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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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Give your career a 60% boost this holiday season

The holidays. Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or a non-believer - whether you celebrate an actual holiday or just enjoy the lights - there’s just no denying that special end of the year feeling.

 

And it’s not just about decorations and gifts. It’s about your career.

 

During the holiday season, things at the office change. Conversations divert from sales strategies and career advancement solutions to holiday vacations, get-togethers, and gift giving. People talk about the anticipated office party. And managers reflect about the company, sharing their hopes and dreams for the new year. Many of the walls that seem to separate the ranks begin to tumble - at least for a short time.

 

All of this creates the perfect conditions to give your career a holiday boost.

 

FACT: Information from informal channels is over 60% more actionable than information from formal channels.

 

I’ll explain.

 

In the corporate world, formally-communicated information simultaneously serves the interests of corporate goals, company politics, managers, co-workers, etc . Because of the inevitable tension that arises in trying to satisfy everyone, messages are often delivered in a fuzzy way, together with “electric static.” Anyone who’s ever received such messages knows that it’s nearly impossible to understand or take any action based on them, let alone identify any career advancement solutions.

 

On the other hand, there’s informally-communicated information, such as the topics of typical holiday chit-chat. As such information is considered “off the books”, most people are likely to speak candidly. So the result is more reliable and actionable information.

 

Boost your career by utilizing the informal communication channel created during the holiday season. You can do this by discovering and communicating informally-communicated information.

 

Discovering

Your next promotion very much depends on the answers to these two crucial questions:

 

How do your co-workers perceive you and your work?

Do your managers plan on promoting you this year?

 

The holiday season provides you with the opportunity to interface with co-workers and managers that you’d usually have set an appointment with to see. Now is the perfect time to approach these people and to  incorporate these questions into routine holiday small talk. It’s a great chance to “take the pulse” of people at the company to discover the impression you’re making.

 

Communicating

 

If you’re vying for a promotion next year, this is your opportunity to let people know. Instead of waiting for your quarterly performance review with your direct manager, take the time to strike up conversations with several decision-makers, so that you can put your intentions out there. Then, when you follow-up on your ambitions during the new year, no one will be caught off guard.


 

Remember that the holiday season and its openness come only once a year. Take the time to plan how you can take advantage of this opportunity as you journey towards the corner office.

 

Let me know how it works for you...and keep your eyes open for my second holiday season post.

 

And always remember. Great managers are made. Not born.





 

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Help! My Boss is Stealing My Ideas!

Originally posted on the Noomii Career Blog.

 

As a rising star in your organization, you feel that you owe a great deal to your manager. After all, they’re the one 

who’s believed in you and has paved your way so far. Rightly so, you see one of the most important career goals for managers as helping to make your boss look good. So you’re always trying to  generate new and interesting ideas to improve your department. This is admirable of course and will help you not only excel at what you’re doing now but also increase your chances for future promotion.

 

But don’t overdo it.

 

You see, as you climb higher up the corporate ladder, promotion opportunities will become fewer and farther between. In fact, getting that next promotion, one of the major career goals for managers, is going to require much more than just impressing your boss. You’re going to have to start building up your social capital among a much wider and harder to please audience: senior managers in your department, coworkers, and key figures in other departments.

 

Your natural tendency now is to run all of your great ideas past your boss to get their blessing.  But I bet that if you look closely at what actually results from some of these ideas, you’ll be surprised. For example, have you noticed that when you met with your boss, your ideas were given very little consideration, yet they suddenly became reincarnated as part of your boss’s strategic agenda presented to the board? Perhaps you’ve seen this and haven’t wanted to believe it was intentional. Or maybe you’ve known all along it was intentional, but, hey, you owe your boss, so no biggie.

 

But here’s the problem: instead of earning the social capital you need to get that next promotion, your boss is raking it all in. Before we talk about what to do, let’s take a closer look at what’s really going on. If your boss’s “idea borrowing” has occurred more than once or twice, you can be sure that:

 

1.    This is your boss’s way of doing things. They’ll steal your ideas as long as you let them.

 

2.    Your boss has a self-confidence issue - and probably doesn’t believe in their ability to come up with ideas on     their own.

 

3.    You DID NOT cause this to happen. Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed this behavior in bosses at all levels countless times over the past 35 years.

 

So what might be some of the motivation behind your boss’s unprofessional behavior? Your boss might feel:

 

1.    ...threatened by you;

2.    ...in competition with you for that next promotion;

3.    ...it’s perfectly legitimate for them to borrow the ideas of their subordinates;

4.    ...they’re helping to fastrack your ideas through the organization.

 

You might identify one of these “excuses” and so your first reaction could be either to clam up - stop sharing your ideas with your boss - or to blow the whistle - calling them on their stealing. I’d save both of these as last resorts.  

 

Instead, here’s what I suggest, the next time you come up with a brilliant idea:

 

1.    Give your boss just part of the story. When they ask for the rest, tell them that you’d be happy to accompany them to the next departmental meeting to provide the full picture. In this way, everyone will know whose idea it really was.

 

2.    Spread the word. Instead of just confiding in your boss, let several people know about your idea (especially those who can help increase your social capital). In this way, the right people will know where the good ideas originate.

 

If you concentrate on these two ways of disseminating your ideas, not only will your boss get the message that what’s your is yours, but also you’ll be building up the social capital you need to get your next promotion.

 

Give this a try and let me know how it went.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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You're going above and beyond at work...but no one seems to notice!?

Originally published on Career Experts.

 

One of the most common reasons why middle managers decide to leave their job is because they’re not recognized for their effort - especially if they feel as if they’re contributing more than others. If you’re in this category, hold off on the cardboard boxes before you consider why your managers might not be taking notice. It could prevent you from leaving your job unnecessarily...and hopefully lead you to the best of career advancement solutions: getting the promotion you deserve.

 

1.    It’s not me. It’s them.

 

Is it really? Sure, you’re applying that elbow grease by the pound, but no one sees anything particularly special about your work. In fact, from what you can tell, your accomplishments don’t pass for more than standard fare at your company. But double check and ask your colleagues directly. Is your output less, the same, or more than theirs? You might be surprised to find out that you’re only Joe or Jane Average. If this turns out to be the case, it’s time to understand that it’s you, not them. When managers find themselves in an environment that’s not a good fit, they’ll often misread the effort meter. The simple reason is that it’s probably taking too much effort to do what is expected. So while you are indeed investing more time, you’re most likely not in the place that’s right for you. Time to check out other career advancement solutions.

 

2.    It’s all in the marketing.

 

Whose fault is it when a product’s target audience isn’t aware the product exists? That’s right - it’s the marketing department. What about all of your effort? Who’s your target audience? And if they don’t know about your effort, whose fault is it again? BINGO. So please don’t follow the assumption that the right people will somehow know about all of the effort you’ve been putting in. Instead, run your career like a marketing campaign, emphasizing self-promotion. Yes, it sounds cheap (and might be sometimes), but the alternative is that someone else takes the credit for your work...and then you’re overlooked when promotion time comes around.

 

3.    Compliments are costly.

 

Unfortunately, over the years, I’ve seen more and more senior managers hesitate and even avoid giving compliments to their middle managers. The reason? Dinero. The old adage was “compliments cost nothing.” But they certainly do today, as many middle managers are quick to respond with another adage: “put your money where your mouth is.” So it’s no surprise that instead of handing you a compliment, your managers remain quiet, for fear of having to back it up with a performance bonus. The good news, though, is that your work might actually be getting noticed...and that a well-deserved promotion is on its way.

 

4.    Plain old jealousy

 

It’s ugly and it’s one of the oldest in the book, but other people might be just plain old jealous of you. You’re burning the midnight oil and turning out some great results, but at the same time you’re (inadvertently) making the slackers look bad. So of course you’re not going to get recognition for your effort; it would just shine a brighter light on what the others haven’t done. And what happens instead? Your amazing accomplishments, which should be a cause celebre, are actually belittled by others, so as not to draw too much attention to their lack of results. Keep yourself on your toes with this one, as the gap between what you’ve done and how it’s received can throw you off course when it comes to assessing your own accomplishments.

 

Now you decide

 

Once you’ve understood why no one seems to notice your going above and beyond, you’ll be able to decide whether it’s time to hit the road. If it’s a matter of lack of awareness or simply a corporate culture that frowns on patting managers on the back, give yourself some time. But if you’re making stupendous effort to accomplish what everyone else does much more easily, it could be time to move on. Just remember that whatever you decide, you should understand why you weren’t recognized for your effort, so that you’ll identify the signs again in the future.


 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.


