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Are you really
promotion material?

Fill in this short survey to find out:

  • 1. Have you requested a promotion in the last year?
  • 2. Have you ever been rejected for a promotion?
  • 3. Have you ever been offered a promotion?
  • 4. Has a co-worker at the same level ever been promoted instead of you?
  • 5. Has there ever been a position you applied for and didn’t get?
  • 6. Are you hesitant about asking for a promotion for fear of your boss’s response?
  • 7. Have you ever left an organization because you were passed up for promotion there?
  • 8. Do you know if your work environment values you and your work?
  • 9. Do you think that you deserve a promotion?
  • 10. Do you promote your work and yourself at work?
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** Please answer all questions **

Why Imitation Won't Get You Promoted

In my previous post “Why Managers Lack Empowerment for Promotion,” I addressed the very disturbing fact that so many talented managers find themselves unable to get promoted. At the same time, organizations are frustrated by the fact that they are expending valuable resources recruiting managers from the outside, rather than promoting one of their own - not one of the favored career advancement solutions. 

In this post, I will focus on what I call the Imitation Approach, in which managers believe they can reach success by transforming themselves into someone else - one of the popular career advancement solutions. In today’s world, the Imitation Approach has gained a great deal of traction. This seems to be for two reasons (quoting from the famous 1990s song, Mr. Vain):

1.    We know what we want (or who we think we want to be).
2.    We want it now.

These two simple statements are currently fueling entire self-improvement industries, including beauty, diet, medicine, and of course, career management. They promise to bring us exactly what we want  - and as instantly as possible. An offer no one can refuse. But here’s a weird fact: There’s a direct correlation between the rise in so-called career management solutions and the number of managers who don’t get promoted. Sounds like it should be the reverse, right?

The reason why it’s not the reverse is that we are supporting an industry that is actually offering the impossible - transforming ourselves into someone else. But when we try to become someone else, the best job we can do is to imitate them. Any kind of imitation - even the best imitation possible - will result in only one thing: imitation. It won’t result in becoming someone else. So when we aim to be someone else by imitating them, we’re just setting ourselves up for failure.

This isn’t to say we should give up on improving ourselves. I’ll go even further by saying that looking up to someone else and learning from them is a productive way to develop ourselves. However, when the goal is to become someone else, which is impossible, then you’ll never reach it, resulting in both disappointment and frustration. Not only that, your organization will view you as having failed.

So why is it that we want to become someone else?

1.    When things don’t go our way, we begin to lose faith in ourselves. Rather than strengthening our belief that we can and will get promoted, we quickly dispose of who we are and try to imitate a magical model who will lead us to our goals.

2.    We are anxious for instant results and believe that taking on another persona is a viable shortcut to success.

These two main drivers in today’s career management industry continue to spread the mistaken belief that we can transform ourselves into someone else. There’s no doubt that if the Imitation Approach really worked, we would be witnessing increases in promotions, but we’re seeing just the opposite. 

Therefore, I recommend that instead of relying on the Imitation Approach, consider what I call Inside Out Management (IOM). IOM shifts the focus to who you already are and what you already have - truly empowering you to fulfil your career dreams. For more on IOM, have a look at my Executive Mirror Program.

 
And always remember: 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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Why Promoting from Within is So Difficult

Throughout the last 35 years, I’ve focused much of my research on what I call the double tragedy taking place in organizations. On one hand, there are so many talented managers getting stuck in their career without any promotion in sight. This essentially subverts the career goals of a manager. On the other hand, organizations are investing a plethora of resources to develop their managers. Yet, when it’s time to fill a senior position, these organizations unhappily find themselves recruiting from the outside, rather than promoting one of their own.

 

Like all double tragedies, these two are interlinked, feeding on each other, and resulting in significant damage for the organization. As for the managers, their being stuck causes them to lose their motivation - so essential for the career goals of a manager. This inevitably affects those around them as well. They lose faith in their organization, in which they had entrusted their career path. For the organization, there’s a major let down as well, after having invested so many resources in developing the manager - but apparently to no avail. I’ve seen this scenario play out repeatedly over the last few decades, each side expressing their disappointment with this tragic outcome.

