Do you dream of a corner office with your name on it? Could you fill a book with your key skills and qualities? No matter what you do for a living, career progression is something nearly all of us yearn for.
Maybe you’re excelling in your current role, could complete your daily to-do list in your sleep and feel like you need a bit of a challenge. If you’ve completed all the necessary qualifications, then maybe you’re ready? Well, from a skills point of view at least.
But that’s only half the challenge; are you ready in your own mind? Are you mentally prepared for the additional stresses and commitments that come hand-in-hand with a promotion? Knowing you can handle everything that a new role brings isn’t always as straightforward as ticking boxes on a lit.
Francesca Sieler, Marketing Director at luxury cashmere brand Chinti & Parker, says, “There’s so much more to moving up the career ladder than just ticking boxes on a plan. It’s important to make sure you are ready in your own mind for the changes a promotion can bring to your life. Being mentally prepared will ensure you are ready to take on your new challenge with passion and enthusiasm. It’s all a case of asking yourself the right questions beforehand.”
To that end, here are 10 ways to tell if you’re mentally prepared for your next promotion.
You can work well under pressure
Smooth sailing through your current role can lull you into a false sense of security. Any new position will come with its own set of challenges and stresses, so if you’ve proven that you can weather storms, then that’s half the battle.
Managerial gigs come with their fair share of challenges, so the better equipped you are to handle difficult times, the more mentally prepared you’ll be for that next step. If you know that you have the poise, inner strength and aptitude to successfully navigate tricky terrain, communicate effectively and reach a calm resolution, then you’re all set.
It takes a humble person to recognise that they need help and to ask for it, but those who progress into senior management aren’t always the best at doing this. Nor are they great at creating alliances with other departments, or handling conflict well. Asking someone for help, even if they are “below” you, or working with others aren’t signs of weakness. On the contrary, it’s a sign of great mental strength.
You’re ready to put in the extra time
Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially for fast-growing businesses, so who doesn’t love someone who is willing to put in the extra graft every now and then? It certainly helps shine you in a good light to the bosses.
As more responsibilities start to come your way, be prepared to put in additional time that might eat into your Netflix evenings, lazy mornings or even your slow weekends. Of course, we’re not saying you that work non-stop, but showing that you’re willing to step up can work wonders for your professional reputation.
You’re ready to put work ahead of your personal life
Before you turn into a bit of a workaholic, let us first state that we are strong advocates of a balance between work and home life. But if you’re going to put in the extra time at work, then chances are your personal life is the thing that is going to suffer for a short while.
With any senior role, there are certain sacrifices that go hand-in-hand. Could you give up a night out with your friends to travel back late from an important client meeting? Could you forego your morning lie in to get into the office before the rush? If your answer is ‘yes’, and an enthusiastic one at that, then we’d say you’re ready.
You’re able to take criticism
Knowing how to keep your emotions in check will serve you incredibly well in your career. Listening to criticism, taking it in well and using it constructively is a skill that many people struggle to master. It can take all of your mental energy not to take things personally, but trust us when we say that you’ll be better off in the long run.
Rather than seeing it as someone tearing apart your hard work, flip the mindset and view it as an opportunity to grow professionally and develop your skills. Learn how to take criticism graciously now, and it’ll stand you in good stead when you progress.
Being a manager isn’t just a change in job title; it often requires you to step up and lead a team. Nobody likes a dictator, so that means striking a balance between being approachable and humble, but also having the confidence to delegate to those on your team.
It also means being confident in the decisions that you make. This could be having the final say on a client’s budget, or sending a blog post back to the writer with some changes. Knowing that you’ve done the best thing for you, your client or your customer and having the knowledge to back that up will stand you in good stead for your next role.
You’re a true team player
Those in charge will want to know that you’re on their side. This is especially true for small businesses, but even those who have worked their way to the top have done so by living and breathing the company. Are you willing to invest your time and energy in not only yourself but also the business? Being willing not to just do the daily tasks that are expected of you, but to also be a part of the growing company and everything it stands for will shine you in a very good light.
You’re thinking of your future
Where do you see yourself in five years? It’s a question many people dread when they walk into an interview room but whether you get asked it or not, it’s important to have an idea in mind. You may feel ready for that next step up the career ladder, but what about the one after that? Do you see yourself staying at this company in the long run? What goals would you like to set yourself before you assume the next role above that one? It doesn’t necessarily have to be title or salary related; would you like to master a certain skill next? Of course every plan needs a degree of flexibility, but knowing that you’re not going to be stuck after this promotion shows maturity and forward planning.
You’re proud of the work you do
When you’re up for a promotion, it’s common to develop a little bit of tunnel vision. You may have become completely focused on that next step up the ladder but to the detriment of everything else around you. We cannot stress the importance of keeping a strong sense of pride in your existing work.
Yes, it’s important always seek out more and strive to reach further, but it’s also important to be someone who goes above and beyond where they are right now.
Do you get distracted easily at your desk and find yourself browsing through social media to kill time? Do you crumple up your work uniform and leave it on your bedroom floor? Or are you laser focused? Do you wash and iron your uniform with care? Someone who is ready for the next step up the ladder is proud of what they do right now, and uses it as a strong foundation on which to build their entire career.
You really really love your job
Last but definitely not least. We all know how we truly feel about our jobs, deep down in our heart of hearts. Are you excited to go to work every morning? Or filled with anxiety and dread as you hit the snooze button? Is your job your true passion? You know what they say; ‘love your job and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’, and if you don’t love it, it can be obvious to those around you.
The one thing that is more contagious than enthusiasm is negativity. So if you can prove that you’ll be a beacon of positivity to your new team and the wider company, then it’s a sure sign you’re ready for the next position of authority. Trust us when we say it’ll make a strong difference to the future of your department, and your company.