 

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Unlock the key to tempting career advancement through knowing what your colleagues think about you

One of the biggest keys to succeeding is perception management.  This means taking active control of how others view you, as well as your accomplishments and talents – each factors affecting career development in your current or future job.

 

Certainly,  having faith in your own abilities, working hard, and keeping your head up can help further your career goal. (Check out the case study on Lisa who used this to succeed to new heights) But keep in mind it is not the only factor in this equation.

 

You may be asking yourself what this all means. Well, that can be explained by understanding the gap between your own view of yourself, and the one that other people have of you. So while you may have a confident view of your own abilities, your colleagues may not feel the same way and that can stand in the way of tempting career advancement.

 

Thus, making sure that you understand this gap and by working on it, you can achieve successful results. Below are steps you can take to work on this:

 

1. Start listening. While feedback is sometimes too focused on discouraging results, a manager should also listen to positive comments. This could signal where others may see strengths in you that you thought you lacked – effectively boosting your confidence to work on that aspect. Tabulate them below and give yourself a boost.

 

 - My strengths according to my view

 - Colleagues I have consulted

 - The way colleagues view my strength

 - Did this surprise me?

 

2. Look beyond yourself.  Learn about the organizational values of your company. Investigate what values are important, and what qualities have been identified in managers that have succeeded before you. Write them down as below in order to have a visual guide.

 

Organizational values (think skills, moral values, and personality)

  a. _________________

 

   b. ________________

 

   c. ________________



3. Using the information above, you will then be able to zero in on which skills you can boost, allowing you to show off in order to be noticed by your company and colleagues. This will add to their perception of you and help you cultivate a positive image. List these as above for a visual inspiration and to keep your perception on track.

 

4. As the last step, do an investigation into the skills you think you have that your colleagues may not have identified. Ask them if they think you are good at this skill or if they have taken note of it, and if not, find out why. Simply doing an investigation like this can create a good perception of you, as it shows you are willing to grow and change.

 

These steps seem very intuitive, don’t they? Well, then it should be surprising to learn that when going after a promotion people often do not manage their perception, and this can result in a failure rate of 70%! The saddest part of this is that those who beat them for the promotion often do not have better qualifications – they just earned a positive perception from their colleagues.

 

So then what to do?

 

Always bear in mind that having faith in your abilities is not all you need to get ahead in management.  If you only focus on your abilities, instead of working on skills your company values, and the way your colleagues see you, all that hard work can be for naught. So get out there and learn, take the criticism, work on your relationship with your company and make the best of your management career.


 

And always remember that when it comes to career goals for managers:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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Improve your chances by 300% with these 3 steps for tempting career advancements

When we make a promise to ourselves we are creating a statement about what we want to achieve - our dreams and goals.

 

When we see tempting career advancements and want to do something about them, the promises we make won’t guarantee we’ll get them.

In fact, less than a third of the promises we make work out.

 

The following statistics show how unsuccessful making promises are:

We only keep a disappointing 28% of our promises

Of those, 12% will be changed because they’re just too hard

We can’t seem to maintain our promises for a year with a huge 60% of them being dropped.

 

So, what is stopping us from fulfilling our promises?

 

Our habits are stopping us from making our promises become a reality. More importantly, they are the leading factors affecting career development in mid-level managers.

 

We don’t have to be slaves to our habits. We can make positive changes which will have a significant impact on our lives.

 

By following the three steps outlined below and meeting our habits head on we can triple our chances of meeting tempting career advancements.

 

Think about how you could get that promotion you desire. You could create an ambitious idea to impress your boss. You might plan to bring in results; bigger and better than before. And you do this with heightened optimism, renewed zeal and boundless energy. All this because you truly hope that you will get that promotion. However, you never quite get there. Factors affecting career development in mid-level managers are situated deep down and are stopping you from fulfilling your great plans.

 

Our habits let us down.

It is always more difficult to keep the promises that we make to ourselves. We often don’t realize that it is our habits which are holding us back. We actually hide behind them when things start to get tough.

We do it all the time, and sometimes without knowing.

 

Imagine you want to lose weight for an important event like a wedding or graduation. You fill your cupboards with healthy food and throw out all the junk food. And for a few days or maybe weeks, you are strict and keep your promise to only eat healthy.

 

However, things go awry when someone brings a cake into work. You quickly fall back into the habit of eating unhealthy food. Did you know your habits actually control 40% of what you do each and every day? Almost half of what you do is controlled by habits which are holding you back from achieving your goals.

