February 22, 2023

Tips to Get Promoted

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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Tune in to this week’s episode to discover strategies you can use to get promoted and take your career to the next level.

I’m breaking down what to do before you decide to go for the promotion and then once you do, how to make it happen.

What you’ll learn:

The 2 things you need to do before asking for a promotion

9 tips to get promoted

The secret sauce to make your promotion an easy yes

Mentioned in this episode:

Join The Standout Leader Incubator

Mistakes People Make When Trying to Get Promoted

When Promotion Isn’t the Answer

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Welcome to Your Worthy Career, a podcast with me, Melissa Lawrence.

I’m a career and life coach with all the corporate credit and talent development and organizational psychology. I help women like you get extraordinary results by being more you, not less. I won’t just help you have a career experience worthy of you, but I will help you build your self worth to shift what you think is possible and take the action that will create the career you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s more meaningful work you’re passionate about, making more money, getting to your next level, or being more effective as a leader, we are shattering the glass ceiling here. The one that exists for women at work and the one we put on ourselves with our doubt and inner critic. Each week you will get practical teachings grounded in neuroscience and effective career development strategies. You’ll experience deep mindset shifts and the perfect amount of rule so you can run your career with ease rather than your career running you. You were born for more and I’m going to help you get there with maybe a few dance parties along the way. Your up level begins now.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast. Before we dive into this week’s topic, I have a special announcement and I want to be sure that you don’t miss it. So I’m dropping it right in the beginning of our episode today. Now, this is for all of you new and experienced leaders and people managers. Enrollment is now open for the standout leader incubator. This is a three month group coaching program for women in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry. Now you’re invited to join an elite group of people managers and leaders who are redefining what success looks like for women in the industry. You will become the leader people want to work for, that is confident at every table, that advocates for herself and her team, that deals with difficult situations and people without losing her cool, can trust her team to deliver, is known as the best, and you will stand out as a leader on every level. This small group coaching program is one of a kind and it requires a commitment, a commitment to yourself and to the process, a commitment to be the best leader for your team and for yourself.

When you invest in yourself and your career, it pays you back over and over. Your career won’t be the same. Your team won’t be the same. You won’t be the same. This is your next level. Join us at yourworthycareer.com/incubator. You will learn all of the details about this new program and you can access the application. But don’t wait too long to check it out. There are a maximum of 10 spots available and they are already filling up. Applications are reviewed as they come in. Now, speaking of getting to your next level, let’s talk about today’s topic, getting promoted. If you go back, you will see that I did a podcast on mistakes people make when trying to get promoted. I also have an episode on how to know if promotion is not the answer. So if you are working toward promotion or digesting this for when the time comes that you’re looking for that next level, definitely go back and listen to those episodes as well. Now, I thought it would be fun to provide you with some tips, promotion tips. Sometimes people come to me and they don’t feel valued or appreciated for what they contribute until they decide that a promotion is the answer, that they’ve outgrown their role and they’re ready for that next level.

And like I mentioned before, it isn’t always the answer, which is why I did that podcast episode on that topic. Sometimes we chase things that we think we should want, or we’re trying to fill a void or gap and think that if we just get promoted, that will feel better. But that’s just not true. If you can’t feel good about yourself without the promotion, you won’t feel good about yourself with it. It’s just facts. There will always be something else that you want. The mile marker will move. If you’ve ever had a goal and then achieved it and thought, Oh, this isn’t really what I thought it would feel like, then you know this is you. Or if you make a goal and then you meet it, but your brain tells you it isn’t good enough or gives you an exception for why it isn’t as great as it could be, this is you. It’s super common. When you don’t let your circumstances, like your title and pay make you feel like crap or make you feel happy when they’re not controlling your feelings, then you will not only be a happier, more fulfilled person, but you will achieve more.

You will actually get more promotions and go further in your career. You’ll validate yourself and use yourself as your measurement stick, not anything else. This actually reminds me of an episode I watched of 90 Day Fiancee. It is a couple, like David and Annie, that were on the show before, and it’s like they’re happily ever after story and what they’re doing now. But David is married to someone who is from Thailand, and he decided that he wanted to become a monk, and he wanted to go through the monk experience. So I was watching that and it was really fascinating because what they do is he had to go to this place where he had to rid himself of anything that could provide joy or happiness outside of him. So there is very limited clothing. You can’t wear jewelry. You are sleeping on the floor in a limited bare room. You don’t eat. All of the things that you might go to for joy, like our clothing and experiences, seeing friends and family, going out to a nice dinner, having a glass of wine, all of these things that bring joy to us, just like a title or a promotion or money.

