Take the crisis of global pandemic disruption – even if it meant the shock and sadness of redundancy or pay cut – and now turn it into an opportunity to reflect, renew and recommit to what you really want to achieve in your leadership life. Your perspective on your next role and promotion may shift from reaching for the next rung on the predictable ladder to becoming a wake-up call on how you really want to spend your precious time and energy at work.
This month’s release of my latest book ‘Get Promoted’ makes for a timely companion guide for you to reflect and reset on exactly that. My book will help you to take stock of your current situation, stop making the mistakes as before, and start creating an empowering career and promotion strategy to take forward into 2021.
Step back and consider the big picture. Think about the work legacy you want to leave behind – and with that in mind, what is your ultimate dream role and next step promotion to set you on the path towards achieving it. The more purpose and intrinsic motivation underpinning your career goals, the more inspired you will feel to do what it takes to achieve your next promotion.
From lofty vision to the pragmatic reality about promotions – let’s now debunk some common myths and misconceptions about what it takes to get promoted. Firstly, it is not as simple as working hard and being rewarded with a promotion. Promotions are about leadership potential – an investment bet in your future, not your past. Showcase your leadership skills and find creative ways to differentiate yourself from your peers. Secondly, realise that your organisation is probably not the meritocracy it purports to be in the brochure. Politics play a much larger role in promotion decisions than anyone ever wants to admit, so ignore them at your peril. Finally – and you may already know this! – the ‘best’ people do not always get promoted. You need to figure out what really matters and who really matters when promotions are decided.
In today’s reset work environment, what matters most are the skills of resilience, adaptability and creativity. During the first lockdown, I noticed how alarmingly quickly so many professional people became demotivated and disconnected from their role, organisation and career. It reminded me of Charles Darwin’s quote on the survival of the fittest “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change, that lives within the means available and works co-operatively against common threats.” If you want to get promoted when times are tough, you need to face into the challenges and be visible at leading from the front. This is made all the harder now with remote working, so you need to be even more proactive than ever before.
The world of work has changed, and you need to change too. Empower yourself to step up and stay optimistic. The real wisdom in turbulent times is to find a way to shorten the gap between suffering the crisis and seizing the opportunity.