 

Here’s what I usually hear from the manager:

Manager: “I’ve been making a huge effort for so long - even evenings and weekends - volunteering to take on extra responsibilities - and I’m not even counting all of the courses and reading I’ve done. I just don’t understand how they haven’t promoted me. It’s really frustrating.” 

 

And here’s a typical conversation with the organization:

Organization: “There wasn’t a course that we didn’t send him to - and the hours upon hours of feedback...he never took any initiative to improve.” 

 

Me: “What was done when the organization didn’t see any changes?”

 

Organization: “Well, from time to time, we would see the beginning of some kind of change, which pleased us...but this was generally short lived. What’s really frustrating is that after investing so much in him, we still have to recruit from outside the organization.”   

In both cases, it always ends with the same question: “Etika, have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous?” 

 

Yes, I surely have seen my fair share of these situations and here’s what I’ve learned:

 

1.    In general, our tendency is to try to turn ourselves into something we’re not - instead of improving on who we are. This is what I call the Imitation Approach of so-called ideal people or characteristics. But unfortunately, this approach doesn’t work. Imitation will always remain imitation. What’s more, imitation will never last very long - and soon enough, our real selves will inevitably resurface. Of course, this leads to deep frustration, as we’ve spent so much time and energy perfecting our Imitation Approach. Even worse, our company has generally footed the bill, thinking that the Imitation Approach would transform you into a “new and improved” you, which it didn’t - and won’t.

 

2.     Many young managers segway through their entry level positions, straight to middle management, based on a set of behaviors they’ve developed - behaviors that have actually become automatic habits. However, at some point, these habits betray the middle manager, as a different set of behaviors is usually needed for more senior positions. The problem is that if a middle manager’s automatic habits aren’t tamed, they’ll prevent the development of crucial innate behaviors - ruining any chances of future promotion. 


As I mentioned before, this is the first in a series of posts about empowering managers. The next three posts will expand on each of the reasons I’ve mentioned here - and how to deal with them. 

 

And always remember: 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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What To Do After You Didn’t Get That Promotion

When you’ve worked so hard and have your career goals of a manager set in stone, it can be devastating when you are rejected for a promotion. This can be even worse when you have been rejected over and over again.

While you can’t change what has happened it is important that over the next few weeks and months you don’t compromise and ruin your next chance. After all, the career goals of a manager never run smooth, and may take a variety of paths.

It’s important to keep in mind that rejection may not mean what you think it does. Perhaps you aren’t as ready as you think you are. Rather than get angry and frustrated with your boss or disappointed in yourself it is necessary to dig deeper to find out what the rejection really means.

There are many things you can do to ensure that the next promotion is a shoe-in, but in the meantime make sure you follow these pointers.

 

Stay In Control

Don’t assume that your boss and others in senior positions have got it in for you. This will lead to ill feelings and situations where you might lose control.

Understandably you may feel angry when you first hear the news that you didn’t get the promotion. However, storming out of your boss’s office, and slamming the door behind you isn’t going to help you. Making a scene that embarrasses your boss, and also makes you look foolish will only damage your career advancement chances.

Instead, calm down by taking a walk or getting yourself a coffee. Don’t rant or rave to anyone. Try to put yourself in your boss’s shoes. Did they offer you some advice or pointers that you need to take on board? Do you know of any areas where you need to improve? Perhaps you just aren’t ready.

Taking action based on reason, not emotion is the best way to stay in control and ensure you are ready for that next promotion.

 

Be Honest but Reasonable When You Hear the News

When you are told you didn’t get the promotion you are going to go through a whole range of feelings. These may go from shock, to disappointment, frustration and even anger.

This is normal and to be expected, especially if you have worked hard towards preparing yourself for the interview. Your boss may be expecting you to lash out, too, so it is a good idea to be calm, but honest.

Tell them that you are shocked and disappointed. But, also remind your boss that you have well defined career advancement goals and that you are going to ensure that you won’t be overlooked next time.

Your boss might be feeling uncomfortable and you may not get a straight and truly honest response. As well, they might be focused on introducing the person who did get the job, and may not have time for you.