You get rid of all of that when you go through this experience to be a monk. And what that is supposed to teach you is to be happy and fulfilled within yourself and to only need yourself and to be able to regulate and control your feelings. And I found that really interesting because it really made me think of this topic we’re talking about now with people that are looking for that promotion or looking for that external circumstance to make them feel validated, to feel good about themselves when that is available to you right now. So when you’re able to do that, when you’re able to validate yourself and feel good no matter what, you won’t be graspy or entitled. And believe me, I have been there too. This isn’t to say that this isn’t a common experience. I’ve done this, many people have done this. But when we do this, we lose focus and then we’re never enough. Because if we’re using these external measuring sticks or milestones, then we’re never enough on our own because there’s always going to be something more that we could want or have. Now, I’ve also looked for that validation and made it mean something about me, but not anymore.

And that is so common. We look for those good jobs and that recognition to say whether or not we’re on track, if we’re doing a good job, if we’re considered valuable. And that’s something that I’ve cared for myself. It’s really a thought error, and it’s something that I worked through a long time ago. And it’s something that I helped my clients overcome now as well. So that when you’re getting that promotion or you’re getting to that next level, you’re doing it in a way that really feels good no matter what. You have your own back and you don’t need other people. You’re not putting them on a pedestal to tell you if you’re good enough. But what you should know is that if you are feeling so called out right now, know that I am sharing this for your awareness and with so much love and also because I want to normalize it. Our brains move our target. Our brains make us think things like we’re not good enough, and you’re not the only one if you think those things. So before getting into the tips, I just wanted to address this for you because if you’re trying to get promoted thinking it’s going to solve your problems, it’s not.

But what is also true at the very same time is that you can achieve the level and pay you want to. So I don’t say all of this to say, don’t get that promotion, you should live like a monk. That is not what I’m saying at all. What I’m trying to tell you is that you can have both. You can work towards those things for the sake of your own growth and development within your career and in your life, and also be grateful and happy with what you have right now. And you don’t have to make one mean something about you that you don’t enjoy thinking about you, or that’s putting a damper on your life. But let’s get into the tips. I know some of you are like, All right, Melissa, I get it. Give me the tips. I’m looking for that promo. So let’s dive in. Here are some tips to get you that promotion faster. Wait, first, I want to give you some pre work. Promise there’s 10 tips I’m going to give you, but first I need to do some pre work, and this is just for your own good. First, two little things.

Know what promotion you want and why. Like Simonson X says, start with why. Then if you really want the promotion, you know what you want, you know why you want it, and it really is something you want. You’re not trying to just fill an empty hole. Then we proceed to the next step. The next step is I want you to do a gap assessment from where you are now to that promotion that you’ve decided that you want and ask yourself, do you have the qualifications and skills? Sometimes people will want to jump too far and that can hurt you in the long run. If you’re trying to jump two or more levels but you don’t have a lot of experience, even if you feel you’re capable of doing the job, you may end up hurting or damaging your reputation. You may be seen as not wanting to put in the work to skip steps or not having self awareness, professional acumen. So be strategic and thoughtful and open minded about where you’re starting and where you’re going. And if necessary, be open to taking a step back and maybe just doing that one step promotion.

So for example, I had a client who wanted a higher level role that was two levels from where she was, and she worked internally with her network and boss and agreed to a two step promotion. Now, I’ve actually had this happen more than once with clients, now that I’m talking about it, but they essentially defined what would be that first step and then what would be the next step. And then instead of expecting to jump into the higher level role, they were able to negotiate how they would get that two step promotion without jumping two steps all at once so that they could get the adequate exposure and visibility and experience. So for example, this could be a manager to an associate director to a director, or a supervisor to a manager to a senior manager. So just be open to that concept and then be sure to define what those steps are going to be and make sure that you have alignment with your manager so you don’t end up in a situation where you agree that, say, after you’re in the role for a year, you’re going to get promoted, and then that year comes up and they’re like, What?

I don’t remember having that conversation. So make sure that you really do your due diligence with that. All right, so you did your pre work, you’re ready for the promotion, you know what you want and why, you did the gap assessment to confirm the level that you’re qualified for. Now I’m going to bestow upon you the tactical tips for making that promotion happen. First, record your achievements each month. Now, I did this when I worked in industry, and honestly, I still do it now. It’s something that I talk to my clients about that they also find helpful. When you record your achievements, either weekly or monthly, just make it part of your standard work. You can use a basic Google Sheet or spreadsheet and jot down the achievement when it happened and any other relevant notes you might want to recall. This can be deliverable as hitting milestones, solving problems, getting recognized by others. Whatever it is, this will make it really easy for you to integrate these wins and make them visible for your boss for your promotion, but also to complete your mid and end your evaluation so you really shine. Because most of us forget what we did last week, let alone six months ago or a year ago.

