Accenture had surveyed 3400 employees in 2011 and realized that only about one third had asked for a promotion, raise or job change. Interestingly, out of those who asked, 65% reported it helped them. More than half of the employees who asked for a promotion got one. Asking for a promotion or raise helps. What else increases your chances of a promotion? What your boss never told you about career growth and advancement?
A great sportsperson does not always qualify as a great coach. This is true for a lot of job roles. A super sales rep who consistently exceeds sales quotas may not be an equally good sales manager. He or she might as well suck at managing other sales reps.
Responsibilities and skill requirements often change with job promotions.
Here is what your boss never told you about career growth
If you aspire to be in your boss’s shoes, you ought to be already doing what your boss does.
Let us talk about the super sales rep – assume it is you.
You have a stellar record – exceeding sales quotas, earning incentives and being felicitated for your contributions. How do you get that promotion and start managing a team of sales reps?
Does your performance as an individual contributor establish your credentials as a leader of a team?
No, it does not.
How do you present your case to the management when you plan to ask for a promotion?
You need to show them that you already have what it takes to be the next super sales manager. How do you show you already have the skills before you get promoted? It’s simple – start stepping into your boss’s shoes whenever you can.
Tip #1: Contribute to your team’s success
Can you share insights that may help fellow sales reps improve their conversion and close deals?
What do you do better than most? Lead research, drafting proposals, email sequences, objection handling. Can others benefit from some of your best practices? Share those and empower your team.
Tip #2: Attract questions
Volunteer more often to solve common and individual problems for rest of the team.
As you offer selfless help and make them look better, others in the team will start approaching you for support and solutions. This is the most telltale sign for the management that you are indeed ready for a promotion.
Tip #3: Offer to be a mentor for new employees
New team members need help. Along with their own tasks and responsibilities, they need someone to guide them on policies and procedures. Each company has its own set of rules, processes and systems. These could be challenging for new employees. It gets difficult to focus on the job at hand.
Be the guide and mentor they seek.
This is another great sign that moves you closer to the promotion you seek.
Tip #4: Contribute to your boss’s success
This is not the same as your team success. A team doing well is the expected outcome for your boss. What else makes her look good?
Career growth is a cycle. Just like you, your boss is at the start of another job promotion cycle. She needs to present her application for the next promotion. This is good for both you and your boss. Her raise creates a vacancy for you and others.
Help your boss succeed.
We all have skills we wish we could improve. What are one or two such skills your boss needs help with?
Data analysis, presentation design, marketing strategy, complaint management?
How can you help? Make a plan and offer to share responsibilities. Let your boss see you being the boss as you make her look good.
Tip #5: Upskill yourself
It is not just doing what your boss does. It is equally important that you know what your boss knows.
There are industry best practices, business processes that you get to know as you climb the corporate ladder. Each job promotion exposes you to a new set of knowledgebase – tools, acronyms, statistics, software etc.
Watch what your boss does and make a note. Look to learn as much as you can.
Summary: Take charge of your career growth?
In a research on manager productivity, Pace Productivity, Inc. reported that mid-level managers spend less than 4 hours a week in people management – coaching, training and mentoring.
Administrative tasks eat up one fourth of their productive time. They may not have the time to work on your career growth.
Take it upon you to work on what you aspire. Stop worrying about what your boss never told you.
Follow these 5 tips to start doing what you boss does and get ready to ask for a promotion.
- Contribute to your team’s success
- Attract questions – solve problems for the team
- Offer to be a mentor and guide for new employees
- Contribute to your boss’s success
- Upskill yourself
Remember the findings from Accenture’s 2011 employee survey – while only one-third employees explicitly asked for a promotion, 59% of employees who asked for a promotion got one.
The tips above ensure you are ready for a promotion when you ask for it.
I thank you for visiting Business Management Blog. This is the first post in the new category – Career Development. I will be publishing more articles with tips on career progression and competency building.
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When is the right time to start looking for a new job?
It can be difficult to know when the time is right to start looking for a new job. In this article, we’ve tried to provide you with some helpful tips on when and how to start your job search.
Take a step back and honestly assess your career. Are you feeling undervalued or unchallenged in your current role? Are you consistently putting in more hours than you’d like, or feeling overworked? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time to start looking for a new job.