How to Get Promoted
In uncertain times, employers generally slow down the promotion opportunities and stymie advancement because they cannot afford to promote, back-fill positions, or pay out older Partners and C-Suite people, in times of recession.
Take the average age of partners in the Big 4 Professional Service firms. They used to promote people to partner at an average age of 34 before the financial recession of 2007-8. Now this has moved on a couple of years to 36. Who knows where this will be after this recession? In the 1990’s average age was 29! And in the good years Partners would voluntarily retire from the firm at 58 to move on to other prestigious board and advisory roles. This is becoming rarer, as older Partners stay in place for longer for financial reasons, due to taking a hit on their pension during the last recession, and current Covid-19 one, and the dreaded equity calls/draw reductions.
This is just a snapshot from one industry, but it reflects a lot of industries. It has become harder to get promoted because the opportunities simply aren't there unless you have the right skills in place to help your company succeed.
What does it take to get Promoted?
Apart from having your relatives run the company, it all comes down to results.
You have to have the right experiences to talk about at interview that will make the interviewers feel comfortable with promoting you, if you don't, you will likely fail to get promoted.
The most sought after skills (among others) are:
It does not matter how long you have been doing your current role for, you will still need to get some experience for these skills. Interviewers do not have crystal balls. They won’t be assured by you saying you are ready for the promotion. They need you to have what it takes and to have some evidential experiences to enable you to be safely promoted and learn fast.
These experiences do not have to be major. Even subbing for your manager when they were on leave, taking on additional responsibilities outside of your role, managing a team as a deputy, taking on training without being asked, improving a process, saving the company money, thinking outside the box and coming up with original ideas.
What you can do
If you are approaching a promotion, in the next 12 months’, I can help you get a strategy in place that will enable you to be a contender when the interview arises. Even if you are looking externally you can use your current role or company to facilitate any work that needs to be done and impress the interviewers.
My Promotion Coaching is best when you have time to plan and follow through to results on the experiences you need to obtain before interview. The coaching takes place over 5 sessions. The initial strategy session, two follow up milestones sessions to see how you are executing the strategy. A focused session on interview preparation close to the interview and a mock interview, where all your preparation work will come together in brilliant answers.
This will be really worth your while, as it has never been harder to get promoted and you need to plan the change. Just think how great you will feel when this pays off for you.
You can book in the Promotion Coaching here. I look forward to working with you on this crucial life changing plan.
How do I Get A Chief Role?
If I had a euro for every time someone asked me this question! The answer is really very simple, but requires a lot of courage. Most people I know have not got what it takes to get to a Chief role, whether CEO, CFO, COO, CTO etc. They like the idea of running the show and all the benefits and, presumed, ego rub that come with the position but they are not the right fit.
You need to assess whether you have what it takes.
Ask yourself these questions:
How did you get on with those questions? Leading a company takes massive amounts of courage because nothing is plain sailing. Answering yes, to these assessment questions, is a good indicator your aspirations may not be just dreams.
Now, think about your career. Maybe you are currently at a Director level or Managing Director of a division. That is great because that is where C-Suite are bred. But ask yourself these six questions:
Having owned an Executive Search Firm for seven years I know that C-Suite is not all about positive high achievements. It is knowing what to do when things go wrong, backfire or even explode in both ways. Having the theory of what to do is no match for having the experience.
If you are still gunning for C-Suite what have you done in the last three years, which can provide impressive answers to my six questions?
Yes, you may well have produced excellent results, but at this level expect questions like my six above. Have you got great examples to answer these? This is what makes a great C-Suite person and explains why so many high performers get leapfrogged by their grittier, varied experience, junior reports to the top table.
I know at the top level it is hard for people to find C level jobs, if they have only worked in a perceived easy company, or trendy company.Companies, such as Big Tech, Social Media, Big Pharma. These companies are just not attractive hunting grounds for C leaders because the perception is they will have no experience of turning around a business or working with lean budgets and breaking into new markets.
You will need to get way out of your comfort zone to prove your worth to most regular companies. If you are currently in a 'popular' company, I know these big budget companies often like to see varied C level experience and sometime take back former senior employees, after they have taken a diversion for a couple of years, to practice their leadership on someone else’s payroll!
If you need guidance and an assessment on whether you have what it takes to make it to the C-suite let’s have a call. I will be honest.
If you have the experience, and are preparing for upcoming interviews, we have a great Executive Interview Coaching Programme for these interviews. I can help you develop outstanding answers, which will pitch you perfectly for your chosen C level role in your interviews.
If you have the desire but are still lacking in the right rounded experience, I will be able to provide an actionable plan to get you on the right path using my Promotion Coaching system.
Book in a 20 minute call today to discuss your needs.
Clare Reed is a leading global expert Interview Coach with over 22 years global interviewing and coaching experience.