Now might not be the time to ask for advice, so make an appointment with your boss in a week or two to discuss how you can prove you’re really ready for that next promotion.

 

Congratulate and Applaud the Person Who Did Get the Job

While this might seem like a bitter pill to swallow, being generous and even kind is the best approach.

Let’s face it, no one likes a bad loser. It just isn’t a good look.

Your boss will be looking to you to see if you are really promotion material, and if you are bad mouthing the successful candidate it will only confirm to your boss that indeed you weren’t the right person and you have a long way to go before you are.

 

Find Out Why You Didn’t Get the Promotion

When you do have the next meeting with your boss approach your boss in a calm and controlled manner and ask them why you didn’t get the promotion. Listen carefully and take notes if you have to. Don’t get into an argument with your boss by disagreeing with what they are saying.

Instead, act on what you were told.

Ask for specifics on how you can improve your skills or what you need to do to demonstrate you can handle more responsibilities. Being proactive, however, will make your boss think more positively about your career advancement in the future, and if you take on board and improve you will be in a much better position next time.

Develop a plan for becoming a better candidate for the promotion and then determine when you could reasonably try again.

 

And always remember:

Great managers are made. Not born.

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Are You Too Good At Your Job To Get a Promotion ?

Are you stuck in that unenviable position of being so good at your job that your boss doesn’t want to lose you?

You’ve worked hard to get where you are now, and you do your best most of the time. In truth, you go above and beyond your pay scale to prove to your seniors that you are worthy of a promotion.

Sadly, you never get one.

 

Frustrating isn’t it?

When you are reviewing your career goals of a manager it is important that you take into account that you may be too good at what you are doing. It’s a hard call because you want to move up, and advance your career. And, to prove to your seniors that you are worthy of a promotion you have worked very hard. Regardless, your boss, on the other hand, has other ideas. 

So how can you realize your career goals of a manager despite a boss who doesn’t want to let you go?

What you have to understand is that your boss has become not only dependent upon you, but over dependent too. From the beginning you have worked hard to show how well qualified you are in your current position. You did everything you were asked, and more. However, in time you began to take over tasks that were your boss’s responsibility. 

The end result is that now you are as good as your boss if not better. Your boss knows this and has become so dependent upon you, they are not going to let you go in a hurry.

This situation is much more common than you might think. It is important to remember, however, not to become angry or frustrated. Instead, take control of the situation and make things happen the way you want them to

Remember that every person has the right to advancement and happiness. Deep down your boss knows this, and if handled correctly, you will be able to convince them of this fact. 

 

Meet with Your Boss

Go to your boss and explain how you are feeling. Don’t be confrontational or blame your boss for your situation. This will only make them defensive and you’ll get nowhere. Instead, begin an open discussion by making it clear that while you are unhappy with your current position a promotion may be beneficial for you and your boss.

If you have been following my posts you will already know how important it is to keep a file of your successes. If you haven’t started doing this, then start today. When meeting with your boss remind them of what you have already achieved for the company. Why you do deserve the credit, make sure you explain to your boss that they provided you with the training and the opportunities to achieve these goals. 

Ask for positive feedback and take it on board. Express your confusion over not being promoted and openly declare that you want to advance your career within your particular company.

Talk about timeframes too. Don’t leave things hanging. Set a date in the future by which time you would expect to be promoted, and share this with your boss. 

 

Share Your Knowledge and Skills with Others

It’s important that you share your knowledge and skills with the rest of your team. Don’t hold on to what you know because it gives you greater job security. The fact that no one else knows as much as you do about your job could be one factor that is holding you back from promotion. It also adds to your boss’s dependency upon you.

This could be done by demonstrating to someone else how the processes work. You could also create a step-by-step guide and share this with others too. This will allow you time to take a vacation when needed, as well.

Make it clear to your boss that there are at least two people who can do your job well. Also, make it clear that you want to be promoted, and have the leadership skills to do the job well.

 

Prepare to Look for Another Position in Another Company

This might not be what you want to face just right now, but if your boss isn’t willing to replace you, you might have to start looking to advance your career in another company.

