Friday, December 11, 2009

How long should I wait before getting a promotion?

How long should I wait before getting a promotion?

This is a common question coming from an employee from time to time, and specially when she had been in the same position for quite some time. Well, let me tell you, my friend. The answer is NEVER. Never wait for a promotion. Promotion is not something that were given or entitled. PROMOTION is something to be EARNED.

Based on my personal experience and what I learnt from my role models, there were 2 simple rules to get a promotion: EARN and ASK.

EARN your promotion by:
  1. Outstanding performance.
    • Meet the expectation is not good enough for promotion. It is your job, to meet the expectation. Not to mention if your performance was below the bar. Forget about promotion. Therefore, the first thing to do to get a promotion is proving that you are excellent in doing you job, that you are the expert. In addition, you should have the endurance to do it consistently.
  2. Good attitude.
    • If you do not have the corner office yet, then good performance was not enough. You have to add it with a range of good attitude. Positive energy, teamwork, initiative, 'can do' attitude are some of them. Backstabbing colleagues, complainers and spreading the negative aura are a big no-nos.
  3. Bigger than the current role
    • You have good performance and good attitude, but you are only care doing within area of responsibility, then fat chance you will stay there forever. If you wanted to be promoted, you had to show that you are bigger than your current role and have the potentiality to grow. Ask for stretched assignment, offer to mentor new team member, share your knowledge, and be hungry for opportunities that could expose you to a new area of expertise.
  4. Increasing your visibility.
    • In some companies, the decision about promotion often is not solely depended upon your boss. Your boss' boss, your boss' peers and your clients, might play an important role in deciding your promotion. You need to be visible for them and be in the top of their mind. One of the way to increased these is by participating in a company function or join the cross division project. However, your main goal is to be remembered as the girl who is able to lead a successful company function in fun way.

ASK - your boss will never know what you want, if you are only wishing it in your head. Schedule one on one meeting with your boss, then ASK for:
  1. Feedback of current performance.
    • Do this regularly -- quarterly, or better yet, monthly. Don't wait for year-end performance appraisal, because it would be too late. Feedback could also serve as reality check, to synchronize your boss' perception and yours about your performance.
  2. Your boss job. But not now.
    • Tell him that you want his job, or any higher-level job in 2, 3, 5 or 10 years. Make it realistic. This will show him that you are ambitious with calculation, know what you want and have plan to grow in the company.
  3. The path to be there.
    • Discuss development plan, career path, learning programs and opportunity for exposure that you need to pursue to achieve your goal.

If you wanted to get a promotion, these 2 rules might help to shape up your path. I tried them myself and it worked. A little share from a career mom.

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