 

So, what’s the best way to stop those habits interfering with the promises you make?

 

Determination.

 

Determination is the one thing that will make sure you are honest with yourself. You will need to practice and nurture your determination to overcome your habits.

 

Here are 3 steps you can take that are guaranteed to increase the likelihood of you keeping your promises threefold.

 

Step 1 – Visualize success and reach for it

Sit down during a quiet moment in your day and visualize what your life will be like when you get your new promotion. The best times are first thing in the morning and last thing at night. You could even practice visualizing your goals while riding public transport or over lunch.

 

Imagine - what will your new office look like? What will you wear? How will others speak to you? The more you see these images the more your brain will believe they are possible. You will be creating your own reality before it actually happens. This develops and strengthens your determination to succeed. It may seem too easy to be true, but visualization is an important part of determination. Have you ever spoken to someone who you considered to be determined and asked them how they see their goals?

 

Step 2: Failure is not an Option

This famous quote - Failure is not an Option - comes from the NASA Flight Director, Gene Kranz. If you become fixed on your goals you will succeed. If you want a promotion and decide that nothing less will do then failure is simply not an option. The last thing you should consider is accepting second best or falling back on a Plan B.

 

Many people may visualize what they want, but they always undermine it with Plan B’s. You may hear them say things like:

If I don’t get promoted I’ll go back to school and study

If they don’t promote me, I’ll find a better job

I’ll leave this company if I don’t get the promotion I want.

 

Having a Plan B may seem logical and practical, but it can undermine and weaken your determination. You should never consider it because you shouldn’t take your eyes off the prize – that promotion you want and deserve. You need to make sure nothing else matters.

 

Step 3: Nothing worthwhile in life is free

 

You are not going to achieve your goals without any sacrifices. When you want something really badly you are going to have to give up something else to get it. Nothing in life is free and there are no free lunches either.

 

If you need to take time to create a compelling presentation, you’ll need to cut your lunch time down. You may also have to stay back instead of heading home for the weekend. You may even have to get up and get to the gym so you are mentally and physical prepared for the new promotion.

 

Strengthening and developing your determination means making the sorts of choices that will ensure your goals become a reality.

 

Start today and increase your chances of promotion by 300%

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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Discover why you've been rejected for promotion

You’ve delivered results. You’ve gotten great feedback. You’ve excelled at management courses. And everyone in the company respects you. Talk about how to measure success at work! But, alas, you’ve just been passed up for a promotion. How could this be? And what can you do about it?

 

Priority #1: Find out exactly why you were rejected.

 

It’s pretty simple. Without knowing exactly why you were rejected, you’re likely to continue making the same mistakes...and heading for another rejection the next time around. By the way, my assumption is that you’ve been doing your best all along in all forms of how to measure success at work - and that you genuinely don’t know why you didn’t get this last one. But here’s the kicker: whatever it is that you’ve been been doing will probably lead you down Rejection Lane once again. I know what you’re thinking: “I can’t be that out of tune with myself.” But you are. It wasn’t just tough luck or bad karma this time. There’s definitely something else lurking around that’s keeping you from being promoted. And it’s your job to find out what it is.

 

Like most managers, you might think you know why you were rejected. But you don’t.

 

Again, I know what you’re thinking. You don’t need me to tell you why you were rejected. Your boss has already taken care of that. Let me guess. It went like this:  your boss encouraged you with phrases such as,  “keep making an effort” or “just try a bit harder…”, right? Or maybe you got some lukewarm feedback, such as “management feels you might be too…” I’m not criticizing your boss here. Don’t forget that things aren’t easy for them either. Delivering bad news is hard for any boss and the last thing they’re going to do is pile on more bad news in the form of hardcore criticism. So to try to balance out the somber atmosphere a bit, bosses often offer encouragement and perhaps some general feedback...but not much at all to actually help you.

 

So, as you leave your boss’s office, here’s the bottom line: you’ve been rejected and you don’t really know exactly why. And this is detrimental to your next promotion opportunity. Why? Because you have zero information that will actually help you achieve it.

 

So what do we know so far?

Let’s summarize what you should know so far, so that you can get that next promotion.

 

1.    You’re definitely doing something that’s preventing you from being promoted.

2.    You keep doing this because you’re actually unaware that it’s your very own promotion killer.

 

The next step

Find the promotion killer. Here’s how to do it:

 

1.    Schedule a meeting with your boss at least a week after the rejection meeting (more on this below).

2.    Between now and the meeting, fill in this quick questionnaire. You’ll receive a short report revealing the reasons behind your rejection. (Go ahead, do it now.)