You can take your years of experience and incorporate them into a solid resume that will impress a potential new boss, and help you get a higher salary or a better title at another company.
Being good at your job can be a liability, which is sad. But, if you begin preparing for the position you really want early on, you'll better your chances at moving up. As well, be aware that sometimes you may have to jump to another company altogether in order to find the career opportunities you're seeking.
If you do move on and learn from your mistakes. Make sure you don’t become so indispensable that you can’t move up, and work towards advancing your career every step of the way.
Good luck!

 

And always remember: 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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6 Things To Do When Your Boss Thinks You’re Just Not Promotional Material

Getting promoted is not easy, even for those who have all the right credentials, skills and prospects, and are looking for career advancement solutions. There are so many competing factors involved that can go against even the most well-suited candidate.
Did you know that one third of middle managers looking to be promoted never realize their dreams? 
The timing could be wrong or their boss might not be ready for them to leave mid-project, for example. Also, many people aren’t ready. That’s the simple truth. They just don’t have what it takes to be senior management material. They lack the skills and experience to be a true leader.

However, there is another reason – their boss doesn’t think they are promotion material.
If you feel this might be you there are things you can do to discover your career advancement solutions. 
Let’s take a look.


1. Dress Like the Job is Already Yours

Tomorrow morning get up early and take a good, hard look at your wardrobe. Is that shirt, trousers or shoes looking tired? Are your skirts and dresses a little worn?
Nothing says, “I’m not promotion material” like scuffed shoes or a crinkled shirt. 
Think seriously about how you are presenting yourself in meetings and at office events, not just how you look each day. Are your clothes sending the right message? Are they saying, “I am promotion material”, “I am confident and ready for the challenge!”?
If not you are not sure how to improve your look grab a few business magazines and look at what the people in them are wearing. As well, is there someone at work you look up to? What do they wear each day? Dress like the job is already yours and you’ll feel more confident. This is bound to impress your boss.


2. Keep a Record of Your Achievements 

Start a running tally of your achievements. This doesn’t have to be only those big projects you were a part of, but small things as well. Consider your sales numbers, project results, and begin to gather client feedback.
Make a sheet which you can use each day to mark down your accomplishments. As well, send an email to your boss highlighting them at the end of each project. This will serve to remind them of your skills, and help you keep track of them too.

 

3. Pay Attention to Who Gets Promoted

Start taking note of who gets promoted in your company. This doesn’t just mean in your team, but in the entire company. Make notes about the type of person who gets promoted, and see if you can find a pattern.
Do they stay back later than anyone else? Do they go beyond the sales records every time? What do they wear? Are they always on time for meetings, and are they super organized?
This might take time, but eventually you’ll get a clear picture of what you need to do be better at your job, and make sure you are promotion material.
If you can’t see a pattern, that doesn’t matter. At least you are beginning to build a better picture of the sort of person your company promotes, and then it’s just a matter of making sure next time that’s you.


4. Look for Ways to Help Out

Look for opportunities to offer extra help in your company. This doesn’t mean staying back late and doing extra work, you should be doing that already.
What you might find are areas where you have experiences that go beyond your normal job role. Does your company have a charity that they need help fundraising for? Is there a social committee looking for new and interesting ideas for functions? What about the company newsletter or social media presence? Are there ways you could contribute to these?
As well as being seen to be more helpful, you’ll gain skills and meet more people in your company. This is going to raise your profile and get your name mentioned more, and your boss is going to hear a lot more about you.


5. Make Your Promotion Goals Known

Without being too pushy, make sure that your boss knows that you are ready to be promoted. Perhaps the reason they don’t think you are promotion material is because they simply don’t know how much you want it.
During reviews mention that your goal is to grow within the company, and ask for your boss’ advice on what you can be doing now to eventually be ready for the next level. 
Find others who have been at the company for some time, and ask what their career journey was like. You may gain valuable insight and advice that’ll help you along the way.


