1 1 1 1
X

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?
Get your results directly to your email:
** Please answer all questions **

Going for a job interview? First answer these 3 questions

For those of you about to embark on a job interview, in seeking job promotion interview answers, you’ve no doubt noticed the endless supply of how-to books, informational websites, prep courses, and advice articles.  Of course, there’s a reason for this endless supply: endless demand. And what fuels this endless demand? Simply put: stress.

 

Going for a job interview is probably one of the most stressful experiences as you make your way up the corporate ladder - whether inside or outside your current organization. And to try to combat this stress, everyone’s on the hunt for the magic formula that will lead them to the right job promotion interview answers. But even if you’re sure you’ve discovered the “right” way to approach an interview, does this mean you’ll beat out the other candidates?

 

Based on my 35 years of experience, the answer is an absolute “no”. And it’s not because you didn’t find the right how-to book or didn’t follow the prep course instructions correctly. It’s because you didn’t answer these three crucial questions:

 

 - What do my competitors have that I don’t?

 - What do I have that my competitors don’t?

 - What added value can I bring to the organization?

 

Let’s examine each of these.

 

1.    What do my competitors have that I don’t?

Whenever I ask a manager about to apply for a new job to find out what advantages their competitors have over them, I’m often met with the same response: “How should I know? I don’t even know who else is applying.” But that’s no excuse. Even in cases where you’re completely in the dark, you can always make one assumption: there are candidates out there that meet the job requirements in areas where you don’t. So armed with this assumption, your best bet is to first make a list of these areas. Once you have a list, see if you can brainstorm examples where you might partially meet some of the requirements. Remember, “partially” is better than “none” and will still make a case for your candidacy, especially when the organization takes into consideration other advantages your bring to the table.

 

I’ll give you an example. You read in a job ad that at least five years of experience are needed in a certain area, yet you have only three years. You can assume that most (if not all) of your fellow applicants will have at least five years of experience. In this case, the best plan of action would be to demonstrate that your three years were jam packed with the exact kind of experience needed for the job at hand - so much that they’ve prepared you specifically for this new role. If you frame your three years in this way, they will be seen as an advantage over the others who might have five years of experience - but not necessarily as relevant as yours.


 

2.    What do I have that my competitors don’t?

I hope you haven’t put away the list you prepared while answering the first question. Now, it’s time to examine your qualities that might actually exceed the job requirements - positioning  you above your fellow applicants. I call these qualities “surplus points”. Surplus points have to be kept close to your chest and revealed only as needed. Too much waving around of surplus points will flag you as overqualified and unsuitable for the job at hand. Instead, surplus points should be framed as extensions of the job’s core requirements.

 

For example, a job ad requires retail experience in a certain area such as supermarkets. You have this experience but you also have experience in wholesale. Such a surplus point should be communicated as an extension of the retail experience required by the organization. In other words, you don’t want to overwhelm the interviewer by touting that you can take on both retail and wholesale markets. Instead, you want to illustrate how your understanding of the wholesale markets will assist you in dealing with the retail markets - something other candidates can’t necessarily offer.


 

3.    What added value can I bring to the organization?

Added value in this context means something that you bring to the job that’s not required by the company - but is of specific value to the company. This might sound a lot like the surplus points above, but added value is different. First of all, as I said before, surplus points run the risk of flagging overqualification. Added value, however, is always positive and is usually communicated as specific knowledge the organization would be happy to have. Therefore, your added value should be communicated in a way that results in a pleasant surprise for the interviewer - and sets you leagues above the other candidates.

 

For example, you might know that the organization is currently trying to penetrate a specific market you know well. In fact, you have the knowledge to help the organization form its strategy, custom its product or service, and identifying key competitors. This is the added value you could bring to the organization that others cannot offer. It should be made clear in the interview, though brought up within the context of the organization’s current challenges in the new market. And don’t forget to include concrete evidence of your knowledge in that market.

 

The head of the pack

If you focus on any of the three questions above - or a combination of more than one - you’ll find yourself at the head of the pack when the organization shortlists the leading candidates. As you have seen, it takes some effort to answer these questions, but the payoff will be worth it.

 

Good luck!


 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Promotion seekers need to take these 6 steps

One of the major considerations for any job seeker considering a potential place of work as part of their corporate development career path is potential for advancement - prompting common questions such as: Is the organization big enough? Will there be opportunities for promotion when the time comes? So most middle managers prefer applying to large organizations. But is this enough?

