If you are like most employees, you are likely spending a fair bit of time and energy in strategizing ways to get yourself promoted. Employees are typically looking to move to the next level. But they rarely question themselves why they want to move up.
People try to get promoted, just because that is just what people do. No one wonders if that is what they actually want. It is typically a move that will stroke the ego, as painful as that may be to admit to yourself.
If you are the top salesperson at your company, becoming the sales manager is the next “logical” step. But that would mean:
- the company loses its best salesperson.
- you no longer get to use your super-power, which is selling.
- you might not even like the role! Because now you are managing people, rather than making sales.
I am not saying that moving up in your career is not something that you should strive for. Instead, I say that you need to consider what you want your daily working life to look like, and to make career choices that move you closer towards that vision. Basically, know what you want and then move towards it. Easy to say, yet harder to do.
This article is a handy reference that talks about how to figure out if you are actually ready for a promotion and if you are, provides some tips on what you can do to prepare yourself.
If you want to be promoted just so that you can have a bigger paycheck, a fancier job title, or to prove that you are “better” than your colleagues, you are setting yourself up for disaster. (Trust me; I have learned that lesson the hard way.) And ego is very deceptive; you will find all kinds of ways to deny that you are going for that promotion for all the right reasons, because it is really hard to admit to yourself that your ego is at work.
Remember — you spend an enormous amount of your precious time at work. And that means that the tasks that you are spending time working on are defining how you are living your life. Make sure that you are, as much as possible, dedicating your time and energy into the type of work that lines up with how you want to live your life.
Only take a promotion if it moves you closer to what you want. The more that you ensure your actions bring you closer to the vision you have for your life, the quicker you will get there.