Tuesday, March 22, 2011

You have to fight, for your right, to a promotion

By writing this article I am already becoming a hypocrite.  But this topic is definitely easier said (or written about) than done.  I am going to do my best to communicate on this post everything I have learned during my past 7-years in the workforce.  Because almost nobody works in a vacuum, work is really an understanding of both people and how to interact with them.

I feel if you master this skill, it will also help with your communication in your relationship as well as with your parents and friends.  Then again, maybe you can hone your skills on your significant other first, then apply it to your job. All depends on which would be easier to tackle first.  Skills developed below will help you communicate clearly, as well as knowing when to cut your losses, quit, and move on.

Having a supportive and upfront supervisor is very important.  Your boss is your eyes and ears to senior management.  If he/she is just a "yes man" and willing to toss you under the bus at a moment's notice, chances are he/she will not be likely to fight for you when talks of a promotion arise.  You should not have to be along in your fight for your promotion, and often times these decisions are made behind close doors, so having your boss on your side is critical.  Sometimes, your boss may not even know what he/she expects out of your performance.  This should be a red flag as well.  Unless you have a new boss or you're in a newly developed position, they should generally have a pretty good idea of what they expect out of you.

Considering that these individuals got to a fairly senior level in the first place, they are likely very tactful and sly.  So be careful and remember to always read between the lines.  Once you realized you have a solid boss, continue with the below, otherwise, probably time to start looking for a new job.
  1. Be clear with your goals and what you want to get out of the job
  2. Make sure your supervisor is on board with your goals and plan
  3. Discuss and agree to a plan of attack
  4. Check in often, adjust if/when necessary
  5. Keep up your end of the bargain.  
Sometimes, you may misread who your boss is.  You may keep up your end of the bargain but get the rug pulled from underneath you by your own boss.  Things like that do happen, and you just have to dust yourself off and move on.  Knowing when to quit is just as important as knowing when to work hard.  You don't want to be working your ass off for a boss and realize that you just wasted the last 3-years of your life.  Time is one of your most valuable assets, if you're not be rewarded for it, you should find someone who would.  

If you really wish to continue to stay at the company but you have a lackluster boss, time for you to create alliances with more senior individuals within the company, especially the key stakeholders. In laymen terms, time to start kissing ass.

Most boss I know are inherently not bad, but they are generally very sensitive to senior management and waver accordingly (in other words, they have no spine and are called "yes men").  With these individuals, having this bond with a stakeholder may help you influence your promotion from the top down.  I have seen this work in the past with my last company, but this can also bite you in the ass, as well as create animosity from your fellow colleagues.

Animosity from colleagues may kill that work environment you enjoyed so much, so choose carefully.

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