6. Upgrade Your Skills and Get Re-Trained

Are the skills you have now a little out of date? Study what is required to be a senior manager and if you don’t have the skills do some courses, and get them. Ask to go to industry conferences, as well. 
Find out how to write great press releases or how to manage multiple teams at one. As well, doing management training courses or social media courses is a great way to show just how much you are prepared to do to be a valuable member of your company.
Any type of course you do will come in handy when you’re ready to move up to that next level.
Whether your boss thinks you are ready to be promoted or not is out of your hands. However, there are many things you can do to ensure that you are ready and make sure they know it too!
Good luck!

 

And always remember:

Great managers are made. Not born.

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How to Use Your Annual Review to Make Sure You Are Ready for That Next Promotion

Whether you have been in your current job for a short time or you are an old hand it’s important to keep your corporate development career path always at the fore.
One way to ensure you are ready for that next promotion is to look at your Annual Review in a new light. In fact, it’s important to closely exam performance reviews. 
Treat your performance review as you would any other professional project. Rather than not looking forward to it like so many other middle managers, you should see it for what it is: A great opportunity for you to find out what you need to do to get a promotion, and advance your corporate career.


Look to the Future – Yours!

Don’t be shy during your next performance review. Instead, come straight out and tell your boss you want to be promoted. 
This might be difficult for some people, but it is well worth doing. How else will your boss know what you want? They might not have any idea you want to be promoted, and if you don’t tell them how will they?
Muster up the courage and put your ideas on the line. You will be relieved afterwards and your boss will be clear about what is ahead for you both.
As well, ask your boss what you need to do to get promoted. Don’t be disappointed if they point out your faults openly. Be reasonable and proactive, and take notes. If you are not clear about what your boss is telling you, repeat their words back to them and ask for clarification.
Mention that you have a clear corporate development career path, and that your plans are to be promoted and to give more to the company.
Give your boss a few seconds to take in what you have said and then follow up with a phrase which means they have to give you a solid answer. Try, “What do you think about this” to pressure your boss into giving you an answer.
After all, this is your future career you are dealing with and you want to know how to get where you want to be as smoothly as possible.


Don’t Be Afraid to Set a Date for Your Next Promotion

Also, make sure that your boss knows that you want to be promoted within a certain timeframe, say one or two years. Don’t make this sound like a threat. If your boss asks what will you do if you are not promoted within this timeframe don’t say you’ll quit. It would be best not to answer this directly, but respond with a list of question prepared beforehand about what areas you need to improve.
You don’t want to set your career path on the wrong track and be sent packing. Try to think of your boss as your mentor – someone who can help you reach your goals. They might not see themselves in this role, but if you do your attitude towards them and your job will be more positive.


Determine the Deliverables

Look at your performance review as you would any other professional project where the deliverables are tangible and expected. In the case of a review the deliverables is information that you can use to ensure you are promotion ready.
It is a great way to remind your boss of all the successes you have racked up for the company. Send them a file before the meeting with a list of everything you have achieved. This will help remind your boss just how good you are at your job.
As well, expect to receive information from your boss. This may take on forms you hadn’t expected, but that’s okay. You could ask what else do you need to do to increase your promotion chances. What skills could you improve on? What other tangible deliverables could you start to implement right now?


In Conclusion

Don’t be surprised if your boss is a little unprepared for these questions. Give them space and time, but also prepare yourself for an unexpected response. Your boss might say that you don’t dress well enough or that you seem to be first out of the door at 5 pm. You may feel annoyed at these ideas, but your boss wouldn’t bring them up if they weren’t important. So take note, and make the necessary changes.
With the right kind of goals and thorough preparation, a performance review can bring you a few steps closer towards the promotion you desire and deserve. 
Good luck!

And always remember:

Great managers are made. Not born. 

