Last Updated on April 28, 2020 by Dave Schoenbeck
So you’ve just been promoted. Congratulations! You now have the opportunity to become a better leader and positively affect change within the business. But getting a promotion doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax; there are a few career tips you should abide by to ensure success.
Here, I’ve collected some of the best career advice I’ve encountered throughout my decades of working within the field of leadership. If you follow this career guidance, you can knock this promotion out of the park.
20 Career Tips for the Newly Promoted
- Be prepared to show the boss what you’re made of. They picked you to represent your team in your new position—you need to demonstrate that you’re worthy. Showcase what makes you different from the rest.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of influencing and leading people. Be approachable, understated, humble, and willing to listen. Some of the best career advice on good leadership drives home this point.
- Learn time and self-management skills before you report to work. It’s up to you to develop your leadership skills, both on the job and in your spare time. Listen to podcasts and read books to glean career guidance outside of work.
- You must understand the operating statement, the balance sheet, and cash-flow statement regardless of your job. Learning how the business works is key to working well within it. Know where the money comes from and where it goes.
- Resist the urge to implement all your ideas at once. Employees can be resistant to change under the best circumstances, but especially if you’re a new leader, they haven’t learned to trust yet. Sell them on your vision and work on implementing changes slowly over time.
- Planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling is what you will be paid to do, but your leadership skills will determine how far you go. The truth is that anyone can be a manager, but not everyone can manage well. One of the best career advice I can give is to work on becoming a good leader in addition to a good manager.
- Take control and ownership for your training and development. You must be tenacious and aggressive. Nobody will care more than you do about your personal development. If you do this right, you can pass on some great resources to your team as well.
- Practice your communication skills. This is much more important than you realize. Treat others with respect and be mindful of your language so as not to cause confusion or to project a sense of superiority. Never assume something doesn’t need to be said; it’s much better to spell everything out than to be vague with meanings or expectations.
- On that note, written, concise and error-free emails and letters are critical. This is a fundamental point on which you will be judged but is also one of the easiest to improve. Be sure your team knows your communication style so they won’t be offended if your emails come off as terse. This is a bigger problem than you might realize.
- Successful communication is best done in person. Don’t rely on emails, letters, memos, or texts when it comes to the important stuff. Video conferences or in-person meetings are better than emails.
- Always write down good ideas and input. You won’t remember the good stuff without it, and the activity helps you sort out your thoughts.
- Never take credit for the team’s successes—only the failures and the lessons. Give credit where credit is due, but know that ultimately you are responsible for your team’s success. If any individual fails, it is because you have failed them in some way. Work with every team member to be sure everyone has the resources they need to succeed.
- Avoid all office politics and anything that makes you look good at the expense of others. Understand the game, but don’t play it.
- Have an open-door policy. — Foster strong two-way communication with your team members. No one wants to tell the boss when they’ve made a mistake, but if your team is comfortable coming to you when something goes wrong, you can all work together to fix it faster.
- Positive reinforcement is everything to an employee. If the only time they hear from you is when they’ve messed up, they’re going to feel like their work isn’t valued and will stop making an effort. Be sure to praise your team for the work they do—it makes the hard conversations a lot easier when you do need to make a critique.
- Be willing to change companies. Don’t get locked into believing that one firm will nurture and do the best for you over a long period. Your career is a long path, and the days of staying at one company your entire life are long gone. If another company offers the experience and opportunities you want, don’t be afraid to go for it.
- Be extraordinarily passionate about your role or do something else. Nothing will burn you out quicker than showing up each day in a leadership role you couldn’t care less about. Sometimes this problem can be solved with a change in the job description, but sometimes it means leaving the company altogether. Do what it takes to get fired up about your work.
- While your career is still young, look into relocating to the biggest city you can stand. Be adventurous while you can. Pay your dues and earn your “chops” early.
- Be willing to relocate in the future. Those that do get bigger jobs and the bigger salaries. Some of the best career advice I can give you is to be open to any opportunity that comes your way.
- Encourage your team members to become good leaders. A team of leaders can change the company culture forever.
Getting a promotion is a huge accomplishment, but it’s no cause to slack off on your work ethic. Fill out my contact form for a complimentary coaching session to discuss your management style and career guidance.
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