Think You’re Ready for Promotion? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself
Maybe you’re a young person trying to get that elusive first promotion after working at an entry-level job. Maybe you have lots of experience and want to finally step into a management role. Maybe you just want more money and prestige.
Many employees at all levels of their careers think they deserve a promotion. But are they really ready for it?
Promotions aren’t given, they’re earned. Before you present your case as to why you’ve earned your spot at the leadership table, here are three questions you must ask yourself:
1. Am I a good mentor?
Promotions and more responsibility often involve taking on direct reports. If you’re merely concerned with being “the boss” of others, you need to think a bit more deeply about what you’re signing up for. Being a leader involves being a coach and mentor to help develop your team. After all, they have career goals as well.
A genuine interest in your team members’ career goals isn’t something you can fake. Nor should it be. No one wants to have a boss who’s just there for his or her own gain. Conversations about the team’s interests and objectives should be a consistent part of your working relationships. This means being excited enough about what you and your team accomplishes together to really want to sit down with them and hear what they have to say.
2. Am I prepared to be accountable for my work and the work of others?
We’ve all heard the saying: “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Just as with the concept of mentoring others, a promotion often means that it isn’t just about your own work anymore. The work of your direct reports will now be a reflection of you and your leadership abilities.
This means that you should be prepared to motivate your team to make sure they’re producing an exceptional quality of work. Ultimately, this will factor into your success in your new role. Being accountable for your work and the work of others both revolve around having a passion for what you do, the company you work for and the team you work with.
3. How’s my time management?
With that promotion, you will, of course, have more work on your plate. But the last thing any manager should be saying is, “I don’t have time” or “I’m too busy.” Mastering your time management skills is a prerequisite when it comes to being a leader. It’s a tough skill to conquer, but with your newfound responsibilities, saying “I’m too busy” won’t be an option.
Prior to a promotion, you probably plan your day solely around you. But with that new role, you’ll have to do your own work, along with attending new meetings, having more conversations with team members, and signing off on an array of new projects. Similarly, when team members have questions that fall under your jurisdiction, you have to be there to help. Your time is no longer your own, so be ready to recalibrate your workload to account for this new set of responsibilities.
Still think you’re ready?
If reading this article filled you with inspiration, then great. If it made you feel a bit uneasy, that’s ok, too. Readiness for increased levels of responsibility comes with time and experience. Taking the time to learn and perfect your craft before trying to advance your career will always be a respected move.
But if you feel like you are ready to go above and beyond to the next stage of your work life, read 5 Ways to Get a Promotion.
Sean Cohen is chief operating officer at AWeber, an email marketing service provider in Chalfont, Pa. He oversees the activities of all teams and directors and his role includes operations oversight, human resources and execution of strategic initiatives.
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