3.    Armed with the report, prepare yourself for the meeting with your boss so that this time, you’ll get the information you need to get that next promotion. (I’ll explain how to do this later).

 

The meeting with your boss

If you haven’t answered the questionnaire by now and received the report, do so immediately, as the report will help you prepare for the meeting. The report is key, as it will provide you with a reflection of yourself as others haven’t or won’t tell you. Think of it as the proverbial “fly on the wall” in a room where others begin talking about you as you close the door on your way out. Accessing this fly on the wall information will provide the most valuable insight regarding why you’ve been rejected. You’ll use this information later to help your manager open up and reveal the promotion killer.

 

I’ll illustrate this with an example:

Let’s say that you’re a real team player. You’re great at bringing team members on board and fostering commitment to any project you’re in charge of. Upper management is well aware of your talent and you’ve received both formal and informal recognition for it over the years.

 

But here’s the flip side to this talent. Because bringing everyone on board is so important to you, you’re willing to take a bit longer than usual to finalize decisions. Of course, you know what you’re doing, but others around you might be interpreting this holding pattern as a sign of unnecessary hesitancy or a lack of self confidence. Unbeknownst to you, you begin “earning” the reputation of someone who can’t handle complicated decisions - the ones that would be required if you were to be promoted.

 

With this kind of fly on the wall insight, you could, for example, pose the following question to your boss: Does my insistence on bringing everyone on board before making critical decisions make me seem like I’m hesitant or lacking in self confidence?

 

With this kind of question, you’ll be putting the cards on the table - letting your boss know that you’re both on the same wavelength. With this understanding, you’ll finally be able to have an open, honest conversation that will include the specific information you need to improve your chances for promotion next time - i.e. discovering the promotion killer.

 

I imagine that by now you see just how critical the report is to your career. It’s not only a fly-on-the-wall honest reflection of why you’ve been rejected. It’s the missing link you need to achieve your next promotion.

 

So if you’ve been rejected this time around, seize this pivotal opportunity and find out why.

 

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7 career advancement solutions to get the promotion you deserve

Are you looking for career advancement solutions that actually work?

 

Are you tired of not getting the promotion you deserve?

 

Here are 7 career advancement solutions to get that promotion that will see you rise in your career.

 

Before going through these steps, however, it is important that you plan what you are going to do carefully. It is not enough to just think about what you want and hope you can work out how to make it a reality. For maximum effect download this handy planning sheet and complete it with as many details as you.

 

Step 1

Decide what your dream job is going to be. Include as many details as possible including the title of the job, name or type of organization, your salary, where the job will be located and more.

 

Step 2

Spend some time each day visualizing yourself in your dream job. Imagine what it will look like. How will you feel? What affect will it have on your home life? Now, write all these things down in great detail.

 

Step 3

Read out loud what you’ve written in Step 2 twice each day. It is best to do this at the beginning and end of the day so that each detail remains in your mind. Visualizing yourself in your dream job will ensure it becomes a reality.

 

Step 4

Look at your diary and choose a date for achieving your dream job. This will keep you focused and you won’t be distracted.

 

Step 5

If you want your dream job you are going to have to make some sacrifices. What are you willing to give up? And what are you not? Getting that dream job is going to take planning and time so you may have to give up dinner with friends or going out on weekends.

 

Step 6

Work out what other things you need to do to help you reach your dream job. Attach a date to each task so that you remain committed to achieving each one in turn.

 

Step 7

Choose a date in the future and set that as the day you begin your dream job.

 

Part of achieving your dream job means working through each step. This will break down what you have to do to succeed logically and practically.

Only you are master of your destiny so make sure your destiny is what you want it to be and you don’t get left behind.

 

It is important to remember that it is better to spend a lot of time on achieving your dreams. Studies have shown that we use the same amount of energy working towards something we want as we do being disappointed that we didn’t get it in the first place.

 

To look at this interesting fact further see my post The ONLY secret weapon you’ll need to get promoted. The choice is up to you.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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When asking for a promotion, timing is EVERYTHING

Originally published on Career Experts

 

Any successful manager knows the hallmark of effective career management: sound planning and initiative. Managers who are serious about climbing the corporate ladder set goals and then charge ahead. (If you’d like a handy format for doing this, here’s one I’ve developed.) But the danger for many managers is not realizing this isn’t enough. One of the most important factors affecting career development is identifying the ripest time for requesting a promotion.