 

Not really. My more than 35 years of experience have taught me that when an advancement opportunity comes along, even large organizations will look outwards for candidates, a clear disadvantage for your corporate development career path. And this is despite what seem to be clear disadvantages for the organization:

 

 - It costs much more than internal hiring.

 - The organization knows the candidate less than its own employees.

 - It takes much longer to train an external candidate.

 - The organization loses out on the experience and knowledge

    of an internal candidate.

 

And despite all of these disadvantages, organizations are often influenced by the following factors:

 

1.    The grass might always be greener on the outside - new people bring in new energy.

2.    Familiarity with internal candidates might mean knowing their less desirable traits, which seem to foreground their positive ones.

3.    Existing managers won’t leave anyway, so why not try out someone new?

4.    The internal candidates are doing such a great job where they are now, so why rock the boat?

5.    Many internal candidates without experience in other organizations are often perceived as “not quite ready” for promotion.

7.    Hiring internally will upset the apple cart. If one person gets promoted, others will want promotions as well.

8.     The organization has never really cultivated a culture of nurturing new manages, so there’s really no choice.

 

When faced with this long list of reasons for organizations to recruit outside candidates, should you even bother checking if a promotion is possible? Yes, you absolutely should. And here are 6 important steps to take:

 

1.     Check out how many senior managers have actually been promoted from within. This will give you a more realistic picture of your own chances if you are hired.

 

2.    Even if you decide to take the job and you’re promised the world, remember one thing: you are in charge of managing your career, not the organization. While things might seem optimistic at the moment, you can never be sure that you and your organization will always see eye to eye.

 

3.    No one will argue with the fact that you’ve got to build up social and professional credit at your organization, but that won’t bring on a promotion on its own. First and foremost,  you need to identify what your next job will be as well as when you want it. Then, you have to share your career goals with your manager.

 

4. Don’t wait for you annual review to let your boss know you’re working hard towards your next promotion. Explicitly ask your boss what kinds of skills and competencies you need in order to prepare you for your next promotion. And show them you’re on it - whether it’s learning the new skills alone or taking courses after hours.  

 

5. Showcase your accomplishments. Don’t expect your boss to do the math. Show them the connection between what you’re doing and your next promotion.

 

6.    Don’t fall asleep at the switch. Promotion opportunities don’t necessarily appear on the organizational portal. Only through keeping your eyes and ears open will you be able to claim first dibs on such opportunities.   

 

Remember that while potential promotion opportunities are an important part of evaluating a possible new workplace, it should not be the determining factor. Some organizations are meant to be just stepping stones for you, where you can learn new skills and develop as a professional. So if a good opportunity comes along where you can learn - and the prospects of promotion are not necessarily evident - it might be still worth considering.


 

And always remember:

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

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.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Can a career coach boost my chances for promotion?

Originally posted on the Noomii Career Blog.


“Can a career coach boost my chances for promotion?” This is a very common question in today’s business environment, where everyone wants to get ahead - one of the basic career goals for managers. Based on my 35 years of experience in helping middle managers get promoted, my answer is yes: the right coach can help you open doors to new opportunities.

 

But just hiring a coach isn’t going to do the trick. A coach is kind of like a gym membership. You might sign up for the gym with great intentions, but your membership alone isn’t going to get you into shape. You’ve got to actually go to the gym for your membership to work. It’s the same with your coach. A coach isn’t going to get you promoted without effort on your part. So here’s what working with a coach should look like:

 

The best way to work with a coach is to establish a partnership. And like in every partnership, each of you should take on a certain role in order for the partnership to succeed.  Here’s where a professional coach will help you get ahead:

 

1.    Showing you a mirror

If you’ve recently been turned down for a promotion, it’s pretty likely that your emotions have taken over your logic. At this point, it’s hard to really understand why you didn’t get the promotion and a coach can help you answer this important question. Experienced coaches know that self-awareness is vital to successful career goals for managers and as a result will help you view yourself as others view you. The coach will have a look at the whole picture, such as meeting summaries and performance evaluations and will help you fill in the gaps necessary you’ll need to successfully compete for your next promotion opportunity.

