Co-worker to boss…making an effective career transition

I was recently promoted to lead a significant part of my company’s business in my current geography. I’ve had my eye on this position for a while and I have purposely been performing some of the duties at the higher level so my leadership had the confidence to promote me. Now that I have the position, I am struggling with the idea that I am equal to employees in other geographic locations; ones from whom I previously would ask for approval. I’ve been working with another colleague who has gone through similar growing pains, and she offered up some great advice.

First, obtaining clarification of my new responsibilities. It is critical to my success and the success of others around me that this is defined as clearly as possible. This will help me know when to speak up and quiet down. It will also give me confidence in my actions.

Second, she said tackle the easy stuff in my job. Work with the team I now oversee and exhibit my new role. This will also help me gain confidence in the new role and myself.

Finally, she said to continually remind myself that I am at the new level, and while I may feel awkward sometimes, it is better to push myself a bit in order to be more comfortable in professional situations.

Thanks to my colleague for sharing these great words of wisdom to help me gain confidence in my new role. What kind of advice would you give in this situation?

Moving Up in Title, Not Responsibility

Getting a promotion in and of itself is never disappointing. However, you may have had different expectations than the actual outcome. Perhaps your title changed to manager and you expected to get additional responsibilities to be able to manage projects and/or people, but it didn’t happen. You can either accept it or question it. If you decide to question it, start with your direct manager. Prepare a statement of your career goals in the next year, two years, and five years, if possible. Discuss with your manager these goals and how he or she can help you reach them within the proposed timeframe. Be open to adjusting your goals statement with your manager, but be firm about getting an agreement on paper. If you feel confident after this meeting that your manager will help you achieve your goals, be patient and allow a few weeks for changes to be implemented. If you find after this time that nothing has changed and your duties have remained the same, it’s time to go to your manager’s superior. Ask if he or she is aware of the previous conversation and if not, recap it for him or her. Then explain you agreed on the changes on paper but so far nothing has changed and you would like his or her advice. Asking for advice is a great way to start the conversation. If you can come to an agreement on paper that gets implemented, great. If not, it may be time to look elsewhere for a job.