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How to Ensure You Ace Your Next Promotion Opportunity

It’s flattering when you get a call from another company, one you don’t work for, and they ask you to sit for an interview. Not only is this position in a new and exciting company, but it will mean an important promotion too. This certainly has all the hallmarks of what all managers dream of.
However, many who are offered this tempting career advancement are under prepared and often blow it. They don’t take into consideration factors affecting career development, which can result in them not being offered the position.
This is disheartening and downright depressing, right? Thinking that the job was in the bag, many managers don’t fully prepared for the interview. They make some fundamental mistakes when submitting their resume too. 
Sure, you have sat and been successful at interviews before – that’s how you got your job in the first place. You are good at your job, and you have a trackable history of your successes to prove it. Your resume reflects all of these things and more. But, for whatever reason you didn’t cut the grade when it came to the interview. In truth, you failed and you may not be aware of why.
Don’t make the same mistakes. Instead, learn what the factors affecting career development are use them to your advantage next time you get that call.


Openly Discuss What You Are Missing 

Your career record is shiny and full of all the wonderful accomplishments you have made so far. You are on the ball updating it all the time. However, this move to a new company will reveal some gaps that you may wish to ignore or just gloss over - Don’t.
Whatever you do read through the job application thoroughly. Also, read up about the position you have been asked to interview for. What skills do you lack? What experiences don’t you have? Make a list of them and research ways you can address them. Then, make sure you acknowledge them during the interview process. 

 

Look at Ways to Fix What’s Missing

Openly admitting that there are areas where you are lacking, and then showing that you are prepared to do something about them is a great way to show just how determined you are.
You may have to do an extra course at night or read up about similar situations, and discuss how you would be prepared to learn on the job. Show that you are not above asking for help or advice where needed.

 

Make Sure You Talk About What’s Relevant to the Company

Talking about your accomplishments in an interview situation is always a good idea. But delivering the same old speech is no way to win the minds of those on the interview panel. Why? Because they would have heard these types of speeches over and over again.
What you need to do is make your interview stand out and get noticed. Find out what issues the company is facing and address those. Talk about what you would do and what skills you have which will ensure that the company will grow. If you are not confident you have these skills or experiences necessary say so, but talk about how you are going to improve on them.
Make Them Believe You are the Best Person for the Job
Put yourself into the shoes of those doing the interview. If you were on that interview panel what would you be looking for? Make a list of the types of qualities and experiences the perfect candidate would have. Now, make a few notes about what you might have to do to make sure you are that person.
Owning your shortcomings and admitting that you don’t have everything the company needs is an open and honest start. However, with many career goals, you are willing to improve and be that person they desire.

 

Take note of the following:

  • If the company is looking to hire externally what does that say about their current staff? What qualities are they lacking, and how can you fulfill that gap?
  • During the interview talk about the successes of the company, and what skills you have that will ensure it will continue to be successful.
  • Research issues that the company faces, and prove that you can help overcome them.
  • Be prepared to be original when answering interview questions. 
  • Make sure that when you are asked to speak you have prepared something which will speak directly to what the interview panel are looking for.
  • Ensure that they understand you know a lot about the company. When it started and how it works, for example.

 

And always remember: 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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4 Ways to Minimize the Gap Between Where You Are Now and Your Next Promotion

When you see advertised that tempting career advancement keep in mind that you may not be ready to take the leap into a senior position. While many middle managers dream of being a boss one day and excelling in their chosen industry, sometimes the gap between where they are now and where they need to be is too wide.
Are you ready for that next promotion or is there a bottomless gulf separating you from the advancement you’ve always wanted?
What sorts of things are causing the gap? Let’s have a closer look. 


When pursuing your next tempting career advancement opportunity, the only person who truly knows what the gaps are is you. The most important thing to remember to get ahead in your career is that you should take charge of properly preparing yourself. 

You will need to do a lot of research, and this means working extra hours and even on your lunch break. You will have to research that next opportunity whether it is available now or not. Why wait and then rush around trying to shorten the gap? You need to act now.

 

1. Make Sure You Are Perceived Well by Others

It is imperative that you “position” yourself strategically for that next opportunity. This means ensuring that you and the work you do is perceived well by others. 
For example, it’s all very well being the joker of the team, but being fun-loving might be a quality that is needed or seen favorably in senior positions.
It isn’t difficult for others to see your strengths and know that these will help you get a promotion. However, it is crucial that they know your weaknesses, but don’t see them as something that can’t be changed. Do you demonstrate that you learn from your mistakes? Do you take responsibility for them, and don’t blame others?