 

2.    Fleshing out your goals

Right now, I can guess that the only goal you have in mind is to get promoted. That’s a good start, but not good enough. Based on an in-depth analysis of your current situation, an experienced coach can help you translate your general goal into a personal action plan, divided into stages and including specific timelines. In this way, you’ll be able to actually work towards your next promotion, knowing exactly what you need to achieve it.

 

3. Keeping you true to yourself

With the abundance of “how to be a manager” guides out there, your natural tendency might be to try to transform yourself into something you’re not. A professional coach will help you develop new competencies while ensuring that what makes you stand out as a manager is still is preserved. This is the winning combination you need to get that next promotion.

 

A professional coach can help you make it or break it when it comes to  your next promotion. It’s important to remember that like all successful partnerships, it takes effort from both of sides.


 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

3 reasons why middle managers should consider leaving their job

It’s a fact:  8 out of 10 middle managers are wondering if they should be at the job they’re at right now. The reason that this percentage is so high among middle managers is that middle management is actually a junction in your career. At this junction, you can decide to continue straight and work towards a promotion at your current organization or make a turn and try your luck at a new one place of work. As I’ve explained in my previous posts in this series, there are basically three general categories as to why you might want to leave your current job: your intrinsic satisfaction, the organizational environment, and your need to develop. This post is dedicated to professional development goals for managers like you.

 

No more challenges

Like any new job, when you began, everything seemed so interesting. You couldn’t wait to dive into projects, updating yourself on previous steps so that you could take it from there. New challenges required becoming absorbed in unexplored territory and your job seemed more like taking an amazing class in “real business” than work - and your learning curve was as steep as could be. There couldn’t be more appropriate professional development goals for managers than this. But now that you know the ropes, you’re not as excited. Projects that once seemed like an exhilarating climb up Mt. Everest can almost be done in your sleep. The problem is that as a middle manager, there’s a pretty limited range of responsibilities that can be given to you - so you find weeks and even months  - crying out to you: “same old, same old”.

 

No more mentors

One of the things you valued most about your job was your brilliant mentors. They were the key to getting you to understand things in a way you wouldn’t have been able to do on your own. While you’d look at an issue to be solved in one way, they would provide brand new perspectives, exposing you to new avenues for tackling the most important challenges. Compared to where you were in your career, their field expertise allowed you to tap into their knowledge and creativity so that you could develop your own approaches. There was nothing more inspiring or motivating than these mentors. But as the years have passed, many of them have left - either to other organizations or retirement. While these days you find yourself mentoring others, you long for the days when you could be inspired and motivated by others.

 

Lack of professional development

An aspect of your job that you’ve truly enjoyed over the years is the emphasis on professional development  in all shapes and sizes: seminars, out-of-town conferences, online training programs, and even a well-stocked library of the latest and greatest in management practices. But recently, you’ve noticed less and less opportunities for professional development. When asking around, you find out that your organization has had to tighten its belt, but then you see that others are still being given opportunities. Is it you? Does your department not see you as worth investing in anymore? Is it your boss? Has he or she changed their tune with regard to the importance of professional development? Or is it really the company trying to save money? It’s worth investigating the reason, but it’s even more important to understand the dangers to your career posed by a lack of ongoing professional development.

 

Finally

We all know that an important aspect of job satisfaction is the feeling that you are growing both professionally and personally along your career path. Ensuring that you have the right challenges, mentors, and development opportunities are key to maintaining job satisfaction. Don’t wait for any of these to melt away with time. Either keep them active or find a place where you can reignite them.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

If you're concerned about career advancement, never sit on your laurels

As you read this, about 80% of middle managers like you are thinking about leaving their current job. As I wrote in my first post in this series, I’ve identified three categories as to why most middle managers are contemplating new pastures: your intrinsic satisfaction, the organizational environment, and the need to develop - signs of how to measure success at work and your career. In this post, I’ll be talking about the organizational environment.

Many middle managers begin their journey at a company either as an entry level employee or after having risen to the middle management level at another organization. In both cases, when you began your current position, you were happy with the organizational environment. You liked the direction of the company, the general atmosphere suited your personality and work patterns, and your team mates seemed to be on the same page with you. All of these are tangible indicators of how to measure success at work. Things have seemed to work out well over the last few years. But now there’s something bothering you.

