he move from one position to another usually happens in a blur. You rarely get much notice before being thrust into a new job very often the move is measured in days. You get caught up in the scramble to finish up in your old job whilst trying to get to grips with the new one. Worse still, you may be pressured to perform both jobs until your previous position is filled!
Good people are hard to find in todays world and when they are identified their rise higher up the ladder in the organisation is often fast paced. If you are one of these people it is essential that you discipline yourself to make the mental transition from one job to another with greater responsibilities well in advance of the actual event.Take time out to imagine yourself being promoted one step at a time. Consciously think of letting go of the old job and embracing the new one. Think hard about the differences between the two and in what ways you have to think and act differently – do whatever you need to do to get into the transition state of mind.
To help you prepare yourself for success here is some sound advice:
Time is not on your side: The transition process begins the moment you get wind of the fact that you are being considered for a new job, and ends roughly 3 months after you first sit in the new chair. People your bosses, peers, and direct reports will be watching you very closely so you need to hit the ground running! Treat whatever time you get to prepare yourself for your new responsibilities as a compressed timeframe and start planning what you hope to accomplish by specific milestones. Begin thinking about your first day in the new job what do you want to do by the end of that day? Then move to the first week. Then focus on the end of the first month, the second month, and finally that all important 3 month mark. These plans will be hazy at first, but the simple act of beginning to plan will help you clear your head.
Assess your vulnerabilities: You have been considered, and appointed, in your new position because those with influence think you have the attributes to succeed. You probably do! However, if you rely too much on what made you successful in the past you will be making a fatal mistake. You need to work where you are, not where you were. Assess your vulnerabilities.
One way to do this is to assess situational preferences the kinds of activities towards which you naturally gravitate. We all like to do some things more than others. It is these preferences that have influenced you to choose jobs where you can do more of what you like to do and as a result you perfect those skills and feel most competent when you operate in those areas and so the cycle gets reinforced. The risk you run is that you create an imbalance that leaves you vulnerable in situations in which success depends on flexibility.
There is a lot you can do to compensate for vulnerabilities. Three basic tools areself-discipline, team building, and advice and counsel. You will need to discipline yourself to devote time to critical activities that you do not enjoy and that may not come naturally. Beyond that, actively search out people in your organisation whose skills are sharp in these areas, so that you can learn from them and they can possibly even act as your backstop. A network of advisers and counselors can also help you move beyond your comfort zone.
Watch out for your strengths: Your weaknesses can make you vulnerable so can your strengths. Every strength carries with it pitfalls. The qualities that have made you successful can, in certain circumstances, hinder you in your new role. For example, attention to detail, which carries with it a tendency to micromanage people in areas you know best. This type of behaviour can demoralise people who want to make their own contributions without constant oversight.
Relearn how to learn: As you move up and accept greater responsibilities you will find yourself in situations where you suddenly have to learn a lot fast. This reality will force you back into a time when you lacked self-confidence because you will make some early mistakes and experience failure for the first time in a long time. New challenges and associated fears of incompetence can set up a vicious cycle of denial and defensiveness. You can decide to learn new stuff or you can become brittle and fail. Relearning to learn can become painful. Moving into a new position may revive some deep fears about your capabilities that you thought you had laid to rest. Dont fret – most people experience the same feelings when they get promoted. Embrace the need to learn and you will overcome these feelings.
Rework your network: As you are progressively promoted it becomes increasingly important to get good political counsel and personal advice. Political counsel is especially important when you plan to implement change whilst personal advisers help you keep perspective and equilibrium in times of stress. Reworking your advice and counsel network is never easy because your current ones may have become close friends.
Watch out for people who want to hold you back: Consciously or not, some individuals may not want you to advance. Your boss may not want to let you go. Friends may not want their relationship with you to change, whilst other people will be looking for signs of favouritism. Each of these situations is dealt with differently, but the crucial factor is that you have to get other people to accept your promotion this is an essential part of promoting yourself. If you determine that some people are never going to accept your promotion, then you need to find a way to distance yourself from them as quickly as possible.
Promoting yourself is hard work and the hardest part is overcoming the barriers that lie within you. You will have embarked on a journey and will have to constantly work to ensure that you are engaging the real challenges in your new position dont avoid these.
Coaching Tip: Keep yourself mentally prepared so that you are at all times prepared for the next leap to a new position.
Remember that internal misjudgements are six times more likely to cause failure than external factors. Success in business, as in life, is all about getting the fundamentals right
and the actions you take! Money is an outcome, not a purpose!
Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing.
Its difficult to become a contented person if youre keeping score of all you do. Keeping track only clutters your mind with whos doing what, whos doing more, and so forth. If you want to know the truth, this is the epitome of small stuff. It will bring far more joy to your life to know that you have done your part.