Congratulations! You just got promoted. Or you just got reorganized into a new department. Or you just got a new boss. How do you make this a step in the right direction and keep from crashing and burning. Ok, crashing and burning is unlikely–you did persuade someone that you deserved the promotion. Getting stuck is a possibility. Looking like you weren’t ready is a possibility. Not making a great impression is definitely a possibility. So, what do you do?
It’s a New Job
One of the most important things to do is to understand that this is a NEW job. Treat it as if you just got to a new company. Look at the experience through new eyes. Who are the people? What is the power structure? What does the company need to be successful. What does the department need to accomplish in the short term? In the long term? What does the department need from you to be successful? Go talk to people as if you’re meeting them for the first time. What is important to them? What are their goals? How can you hit the ground running? How can you quickly show that choosing you was the right choice?
There is a subtle difference for most of us when we change jobs within the company and when we change companies. When we go to a new organization, we are completely aware that we don’t know everything. We have our hyper-alert antenna out. We are in the “conscious unconscious” state of learning. We are aware of all the things that are different from our last experience (although we frequently miss things because of our ‘old company’ mindset). When we change jobs within the same organization, we think we know how it is. We know a lot of the people (although through the eyes of the last group we were in), we know the business (ditto), we know the problems, challenges, opportunities (ditto, ditto, ditto). The problem is, the new job within the same organization is just as new as the other. If you put yourself in the same hyper-alert state, you are much more likely to be highly successful. You are much more likely to impress, because people will see you differently (than they had before) too.
Remember that although people may know you (some may even have been your peers before your promotion), you still have the opportunity to make a ‘new’ first impression. If you are really trying to make a good impression, you’re likely to get attention again. Make sure it’s the right impression. Make sure you don’t come across as arrogant or smug (especially to your former peers). Make sure you come across as smart and interested and capable and willing. Make sure that people see results QUICKLY. The best way to do all of this is to treat the promotion as if it were a new job at a new company.
- Just Promoted! A 12-Month Road Map for Success in Your New Leadership Role by Edward and Nila Betof
- The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael Watkins
- The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan: How to Take Charge, Build Your Team, and Get Immediate Results, by George Bradt, Jayme Check, Jorge Pedraza
Congratulations! And good luck.