 

Too much shifting

Remember when departments were more or less permanent fixtures in your company? If you had a specific question or concern, you knew exactly which department (and many times whom) to contact. Now it seems as if it’s anyone’s guess regarding where you turn to if you need to handle a specific issue. Is it Finance? Accounting? HR? When you first came to the company, the lines between departments were pretty clear. Now, getting an answer to a simple question requires actual research just in terms of whom to contact. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? It’s more the feeling that the company you joined not so long ago just isn’t the same - not with department responsibilities being blurred all of the time. You begin to wonder if you still feel at home…

 

Changes in corporate culture

At the same time that structural changes have been taking place, you’ve been feeling a difference in the corporate culture. Your company has just not been behaving the same way you remember - or identify with. You might’ve heard of rumors in which the organization has been tiptoeing around some ethical issues or that certain customers haven’t received the first-class service you thought your company was committed to. Certain budget cuts have made you uncomfortable as well, leading you to think that the organization’s priorities are just not the same. The real question for you is if you’re feeling left out in the cold.

 

Job morph

When you took on your new job, the job description fit you to a T. You were excited not only about the new responsibilities but also about the directions to which you’d be able to take some of these responsibilities. You envisioned yourself using your position as a way to truly upgrade your team and be a source of pride for your department. But recently, certain aspects of your job have been de-emphasized - strangely enough, those you felt were very important. And other aspects have been added - ones you’re not sure you understand or identify with. This has resulted in more pressure on you - prompting you to question if this is still the right job for you.

 

You’re being set aside

Once known as the Boy/Girl Wonder of your department, your boss wouldn’t think of making a move without asking your opinion - even in matters only marginally related to your expertise. You also served as an informal sounding board for team members who were always happy to pick your brain as they considered new ideas and directions. Days and weeks seemed to fly by. Lately, however, your feel as if you have too much spare time. As you make your way towards the water cooler, more doors seem shut than before. You don’t see your boss as much anymore, as he or she always seems engaged with others. “Do I no longer fit in”, you ask yourself. Am I no longer useful?

 

So many goodbyes

In today’s corporate world, we expect a certain amount of employee turnover. As an experienced middle manager, you’ve seen your share of people coming and going - a natural process both in people’s careers and company lifecycles. But the amount of goodbyes you’ve witnessed recently seems a little out of hand. Are others feeling the signs mentioned above? Is the company possibly going through something so major that many of your co-workers feel it’s time to go as well? Maybe you’re not alone...

 

Sitting on your laurels = failure

As a middle manager, it’s much too early in your career to be complacent. If at least two of the factors above are gnawing at you, it’s time to make a decision. If you decide to stay at your company, you’ll have to adopt a flexible mindset and “roll with the punches”. Who knows, maybe the new (and possibly improved) organization will once again feel like home. However, if you’re not sure you can tough it out during what looks like a transition period, it’s time to find an organization with a better fit. Whichever you decide, I wish you great success on your journey to the corner office.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Is it time to find a new job?

“Should I move on?” If you’re a middle manager asking yourself this question, you are certainly not alone. Based on over 35 years of experience with hundreds of middle managers, I can confidently say that about 80% of middle managers are contemplating this question as you read this - and so statistically, you are probably one of them. There are basically three categories as to why you might want to leave your job: your intrinsic satisfaction, the organizational environment, and your need to develop. In this series of three posts, I’ll address each category, as they are essential to career goals for managers.

 

When examining your intrinsic satisfaction, if you are wondering whether it is indeed time to find a better place for you, here are some signs that might point to a “yes”:

 

No more spark

Remember when you’d spend your Sunday evenings making a game plan for the next week? Everyone else around you was complaining that “Monday mornings always get them down”, when you actually looked forward to the challenges awaiting you at work. Getting up Monday (and every other) morning was no problem at all. Armed with a coffee and upbeat outlook, there wasn’t anything that you couldn’t tackle. But now, this seems like a memory - a not too distant memory - yet a memory. Have you lost that spark? Do you find yourself wishing that the weekend would last just one more day? Would you rather take the morning off - than going to work? It’s not that work has become unbearable, but it doesn’t seem very enjoyable either. You just don’t get a kick out of it anymore, which is so necessary for career goals for managers. Do you need something new?