2. Make Sure You Are Qualified to Do the Job

Are you qualified formally and informally to manage this senior position? Are there skills which you are lacking, but that are needed? While you will get some on-the-job training and extra skills demonstrated to you, can you be more ready for this position by upskilling now?

Being better qualified can really lessen the gap between where you are now and where you want to me. Knowing how to complete the tasks of a senior position are really going to help you fill that role.

If you need too, you may have to go back to study and reskill yourself. This may take more of your free time, but it will be worth it in the long run.

 

3. Make Sure You Understand what is Expect of You to Fulfil This Position

Know what is expected of the right person for this job. Can you bring those qualities to the table now or do you have some work to do?

Each position in any company has a set of formal expectations and a set of informal ones. Make sure you know the difference between these two, and that you are qualified to meet both.

There will be people in your company who can help you find out this information so now is the time to work in collaboration with your manager. Speak to them about your career goals and, not only listen to their advice, but act on it.

 

4. Learn from the Best – Take Note and Emulate the Qualities of the Person Who Last Held the Position

No one knows who to do the job well than the person who just had it. Don’t listen to rumors about their inadequacies if they are abound. Instead, consider that they fulfilled all the requirements of points 1, 2 and 3 above and then got the job.

To lessen the gap between you and them what do you have to improve? What then should you emphasize with regard to the advantages that you can bring to the job? 

There will always be gaps between where you are and where you want to go. However, there is no reason why you can’t work hard to minimize them as much as possible.

While you might not completely fit one of the qualifications, perhaps you have something similar to offer that could fit the bill just the same. Make sure you present this in your application, acknowledging your shortcomings, but then emphasizing on what you offer instead. 

Another approach is to capitalize the gaps. Discuss your shortcomings, but show how they can be an advantage to the position. Perhaps you are more open minded and eager to learn, or that you have managerial qualities learned from volunteer work at a club or social group.

The more research and knowledge you acquire when minimizing that gap, the better positioned you’ll be for your interview. You will feel more confident and more ready to take on a much deserved promotion.

 

And always remember:

Great managers are made. Not born. 

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Are You Tired of Being Left Behind When it Comes to Promotions?

You’ve been working for your company for some time now, and although you are good at what you do you are being constantly overlooked for a promotion.

In fact, other co-workers are competing with you and winning. It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? You work hard, you are well liked and you know your stuff. You may even have a lot more experience and skills than your co-workers. You have an idea about your corporate development career path, but you are not sure where it is going.

 

So, what are you doing wrong?

Going for a promotion takes a lot of energy. From the moment that the new promotion is announced you begin positioning yourself as the most suitable candidate. Trying to beat a co-worker to a promotion has its own difficulties too. Once you have lodged your application or even hinted at your desire for a promotion all eyes are on you. And, there are many things at stake like your standing, your authority within your own team, and your reputation.

While your corporate development career path may seem that it is not going anywhere there are things you can do. Next time you are up against a co-worker for a promotion consider these important steps.

 

1. What Would The Perfect Candidate Look Like?

Don’t spend time worrying about who is going for the job and what skills or experiences they have. Instead, create an image of what the perfect candidate would look like. How would this person act? What would they say? What skills or experiences would they have?

Now that you have this mental image in your mind, fit yourself into this role. If you don’t have the skills or experiences find out ways that you can get them, and mention them in your application.

 

2. What Advantages Do Your Co-Workers Have That You Don’t?

Create a list of advantages that your co-worker has in regards to fulfilling this position. Now, when you look at this wonderful list it may make you feel that you don’t stand a chance, but this is not the case. When you know what you are really up against you can be better prepared.

As well, make a list of the disadvantages this person has. Keep things professional and look at their career development only. Don’t get personal because this will only distract you and won’t put you in a position for success.

 

3. Study and Research Every Aspect of the Job Description

Job descriptions can tend to be a dream list more than a reality. They will list the experiences and qualities that an ideal candidate must have, but at the end of the day, there might be two or three core competencies that are really important. As well, descriptions might include formal requirements but exclude certain skills that are actually very important for the job.

