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Do you deserve to be promoted?

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03 Sep 00:00 by Simon Bruce

I wanted to expand on one of my recent LinkedIn posts that highlighted the misconception some people often have about promotions. You can see that post here.

There is a common misunderstanding of many employees that once you are capable of doing your current role with minimal supervision, you deserve to be promoted. I see this in my organization as well as when talking to many candidates. When I talk to them and ask them why they want to leave, why they are not satisfied, they say I am looking for a new challenge, or there is no career progression. But when I dig deep into what they have done, in many cases they have only been in the role for 6 months to a year, their understanding of their role within the organization, the meaning behind their responsibilities, and how they impact the business is extremely limited.

From an employer's perspective, you were likely hired by the company into a role that you had not handled before. There are positives and negatives for both parties in this situation which I will not go into today. But now that you are in the organization it is your responsibility to, first and foremost, prove that you can handle the role and that the salary they are paying you is worth it. Do you add enough value to cover not only your salary but all the other costs that are associated with the business to enable them to employ you (this is commonly around 4 to 6 times your salary)? But this only puts you at the starting point of this role and definitely doesn’t entitle you to be promoted.

At this point, I recommend you take a quick look at another post I did late last year that relates to this topic. Become an Expert in What You Do

So what do you need to do now, how do you get to the point where you can go to your boss and say, “I deserve to be promoted”.

  • Take a good look at your current responsibilities and those that people more senior than you are performing

  • Start to take on more and more of the responsibilities that those more senior than you are performing

  • Make sure you show initiative not only to your direct manager but other leaders in the business on doing more than just your job responsibilities. Initiative means you are doing things to increase the success of your company and team.

  • Ask your manager what you need to do to move to the next level in your career and ask them to help you create a plan for you to achieve these goals

  • Keep track of (by writing down or updating your CV) all of the tasks, responsibilities, and achievements

  • Finally, make sure you look at your performance and results and realistically believe you have given your company significantly more than you have been given from the company.

If all employees did this, the company would grow quicker than their competitors resulting in more opportunities for promotion for everyone in the organization.

A side note for those who work in smaller companies, that may not have a colleague to compare to, you are actually in an amazing position to grow your career. You will have direct contact with the CEO/Owner etc, be proactive and approach them with ideas on how to grow the organization and what other responsibilities you can take on to help. You will be amazed at how positively they will respond and then be invested in helping you grow.

I am posting weekly on LinkedIn tips for Candidates and Companies on how to improve. You can follow me on LinkedIn at Simon Bruce to see some of my other posts.

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