I came across this great article online – the title was “Not Promoted, Now What?” by Daniel Shapero (see below in quotes). I found this article so interesting for various reasons, but what resonated were the steps he outlined. These steps aren’t only useful for obstacles we encounter in our respective careers, but for obstacles we face in our lives. Once again, the point here is that “you are accountable for you” – for your life, for your actions or inactions, for the path your career takes, for the life you live, for the journey you are on, and if any of these paths are hard to cross – you simply need to “check yourself”. Enjoy ~
“I went for a run last week to try to put a small dent in my extensive holiday eating. I was on a route I didn’t know, and I came upon a rather imposing hill. I buckled down, focused my sights on the top, and pushed myself up the incline. As I emerged at the top of the crest, tired and out of breath, I realized that I was not at the top, but rather just partway up a much larger hill. I find that these are the hardest moments.
For some, New Year’s brings a promotion. For others, the promotion they’d hoped for does not come and it’s time to regroup. I’ve heard runners call this moment a “false plateau”… like running hard to reach the crest of a hill, only to realize that you are not at the top, and the actual peak is much further in the distance.
Everyone has been through these moments… here’s what I recommend…
1. Recognize and accept that you have more work to do, and that your previous belief that you had finished your quest was incorrect. Take responsibility for where you are, and understand that you can’t move forward until you come to terms with your reality.
2. Make sure you’re focused on the right peak. Is the peak you’re running toward the right goal to begin with? Before you start running again, reconfirm that this endeavor is worthy of your effort and commitment. These natural breaks offer a great moment for reflection.
3. Check your map. Many people don’t achieve their goals because they are following the wrong map, and are working on the wrong things to achieve their goals. Sit down with your manager and confirm that you understand how you will be evaluated against the promotion criteria.
4. Get a coach. Coaches keep us disciplined and focused on the right activities, particularly when things get difficult. A coach holds us accountable to our plan and gives us an honest assessment of how we’re tracking. Having one will be a great asset on your journey.
5. Set your sights on an interim milestone on the way to your goal. Don’t spend too much time looking down at where your feet are planted today, or too much time dreaming about the peak off in the distance. Focus on where you want to go, but pick an interim milestone that is visible. I find that picking something 6 months away is helpful.
6. Start running. Great professionals don’t wait long to hit their stride after a stumble. They regroup and get after it quickly.”