boss knows this - everyone wants to get promoted. But the secret is that not everyone wants it bad enough to speak up. So by all means, speak up and make your boss is aware of the fact that you’re ready for that next challenge.
Missing out on a promotion is a traumatic experience, but unless you’re ready to retire, you’ve got to get back to business - and your business is getting promoted. Finding out how others perceive you should be first on your list, which should be followed by taking a long, hard look at issues raised in the questions above.
Wishing you the best of luck in your journey towards the corner office.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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