When it comes to professional growth and development, the prospect of promotion stands as a significant, if not elusive, milestone. The appeal of a new title and elevated status is obviously compelling, but how do you assess your readiness for promotion?
A strategic assessment of your qualifications and preparedness is needed before you can take those first steps towards actively pursuing your upward climb. 👣
As you read on, keep in mind the following to two factors. Both need to be true in order to get promoted:
- Your capability: You’ve demonstrated the ability to do the job you’re seeking and can show evidence of your ability. 🔨
- Business need: Determining whether there’s a business need for a promotion is a crucial aspect of whether or not to pursue your promotion. 💼
Aligning business need with your promotion
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how good you would be at a new role — a business need has to exist in order for you to be promoted.
Understand your company’s strategic objectives and evaluate organizational goals. 🏆 Look for signs that achieving theses goals may require additional talent or restructuring of roles. If your promotion aligns with these objectives, it’s a good indicator of a business need.
You can also look at industry trends and market conditions. 📈 If your industry is evolving, or if there’s a particular skillset in high demand, it might signal the need for a new role or an upgraded position.
Business needs are outside your control — although you may be able to influence. But the good news is that your own capability and the ability to demonstrate it is very much in your control.
When to make the leap
If there is a business need, you’ll have to prove that you are capable in operating at this level in order to be ready for a promotion.
Take stock of your preparedness by asking yourself a few foundational questions centering readiness.
- Elevated efficiency: Have you noticeably improved your efficiency in daily tasks?
- Increased responsibility: Are you finding your workload expanding, with your manager entrusting you with more complex and critical tasks?
- Subject matter expertise: Are colleagues regularly seeking your expertise and guidance, recognizing you as the go-to expert for questions?
- Managerial trust: Do you see a growing level of trust from your manager?
- Praising progress: Has positive feedback from higher-ups increased, indicating your contributions are being acknowledged and valued?
If the answer to most of these is “yes!” then it may be time for you to take more actionable steps towards seeking career advancement. Many companies have specific criteria for moving up the ladder. Both specific skills & experience will factor into those decisions. 🧩
For example, at a large pharmaceutical company, to be considered for VP, you often need to have turned around a failing business, have led a business that wasn’t within your domain, or have gained international experience.
You must also have internal support in addition to your boss. Build a coalition — get your peers, business partners, and horizontals on board. Consider telling your peers or key stakeholders that you are pursuing a promotion & explicitly ask them to support you.
Also seek support from management or higher-ups who can advocate for your promotion. If they believe in your potential and can see a clear benefit to the company, it reinforces the notion of a business need. 🤝
Document feedback from your peers and gather data or metrics that showcase your contributions to the company’s success. Your brag sheet is a good place to track! If you can demonstrate that your work has positively impacted the organization’s bottom line, it’s a compelling argument for your advancement.
If there is not a business need
In some cases, despite your qualifications and aspirations, you might find that a business need for your promotion simply doesn’t exist within your current organization. When this happens, it might be time to explore alternative avenues to realize your career aspirations.
Consider whether there is an opportunity in other functions or businesses within your org. Be open! This may mean that you’ll have to make a change in order to achieve your career goal. It can be an opportunity to reflect on your career goals and whether they can be better pursued elsewhere.
While change can be daunting, it can also be the key to unlocking your full potential and achieving the career progression you desire. ✨
Paths to promotion
The journey toward a well-deserved promotion hinges on a multi-faceted assessment of your professional capabilities, ensuring they align with the organization’s evolving needs.
Once you’ve recognized the right moment to pursue career advancement, you should find harmony between your readiness and the business demand — if that harmony doesn’t exist, you may need to embrace the possibility of exploring new opportunities outside of your current organization.
Above all, remember that your career path is dynamic, so your path to promotion might be too. Maintain your flexibility, adaptability, & organizational alignment, and you’ll never lose your way.
Source Image: Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash