Promotion is a tricky subject for many of us. Believe it or not, a lot of the high performing people fail to get promoted at the right time. Contrary to what one may believe, promotion is not just about working well. In today’s corporate world, it also has to do with how much effort you put into getting it. I was in a leadership training last year and was amazed at how many leaders thought that not all high performers want promotion. They said – that unless they want it and ask for it, we don’t give them. Often the employee thinks that doing a good job is enough to climb higher in the ladder and their part of the job is done, however what no one mentions is that you won’t get it unless you ask.
I have experienced this first hand myself several times in my career of 13 years so far. I often used to think that if you have to ask then someone up there doesn’t think you are worthy enough to get it. If I am doing everything expected out of me and much more, shouldn’t I be getting it without asking for it? This question lingers in my mind long enough to realize that I won’t get it unless I ask and then I eventually ask for it and get it right away in the next few months. Although, getting a promotion this way never makes me happy.
I failed to understand how some people are able to get it right away without doing much work while most hard working people are the last ones to get it. And then I realized, there are essentially two kinds of people – one whose main motto is to get the promotion or the desired title and they put in all their effort and energy to get it right from day 1. The second category of people believe in learning new things, doing a great job, getting things done and promotion is usually an afterthought for them. They don’t begin doing things with promotion in mind. Often the second category of people get their promotions at a later time than the former.
There is nothing wrong in either category of people. Things get wrong when you are in category 2 and expect promotion at the timeline of category 1. This often leads to disappointment. What one needs to understand is that if you are not seeking it from day 1 then it is probably not as important for you as for others. Perhaps the most important thing for you is learning new things, becoming the master of whatever skills you are learning, or it could be something that you are achieving outside of work. The point is, don’t validate yourself based on your title or one milestone at work and especially don’t validate it based on how quickly someone else achieves it.
You probably have achieved a lot more in several different areas of life than the person who go promoted ahead of you. The moment getting that promotion becomes important for you, you will do everything you can to achieve it and you will achieve it just like you achieve whatever else you have set your eyes on.