 

You just don’t feel well

We all know that there’s a connection between negative emotions and physical well-being. It wasn’t too long ago that you bragged to your friends and co-workers that you hadn’t taken a sick day for two years straight. Even when you did feel a little under the weather, you gulped down a pain reliever and carried on. Your symptoms would subside and you would head back for the grindstone, feeling just fine. But lately, you find yourself more affected by common colds, headaches, and stomach aches. While you try your best to minimize their effect on your work, you really feel that you do need to take a sick day every once in awhile to reset and re-energize. Is this just aging? Perhaps. But could it also be a sign that your unhappiness at work is affecting your health?

 

The grass is greener

Not very long ago, you were very proud to tell your friends and family how awesome your job was. Even when they tried to convince you that their careers were more promising, more lucrative, more interesting...you knew inside that you had it the best. But now when you hear about people’s success in other organizations, you begin to wonder if your career is as great as you’ve been saying it is. Are you missing out on great things happening outside of your organizations? Are you selling yourself short by remaining in this job? Maybe you’re not giving yourself the credit you deserve.

 

Finally

My experience has shown that these three reasons are pretty accurate indicators of your need to begin looking elsewhere. But if you’ve read any of my other posts about deciding whether to call it quits, you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of suddenly jumping ship - at least without some serious research as to whether such a move would boost or derail your career. Whatever you decide, I wish you a successful journey towards the corner office.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

What should you do if you didn't get promoted?

You’ve done all of the right things and followed all of the right steps. You walked out of the interview confidently, absolutely sure that the promotion was yours - after all who else would they choose? And then the blow comes. Your boss lets you know that while they really appreciate your hard work and dedication, someone else has been given the promotion. Is this the time to throw in the towel? Leave the company? I suggest holding your horses and considering the following:

 

1.    You have the right to be upset and angry.

Most people don’t realize how important it is to acknowledge your feelings. Without processing this kind of let down, you won’t be equipped to move on to other career advancement solutions - either at your present job or if you decide to apply for a role elsewhere. Until you can face your disappointment as an honest, legitimate emotion, it will be very difficult for you to concentrate your energies on that next promotion or job opportunity.

 

2.    Understand that it’s not personal.

Many middle managers take rejections personally. Unless you really do have a personal issue with your boss (in which case you would’ve known that a promotion was unlikely), the reason for the rejection is probably beyond your control. Indeed, you’ve performed well and are well-respected by your colleagues - very key to promoting any career advancement solutions. But perhaps there are other reasons you don’t know about that were taken into consideration.

 

3.    Do the research.

Just because you don’t know the reason you were rejected doesn’t mean that the situation is completely out of your hands. Once you’ve regained your poise, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your boss to find out the specific reasons you were rejected. You’ll be surprised to find out that there are concrete steps you can take towards your next promotion while at the same time improving your own competencies. An added bonus will be that your boss will see how serious you are about the next promotion opportunity and that you’re willing to do what it takes to achieve it.

 

4.    Ask around.

While the grapevine isn’t always the most reliable form of information, doing a bit of asking around might help you complete the picture in terms of the reasons behind your rejection. Are you possibly perceived differently by others than what you think? Is there some kind of hidden quality you haven’t recognized in the person who did get the promotion? Finding these things out will help you map the interpersonal skills you’ll want to improve on as you work towards the next promotion.

 

Getting rejected for a promotion is a very huge let down. The question is if you are willing to put in the effort to prevent it from happening again. While my advice above is targeted towards middle managers who want to remain at their current company, they are applicable to those who might decide to leave their current role and apply for positions at other companies. Whichever path you choose, I wish you luck and success.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Promotion seekers: here are 4 things you need to do

For most middle managers, the most pressing question along your corporate development career path is whether you’re really executive management material. This isn’t surprising at all, because as you climb the career ladder, you’ve been noticing how narrow the pyramid seems to be getting so quickly. You’re seeing middle managers who have either been in the same position for years or who’ve been shuffled around from one middle management role to another. And their destiny seems to be sealed. But is yours?

The first step in answering this question is to check with yourself - are you really ready for a promotion. So I suggest you take my short survey, entitled: Are you really promotion material? Based on your responses, you’ll receive a short report to help you assess your current situation and plan your next career move along your corporate development career path. If you’ve determined you’re ready for your next promotion, read on...

While I can’t promise you a concrete path towards promotion, my 35 years of helping middle managers achieve their career dreams have helped me identify a few common steps to follow:

 

1.    Earn recognition from your work environment.

There aren’t any shortcuts to achieving a promotion. To be recognized as promotion material, you have to consistently make sure you deliver results. While your performance doesn’t always have to outdo your colleagues, consistency is the key. A consistently well-performing middle manager is usually considered a good bet in the corporate world. It shows that you can take on challenges, manage with others, are motivated, and are poised for taking on even more responsibility.