 

Why is timing so important? When you ask for a promotion, you’re not doing it just for fun. You’re doing it because it’s important that you get that next position. So it’s crucial that you increase your chances as much as you can.

 

You might be wondering if there really is such a thing as the “right” time to ask for a promotion. Indeed, there is and it is one of the most important factors affecting career development.  The right time is after you’ve prepared well for your candidacy.  Let me illustrate through an analogy you’re already familiar with.

 

One bright day, you wake up with a brilliant idea you’d like your department to adopt at the next meeting. You basically have two options:

 

1.    Spring it on everyone at the meeting and hope for the best. After all, you’ve got a good reputation and anything you bring up will probably be considered worthwhile.

 

2.    Prior to the meeting, speak with key stakeholders to get their feedback. In this way, you can fine tune your idea to increase chances of its acceptance at the meeting.

 

I hope it’s pretty obvious you wouldn’t choose the first option. And you shouldn’t when it comes to asking for a promotion, either.

 

So why do so many managers actually end up going for the first option when it comes to their career? Ironically, it’s often easier for them to promote ideas they think will benefit the company than it is to promote their own careers. It might be because they feel uncomfortable tooting their own horn or because it might be viewed as pretentious or arrogant. So these managers (falsely) wait for their coworkers’ recommendations...and wait.

 

Instead, I want to suggest that you approach asking for a promotion more like the second option. Before applying, gather a few key backers and let them know about your plans for promotion and why you think this is a good time. Get their feedback and if needed, fine tune some of the things you do so that you’ll receive their stamp of approval. When you’re ready to finally submit your candidacy, you’ll already have garnered much of the support needed - and your chances of success will have increased greatly.

 

Of course, there will be decision makers that will be harder to approach, but if you view your promotion as just as mission critical as a game changing idea for your company, it’ll make talking to them easier. And if you need more motivation, consider what’ll be harder to swallow: an uncomfortable conversation or a rejection.

 

So use the great management skills you already have and begin managing your own career. You have a lot of work to do before you actually ask to climb that next rung up the corporate ladder.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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Beware: habits and fear could wreak havoc with your career

Originally posted on the Noomii Career Blog.

 

You’ve just missed out on a promotion, yet you’ve still decided to stay on. This would be a wise thing to do if there was still a chance of getting promoted if you remained on this particular corporate development career path, but deep down inside, you know that the odds are close to zilch. So what’s making you stay?

 

There are many answers to this question, but from my experience, there are two main factors that might keep someone from really understanding their true corporate development career path: habits and fear.

 

I’ll explain each of these:

 

Habits

It starts and ends with the old saying: “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” Even though we’ve just had the letdown of the century, our current workplace is still an old familiar face. As with such familiar faces, we know our company’s good points and its bad ones, too. On top of this, the familiarity gives us a feeling of security and stability. So in the end, rather than entertain moving to a better place, we end up actually convincing ourselves that it’s better to stick with what we already know. If this sounds familiar to you, be aware that it doesn’t come from voice of reason - it comes from the voice of habit. This doesn’t mean that the voice of habit is wrong, but be aware that often the job of habits is to return us to our comfort zone, rather than to encourage us to seek greener pastures when needed.

 

Fear

We all fear change to some degree. Granted, we know the importance of change and even know that success often requires it, yet fear will always be an integral part of change. So when you’re rejected for a promotion (and there’s no redemption in sight), it’s pretty clear you should be viewing this as an excellent opportunity to explore new possibilities. But my experience has shown that the number of managers who “welcome” such change is actually much larger than those who actually implement it. The reason? It’s the lack of uncertainty that change brings. Our fear of uncertainty paralyzes us, preventing us from being able to pursue other career avenues when necessary. If we want to make rational decisions, acknowledging our fear of uncertainty and keeping it abay are key.

 

Here are some situations where habits and fear could wreak havoc with your career:

 

Situation 1

You’ve just been rejected for a promotion, but in the same breath, you were told to show patience and expect another promotion opportunity just around the bend. You know logically that this is more than a long shot, but you still hold on to these encouraging words with all of your might. (The fact that you’ve been promised absolutely nothing is irrelevant.) But what’s really happening is that your habits and fear are doing a stellar job at interpreting this consolation as a promise. In turn, you easily conclude not to leave the organization - and to stay stuck in the same rut.

