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How To Get Promoted

July 6, 2017

Did you hear that Carrie got promoted?

Really? Didn’t she used to be an agent? Some people have all the luck.

We’ve all seen it, right? Someone else gets promoted and we think, “I wish I could catch a break like that.” It must be that they know someone. Or maybe they just got lucky. Or maybe. . .The maybes go on forever.

I was once working for a guy at Microsoft that I really didn’t like. I didn’t like him and he didn’t like me. I was very much interested in finding another, ANY other, position. A position with the Training department came open. I applied for it. It helped that I love being a teacher. But, more importantly, it meant a new manager.

Frank also applied for the trainer position. Frank and I had earlier worked together in Microsoft support. In fact, at one point we sat right next to each other. Frank and I were equally good at our jobs. Frank had stayed in support and I had moved to another position writing reports. It was this new position that I wanted out of.

My friend John, was the hiring manager for the trainer position.

I got the job offer and Frank did not.

Sure was lucky that I knew John, huh? At least that’s how Frank saw it. And he wasn’t afraid to tell anyone who would listen. Of course, I got my job because John and I were buddies. Poor Frank never had a chance.

It wasn’t true. But, no amount of explanation would have convinced Frank. How did I get the trainer job? During the interview I brought a copy of a 200 page course I had written at WordPerfect prior to coming to Microsoft. I explained how to we had decided on the objective domain, or what the course would cover. I talked about rough drafts and train the trainer courses. I talked about revising the course when the software changed. In other words, I knew a thing or two about course writing.

Did I get the job because of John? Or was it the fact that I was really good at what I did?

But, what about those times where you don’t already know how to do what the job entails? Carrie really did just get a promotion. She’s now a site director. She started as an agent. From there she became a supervisor. Then, she became an Assistant Contact Center Manager, or ACCM. Then, she was a CCM. And now she’s being asked to be the site director.

Guess what kind of an agent Carrie was? Yup. She wasn’t just good, she was great. Guess how well her team did when she was a supervisor when compared to other teams? They kicked butt. As an ACCM, how well do you think she delivered? Fantastic. As a CCM she’s been consistently overachieving. She couldn’t NOT become the site director.

And that’s the key to getting promoted. It’s not who you know. It’s rarely a matter of luck. To be promoted, you need to show that you are very, very good at what you do.

I knew a manager named Aaron one time. Aaron was friends with the management chain. He convinced them that he would make a great manager. He was lucky. He was also not particularly good at what he did. He lacked the skills to be an effective manager. Rather than being good at his job he focused on showing how his employees were not doing their jobs. Of course, he couldn’t deliver steller results, just look at how bad his team was! Aaron is still in the same position. I’m not sure what is going to happen to him long term. Hopefully, he gets the training and becomes an effective manager. But, I can gaurantee what won’t happen to him. He’s not going to be promoted anytime soon, and probably not ever.

Want to be promoted? Do you current job better than anyone else can do it. Cream rises.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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