 

2.    Develop a wider perspective.

While my last point emphasized excelling at your current role, when looking for potential candidates for promotion,  decisionmakers will undoubtedly try to identify those middle managers who seem to have developed a wider, whole company perspective. This doesn’t mean that you have to take on the responsibilities of the CEO, but it does mean that you have to begin considering the challenges and opportunities facing your company as a whole - not just your department. So take the time to reach out to other departments in your company in order to gain a good understanding of your company from a wider perspective.

 

3.    Build an organization-wide network.

At the end of the day,  the success of an organization lies in its people. An organization can develop the best solution for the most pressing challenges, but without an excellent team standing behind the solution, it's likely to remain in R&D - hidden from the world. As a middle manager vying for promotion, it’s important that you get to know a wide variety of professionals in your department so that when the time comes, you will be known and respected as a well-informed, approachable senior manager. While today’s workday can be hectic, perhaps set lunch appointments or quick after-work drinks with employees from other departments - and start learning what makes your organization special.

 

4. Conduct a personal SWOT analysis.

SWOT analyses are usually reserved for analyzing companies or rolling out new products and services. But this shouldn’t prevent you from pinpointing your current strengths and weaknesses as well as your potential opportunities and threats. Knowing this information will help you figure out what you need to preserve and what you need to develop now and in the future. This will ensure that you keep your competencies in tact, relevant, and ready for challenges


 

And finally,

There’s no magic mix when vying for a promotion. However, following the steps above will certainly help you along the way as you move towards the coveted corner office.



 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

If you're ready for a promotion, don't neglect your performance review

Every year the world over, annual performance (aka “feedback,” “assessment,” or ”appraisal”) reviews take place. In many organizations, reviews are a formal affair, while in others they are more casual.

 

What’s for sure is that over the last two decades or so, annual performance reviews have developed into both an art and a science, with companies pouring in their confidence, training and budgets into the process.

 

So it’s no wonder that stakeholders all around - executive managers, middle managers, and employees - take annual reviews seriously - so seriously that organizations tend to suffer from a pretty nasty case of the jitters during review season.  

 

Performance reviews usually involve two “players.” On one hand are the obvious “targets” of the review - you. You’re the one being appraised by your direct supervisor. So it’s understandable that you might experience anxiety, as being reviewed can feel like stepping onto a shooting range with all guns pointed directly at you. But what many people don’t realize is that reviews can be just as stressful for those handing out our decrees. Realizing that every word supervisors utter is going to be scrutinized and analyzed by us, they have the almost impossible task of providing a year’s worth of appraisal within the framework of an oftentimes strict format.

 

So because of this built-in tension on all fronts, the actual meeting can actually be a paralyzing experience. The supervisor, on one hand, is tiptoeing along, while you might be trying to figure out the subtext behind each of the their statements. The result is a rather stilted encounter that both of you want to get over with as quickly as possible.

 

The question is if this is the way it has to be. Can this lemon of a meeting somehow be turned into lemonade? Can it actually help pave your corporate development career path? My answer is yes. Absolutely. Here’s how:

 

Reframe

Take a fresh look at what an annual performance review is all about. Yes, it’s the time for your supervisor to appraise what you’ve been doing the past year. But it’s also a huge opportunity for you to get involved so that you can advance your own career. So reframe the review from a halting monologue by your supervisor to a meaningful dialogue between the both of you.

 

Be proactive

I’ve addressed the paralysis that can occur during annual performance reviews. Your job is to make sure you don’t fall victim. So be proactive. Don’t just nod your head in a comatic trance as your boss imparts words of wisdom. Speak up. Ask questions. Urge your boss to explore topics you see as important to you career. Of course, being proactive requires careful preparation, which I’ll be addressing in a later post.

 

Finally

Your annual performance review is too important to dismiss as just something you have to endure. It’s natural that you (and your supervisor) might feel out of your comfort zones, but it should not stop you from taking advantage of this important meeting as a key opportunity for your corporate development career path.

 

Future posts will be addressing specific techniques for helping you navigate your annual performance review so that you can move one more step towards your next promotion.

 

Good luck!

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Pages