Number two, when you jot down your achievements, include measurement if you can. For example, you improved a process. How many hours did that save? How much money did you save? How did your achievement impact the team or the company? This is so helpful to have for when you create a business case for your promotion, but it’s also a bonus because those are great things to put on your resume. Next. Now, when I had Jeff Kowski from the workforce genetics team on my podcast a few weeks ago, we talked about your digital brand and LinkedIn is part of that. Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date. You can get extra credit and share some of your milestones on LinkedIn, things you’re learning or excited about. This gives you more visibility to your network proactively, which will help you if and when you move on to another company. But also you are likely to get connected to a lot of colleagues or leaders that you’re current company, they may already have exposure to your profile. And so when you’re making those updates, they can see those updates too without you having to go and bluntly tell them how great you are.

That’s sometimes something that people tell me is, Oh, what am I supposed to do? Just go into my boss’s office and say, I just did this thing. I just hit this milestone. I just solved this problem. I just took this course on LinkedIn, whatever it was. But when you just post those things and share them as part of your updates, then they’re more visible and people just get those little nuggets of all of the growth and amazingness that you are. And they’re going to get those reminders. Okay, next, nurture your network. I’ve said it at least 100 times, but don’t wait until you are fed up and want a new job to start networking. Reach out and wish people well, say hello, send something that they would find useful, schedule a coffee chat to catch up. This won’t just help you in the future, but it will help build your confidence and your marketability as well as give you practice in talking about yourself. If you have a mentor or internal allies, these are also people in your network that you can leverage to put in a good word for you or even sponsor your promotion.

Next, be a team player. Sometimes when they want to get promoted and we’re feeling frustrated, we can overcompensate. We can try to make it known just everything that we are doing, but that can sometimes backfire. So a general rule of thumb is when you talk about team achievements and groups or with the team, acknowledge the team and say we, use the word we. When you’re in a meeting with your boss just one on one, that is where you have the eye conversations, where you follow up and you specifically state your individual contributions to that milestone or deliverable so that it’s clear you are a team player, you are recognizing the team, you are being collaborative in the team space, but you are also having those follow up conversations so that your boss knows how you contributed to the team. Okay, now the next one is obvious, but a lot of people don’t do it. Ask your boss specifically what the gap is, if any, between where you are now and your promotion. Don’t wait for it. I like to frame this by you doing the homework first, which if you did the pre work and you did that gap assessment, you already have done it, you determined you’re qualified and ready, and then you have the conversation and you frame it as you’re looking for the next step and you pulled the job description and aren’t seeing any gaps, you highlight how you meet the requirements and you ask them if they see any gaps and be open to their feedback, then put it into a plan.

Next, be the person who has the promotion. I think we’re on the ninth… No, we’re on the seventh tip now. Be the person who has the promotion. There is some truth about dressing for success. Start to think about the future version of you, that person that has that promotion, that has that level you want to have. Imagine you make $50,000 more a year. How would you show up to work? What would you wear? Would you get out of your pajamas even when you’re working from home? Would you complain about the same things? Would you be as resourceful? Would you solve more problems? Would you speak up and give your opinions for the betterment of the team, even if you’re uncomfortable? Think about who you would be and be that person now. Next, this is number eight, consider the decision makers. Your promotion doesn’t come down just to your boss. Your boss is the advocate to start the conversation. But when they take it to their boss, so your boss’s boss or the senior leadership team, who at the table will vouch for you? Think about those relationships and build them. If your boss is sitting at a table with 10 leaders and they propose your promotion to that group of leaders, how many people at that table would agree that you deserve that promotion?

How many would know who you even are? That is the secret sauce to you getting promoted. Now, finally, my last tip for this episode is to work with a coach. So if you aren’t at the level that you want to be at, maybe these steps seem overwhelming to you, then reach out and schedule a consultation with me for one on one coaching. Because when you invest in coaching, the studies tell us that you get 221 % of your return on your investment. You not only build the skills and get the strategy to get you your next raise or promotion, but once you do, it compounds year after year with greater percentages of increases and bonuses. Plus, you never have to wait for your next level again because you know how to get it. There you have it. Nine tips to get a promotion with a couple of prework exercises. Give them a try and let me know how they work for you. And if you’re ready to take your leadership skills to the next level and go from technical manager to people leader, join me in the standout leader incubator. Applications are open now until March fifth or until spots are full.

You can go to yourworthycareer.com/incubator. And if you want to figure out your next best career move and find your path to happiness at work while earning more and working less, schedule a consultation with me for one on one coaching. You can also do that on my website at yourworthycareer.com. All right, have an amazing week and I will talk to you soon.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Your Worthy Career. Visit yourworthycareer.com for full show notes and additional resources to help you on your career journey.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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