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What we’re reading: On getting (and not getting) promoted

Written by: Marc Schultz
Published on: Apr 30, 2019

hand holding a phone

According to the Society for Human Resource Management article below, promotions often happen in the fourth quarter – which means it’s time to start laying the groundwork for yours right now. Here’s a selection of recent advice for getting, weighing, and handling a promotion, plus some tips for interviewing with passion, managing your online identity, and networking effectively.

CNBC: Facebook VP who became a manager at 25 says this is the fastest way to get promoted
According to this young leader and first-time author, the secret is being explicit with your goals: “Tell your manager, ‘Hey, I’d like to get promoted. What do you think it takes for me? … What do you think are my gaps? What are the skills that I need to grow, to get better and to be able to take that pay raise or be able to perform at the next level?’”

USA Today: What’s the best way to ask for a job promotion? Ask HR
The president and CEO of SHRM agrees with the proactive approach: “The best general approach any employee can take is making a self-aware pitch… One way of demonstrating self-awareness is by building a thought-out business case for your promotion. Be clear about the return on investment you provide your employer.”

SHRM: When you do all the right things but still don’t get the promotion
Deserving and proactive, but still overlooked? Check this list of five “stumbling blocks,” and consider this action plan: “Very quietly prepare the tools and the plan of attack for a stealth job search… In all the above scenarios, you should still go all out in your work and for that promotion while you prepare to make a strategic move on your own timetable.”

Forbes: Should you take that promotion? Don’t make the same mistake as Magic Johnson
A look at Magic Johnson’s decision to resign as president of the L.A. Lakers, with questions to consider: “Why do I want to take this job? The answer... needs to be deeper than pay, title and prestige. Do your eyes light up when you talk about the opportunity? Envision a day in the role. What will you be doing on an hourly basis? How will this promotion serve you?”

Well+Good: I was just promoted over someone with more experience and I feel like an imposter
On the other hand, don’t let “imposter syndrome” get in the way of a promotion you’ve earned. “Take the [more experienced] woman to lunch, get to know her, make sure she feels like you listen to her and care about her opinion… Do this with all your new reports. The best piece of management advice I can give you is to get your team to support you.”

Harvard Business Review: How to show you’re passionate in a job interview
Simple ways to showcase your passion (a quality often referenced by hiring managers in interview feedback), including this: “Most resumes and interview responses are a long list of ‘what’ someone did without ever delving into ‘why.’ ...Begin by explaining your motivations – why you chose that activity – and the impact of your work.”

Marie Claire: My boss follows me on Instagram – what do I do?
Answers to several questions at the crossroads of social media and career, including whether to make your accounts private when applying for a job: “The answer is yes IF your social media accounts are inappropriate… [Otherwise] do keep them public, [or] you’ll miss the opportunity to showcase your skills, interests, and network, along with the fact that you’re savvy with social media.”

Inside Higher Ed: Positive communication in your career conversations
With these “positive communication” techniques for greeting, asking, complementing, disclosing, encouraging, and listening, you’ll be ready to establish real connections with professionals in your field, both in person and online.

Nonprofit AF: 25 beautiful and profound haiku about nonprofit work
For your next hot beverage break, the winners of the “first-ever #NonprofitHaiku contest on Twitter,” judged by the authors of the new book Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits and Foundations Can Build EPIC Partnerships.

Marc Schultz is communications editor at Work for Good.