    

Situation 2

You’ve decided that now’s just not the right time to leave. (BTW, the last time probably wasn’t either, but that’s just a minor point.) The real question is if there is ever a right time to leave. The truth is: there really isn’t. What’s at play here are your habits and fear of leaving. So as soon as you hear yourself saying “it’s not the right time,” know right away that time is most likely not the issue and explore what the real reason might be.

As the title of my post says, habits and fear could wreak havoc with your career. Your goal is to identify when habits and fear might be in your driver’s seat - leading you to a dead end. 

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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5 ways a mid-level managers can develop their own corporate career path

Have you been in the same mid-level management job for five years and are you keen to further your corporate development career path?

 

Are you finding that your friends and colleagues are being promoted over you and are leaving your behind?

 

It is not uncommon for mid-level managers to become stuck in their career.

 

If this is you, or you don’t want it to be you, you need to understand what is happening and why you are stuck in your career.

 

You also need to understand what you can do right now for your own corporate development career path to succeed.


1.  The time for excuses is over – Start acting like a senior manager today.

 

As your skills grew and you notched up some achievements, your company recognized your talents and celebrated your successes. You were promoted to the position you are in now due to this.

 

However, those in senior positions above you also knew and recognized your flaws. These were tolerated because they knew you would be able to work on them and, hopefully, overcome them.

 

It’s time now to rid yourself of those problems and rise up and be what it takes to become a senior manager.

 

In today’s competitive world, candidates for senior positions are scrutinized thoroughly. Those in your company above you do not have the time to compensate for your flaws. There is no room for compromise.

 

So, to further your corporate development career path, rid yourself of these flaws and ensure you have the qualities, the skills and the drive to be a senior manager.

 

2.  The rules have changed – Are you keeping up with them?

 

You are where you are today because you have great skills in your chosen profession.

 

Your corporate development career path blossomed to this point, but now without you knowing the rules have changed.

 

What defined a professional all those years ago, doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing today.

 

You need to be more than just good at your job. You need to be skilled in more areas of office and human resource management.

 

These new managerial skills need to be added to your portfolio and you need to demonstrate them clearly to seniors in your company.

 

Prove to them that you deserve to be promoted to a senior position and that you have what it takes.


 

3.  Be proactive and shape your corporate career along the path you want

 

While you are dedicated and striving to do your job to the best of your ability, you need to keep in mind that success is not going to be granted to those who wait.

 

You’ve been promoted in the past, but there is no guarantee it is going to happen again – well, not unless you make sure it does.

 

There are a myriad of ways you can shape your corporate development career path.

 

You can actively seek new clients and show true leadership to junior employees.

 

You can trim costs down and create a healthier budget. You could also find new ways to share information within your company.

 

If you want new opportunities, it is up to you – and, you alone.

 

It’s easy to slip into a comfortable place, but this is not the place from which promotions are granted.

 

If you are proactive you will be able to develop your corporate development career path along the path you desire.


 

4.  What makes you stand out from your competitors?

 

There are a lot of other people waiting for those top positions.

 

If you’ve sat and wondered why others were promoted over you, then you haven’t understood what they have done differently from you in the past.

 

They made sure they stood out from others and took advantage of opportunities when they arose.

 

They worked harder and were more competitive.

 

You need to find out what your unique talents and skills are. Then you need to put these to work so that you stand out.

 

This is what will get you noticed, and then promoted.

 

Developing a corporate development career path is not about doing a good job. It’s about doing an excellent job and utilizing your talents and skills so that you stand out from the others.


 

5.  The higher you go, the less opportunities are available – work harder!

 

It makes sense, doesn’t it? The higher you go in the company, the less senior positions are available.

 

This shouldn’t deter you from striving to gain one of those positions.

 

But it does mean you are going to have to work harder than ever before.

 

If you are serious about your corporate development career path it’s time to step up and prove to the seniors in your company you’ve got what it takes to function well in a higher position.

 

Spend some time reflecting on what you need to do to be considered for the next promotion.

 

Develop and practice the skills required so you are not left behind again, but instead step up into the position that you desire and deserve.

 

It’s up to you to shape and develop your corporate development career path, and you should start today.

 

Now, you know what you want and, now you know how to achieve it.

 

The opportunities are there; all you have to do is make sure you become the senior manager your company is looking for today.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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