How do you get promoted?

Take the one question survey, and listen to the Everyday Leadership radio show tomorrow from 7-9 AM, EST.

  • First, many of us have to get a job. What do you suggest that people like me, mid50s, some health problems, union in my background, so WalMart won’t consider me, and Meijer didn’t want me as a greeter, as I am overeducated, and won’t stay. But the jobs that I qualify for they find some excuse instead of you’re too old. “Great resume, you have all the qualifications, but not an advanced degree.” “Impressive resume but we don’t think you fit here.” “You’ve done a lot of good things, but I just don’t know where to put you.” Not just me, many of us out there in the wilderness face these problems every day, as we watch our savings accounts and retirement benefits slowly dribble away.

  • I have two thoughts regarding a ‘promotion’.

    First, a promotion is not ‘more money’ or ‘more work’. A true promotion is a change in one’s duties and responsibilities, which is an expansion or shift in one’s job description that requires skills that may not be identical to the skills needed for one’s current position. In other words, to get promoted, a person should be taking steps to develop and display the skills required for the position desired. To put it in plain language, if you are a cook, and want to be a chef, be a good cook, but start modeling yourself after successful chefs: project a professional image, learn new cuisines; appreciate how kitchen costs impact profits; and offer to train others in skills you have already mastered.

    Second, one must make clear to leadership that a promotion would be welcomed by the individual, for the right reasons. Having the most seniority, being bored, or wanting a bigger paycheck does not justify a promotion. Just as an organization is limited in the compensation available to the employees, so is an organization limited in the duties and responsibilities that can be assigned to the employees. A promotion is not a reward for good work done in the past, but is an assignment of powers, duties, rights and responsibilities, and that assignment is intended to maintain or improve the organization’s future effectiveness and efficiency. In other words, to get promoted, a person should show a commitment and personal investment in the organization’s goals, and convince leadership that if entrusted with greater responsibilities, the organization will benefit. To put it in plain language, what have you done in the past week: to prevent or eliminate waste; to delight customers; to develop revenue; to improve morale; to identify new products; or impact profitability? If you think such tasks are someone else’s responsibility, they always will be, as will the promotion that you hoped for.

  • Mike Gallo, you as interesting and articulate as you were when we worked together so many years ago.
    I always tell young people: If you want to be a big leader some day, start acting like one now. The habits you form will stay with you; people fill jobs, not the other way around. If I bring greatness of spirit, focus, collaboration, then I’ll fill (or even overflow) any job. If I have a big job but a small spirit, the job will do little to cause me to fill it.

    – Great to hear from you Mike.
    Keep leading with your best self!

  • >