Getting A Promotion: Are Your Ready? Develop A Habit of Asking Yourself These Questions

I have come to realize one of the first things to tackle in getting a promotion is getting to know yourself.

Unless you know yourself and what you want, trying to seek the formula for a promotion is futile. It may sound very philosophical but it is not.

Many people will say getting a promotion is all about knowing your work, having the skills and knowledge to deliver the set key performance indices and more.

I am not denying that all these are important. They are, but across the previous two years I have learned that it is ‘easier’ to get a promotion once you get to know yourself.

Start to be aware of your own strengths, wants, ambitions and priorities and the promotion will come soon enough. Of course, assuming you will deliver the work beyond expectations. Knowing yourself is only part of the equation.

How then do you get to know yourself? What are some of the questions to ask yourself to help you to get that promotion?

1. Am I Able to Truly Tell Myself What I Truly Want?
I have met many executives that come into my room across the years telling me that they plan on getting a promotion in "such and such" period. But in reality when you probe further, these people do not truly know what they want. Getting a promotion is a logical step and the easiest goal someone can set for themselves. When asked is that what they are ready for, many executives either respond with supreme unfound confidence or they crumble in embarrassment as if their weakest flaw has been discovered.

Sure it is commendable that you are thinking about getting a promotion. Wanting is one thing. Knowing you truly have what it takes and is willing to sacrifice to get it is another. Some execs aren’t even sure if they are in the right job much less in wanting a promotion.

Ask yourself – am I able to truly tell myself what I truly want?

2. How Am I Spending My Time To Get What I Want?
Ok, if you have convinced yourself you are focused on getting a promotion, then it is time to ask yourself – How am I spending my time to get what I want? Many executives talk more than do. They like the romantic idea that they want such and such and they build lofty dreams. These dreams aren’t backed by convicted action.

When given a plan that will help them in getting that promotion, they squander away half their time doing unproductive activities. Let me give you a simple example, if you need to widen to your knowledge one of the easiest is to read. Are you willing to sacrifice your leisure time for reading? Many promising executives even fail at this. How can one truly say they plan on getting a promotion when they don’t even have the discipline to manage their own time?

So, really – how am I spending my time to get what I want?

3. Am I Able to Listen to Things I Don’t Want to Hear But Need To Hear?
Are you able to face your own ghost? Do you turn defensive when someone who truly cares for you tells you the truth about your performance? Do you start your answer with a “but” when someone finishes telling you what are your areas of improvement?

If you plan on getting a promotion then start cultivating the skill of accepting constructive feedback. Make sure you have friends and colleagues that are able to tell you your flaws.

When you start to be defensive, you inevitably push people away. Learn to listen to things that you do not want to hear but need to hear. That way you learn what you can improve. You need not wait till the year end formal evaluation to find out that you have under performed. You inch closer to getting promoted when you cultivate the habit of listening to your close friends and colleagues giving you frank opinions on your work style.

Now ask – am I able to listen to things I don’t want to hear but need to hear?

Core competencies are important in getting a promotion. Getting there faster takes more than core competencies that your work requires. It requires a huge amount of self-awareness and understanding. When you do that, getting a promotion becomes easier.



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