You already work for the company and are at an advantage of finding out what is really required through informal channels.

 

Once you know you can ensure that your application speaks directly to the things that are most wanted and needed. Don’t ignore the other aspects though because they are important too. Focus on what the company is really looking for and how well you can deliver.

 

4. Make Sure Your Application Stands Out

Now is the time to focus on your application. Make a note of where you have a clear advantage over your competition and ensure that you can express this clearly.

 

Never put another person down during an interview. This is bad form and just plain rude. Without mentioning names, you can still impress the interview panel with how well-suited you are for the position by focusing on what skills and experiences you have.

 

Keep in mind what the perfect candidate looks like and how well you are prepared to be that person. Don’t just talk about your skills but show how well suited they would be to this particular position. Then “wow” the interview panel with all you have.

 

Competing with an internal candidate is difficult and very challenging. Notwithstanding, these four steps will show that you, and not your co-worker deserve the promotion more.

 

Good luck!

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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2 Ways You Can Ensure You Get That Internal Promotion

Many mistakes are made by middle managers when they are applying for an internal position. In fact, most don’t realize that they are at a distinct disadvantage. And thus, they are less likely to get the job.

Instead, most senior managers prefer to hire someone from outside of the company. They see hiring someone new as an advantage, and this sways their final decision a lot of the times.

If you are looking to develop your corporate development career path you need to change the way you are applying for internal positions. You can no longer sit back and expect the job. You will need to address your behavior, your past achievements and make sure your resume for internal promotion is top notch.

You are going to have to address two key issues which are continuing to hold you back time and time again.

 

1. Make Your Weaknesses Work For You

One advantage a new person has over you is that their weaknesses are not known. They present a great looking resume full of high standards, cleverly worded responses, and glowing references. It is unlikely that they mention their weaknesses with complete honesty. And, who can blame them? The competition is tough and there is probably a lot of other suitable candidates vying for the position, right?

You’ve worked for the company for a long time and your bosses know you well. They know how great you are in some areas, and what skills you bring to the table. They understand all this, and know you are keen to be promoted.

However, they also know your weaknesses. So, what can you do about them?

You can do the following during the interview process, but I would suggest that you start now in meetings and around the office water cooler.

Start being open about the mistakes you have made. Tell your colleagues and your boss that you won’t make the mistakes again, and then show them. Prove that you can learn from your mistakes and make amends. Show them that you have the best interest of the company at heart, and that you are a focused team player.

Also acknowledge that there are areas which you need to improve on. Talk about your desire to go back to study. Ask questions about areas of the company that you don’t know about. Again, showing that you have a vested interest in how the company is run will put you at an advantage come promotion time.

And, of course don’t just talk about it – do it. If you are not sure what to do, for example, ask your boss for advice. They might have ideas you haven’t thought of, and which will help put you at a real advantage.

 

2. Make Sure You Keep Your Eyes on the Prize at all Times!

I can’t emphasize this enough. You must always work hard at getting the promotion you desire regardless of what you have been told. Here, let me explain.

Let’s say your boss has assured you that you are a shoe-in for the promotion. You have it in the bag, and the job is yours. Due to protocol or some other reason, you are told that other candidates have to be interviewed, and these include people from outside the company.

You hear this and you stop working because you think the job is yours. If you do this you may be very disappointed when someone who doesn’t know anything about the company and is from outside is promoted over you.

So here is what you have to do. Make sure that you never lose sight of the prize. That is, the promotion you want and deserve. Always work hard towards addressing the ideas raised in Point 1 – your weaknesses.

Make sure your skills are up to date and your resume is prepared thoroughly. In fact, you should prepare your resume as if you were applying for a position at a new company. This will give it an edge that will appeal to your seniors.

 

On Reflection

One of the biggest failures managers make when they are competing with an external candidate for an internal promotion is that they become complacent. They think the job should be theirs or they are told it is, and then they stop working hard towards getting it.

If you want that promotion you are going to have to work as hard as an external candidate, and probably harder. Your bosses know the great work you do already, all you have to do now is show them that you have the skills and determination to go beyond where you are now and perform at a senior position.

 

Good luck!

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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