When I meet someone in a professional setting, I am always curious to hear about their career path. It is quite fascinating to see how some outstanding leaders move up the ladder quickly while others, just as outstanding, keep each job for many years before they feel ready to move up.
All appear to deserve promotions but not all want them. The difference comes from what promotions mean to them.
Those who move up quickly tend to enjoy new challenges and appreciate the status that comes with each new job title. They see a promotion as a win-win situation. It’s good for them and good for the organization they will work for.
Those who tend to take much longer often see themselves as servant leaders and are more focused on their current responsibilities than their personal desires and their true potential. While it may seem honorable, it also means these leaders aren’t able to serve at a higher level when they don’t give themselves permission to move on to bigger things.
Service, caring, and loyalty don’t have to imply self-sacrifice or self-limitations.
If you are reading this article, you are most likely wondering if you are ready for a promotion. Nobody can give you the answer. Other people’s opinions don’t matter because they are a reflection of their beliefs and have nothing to do with your potential. The truth – your truth – can only come from you. But before you decide, ask yourself whether you are experiencing any of the following signs.
#1. You stopped growing.
You have had the same job for several years and you are good at it. It is tempting to stay because you enjoy feeling appreciated and being effective. You know how to handle pretty much every situation and you are comfortable. But you are not challenged anymore and you stopped growing.
Unknowingly, you may even be missing out on opportunities to innovate because you already have a system in place for everything. You think you are where you belong but that may be an illusion. Instead, imagine stepping up to a new level of responsibility. Imagine learning, growing, and contributing at a new level. It would be exciting! Is it time for a change?
#2. You don’t get to utilize your skills and talents.
Let’s face it; you have outgrown your job and what used to be challenging now feels tedious and boring. You could do much more if only you were in a position of higher authority or at a job that would allow you to utilize more of your skills and talents.
Think about your strengths and what you find most rewarding in the workplace. It’s time to do more of that. Imagine feeling more accomplished every day because you could look at your work with excitement and pride. Do you remember what being in the zone feels like? Do you remember waking up before your alarm goes off because you can hardly wait to start your day? This could be your reality.
#3. Secretly, the idea of a promotion is exciting.
Maybe your humility stops you from acknowledging your dream of taking your career to the next level, but the truth is… you do want that promotion! The problem is you are judging yourself for it. Are you ready? Are you good enough? Do you deserve it? Will you do a good job? Your inner critic is attacking you mercilessly.
Understand that your doubts and fears are mostly irrational. They are here because of old habits and thought patterns. They try to keep you safe by avoiding new things but they also stop you from doing what is right for you. It’s time to make a change. Give yourself permission to declare what you really want and go for it.
Don’t wait until your boss retires to start thinking about your next job. And don’t wait until you reach a certain number of years at your current job to “look” competent or to prove your loyalty. If you are not growing, or if you don’t get to use your skills, or if you really want to move up, then do it!
You don’t need to experience all three signs. Any one of them is an indication that you are ready for the next level in your career. Perhaps it is a step up from where you are now, or maybe it is a transition to something entirely different, or it could be anything in between. Don’t wait. It’s never too soon to transition to what will give you more fulfillment.
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