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How do you know if you are ready for a promotion?

Do you have aspirations to move into a more senior leadership role?

If so, I’d like to share with you a recent conversation that I had with Cindy, one of my coaching clients.

Cindy, is a highly competent and very well respected Manager in her organization. Her boss has approached her to apply for a Director role in her company.

But Cindy is feeling a little unsure about whether she is ready for this next level of leadership.

She asked me this week in our coaching meeting, “Vanessa, how do I make the leap into the next level of leadership? How do I know if I am ready?”

So, this is what I told Cindy.

You have to focus on two areas to move into the next level of leadership.

  1. Your Mindset
  2. Your Skillset

Let me elaborate a bit on each of these areas.

Your Mindset

Your Mindset Matters for a Work PromotionIf you think you can…or you think you can’t…you are right! In other words, if you want a promotion, you have to believe that you are capable and worthy of being a more senior leader.

You have to notice if your thoughts are self-destructive or self-affirming.

Here are two common mindsets when people are preparing for a promotion:

  • Mindset one – a self-affirming perspective: You feel ready for a new challenge and are excited to learn and grow.
  • Mindset two – a self-destructive perspective: You feel worried that you will fail in the new role and view more responsibility as scary.

If you can relate to mindset two…it’s time for a new mindset. You likely won’t even apply for a more senior position if you think you will be a failure.

Please don’t view a more senior role as scary and a chance for you to fail. Rather, shift your mindset to seeing the new role as a great opportunity to learn and grow in your career.

Your Skillset

 Every level of leadership requires new skills.

For example, at the Manager level, you need to be good at splitting your time between your own priorities and coaching your team to deliver their priorities.

At the Director or VP level, you need to know how to manage other managers, break down silos and allocate resources across departments.

So, find out what skills are needed at the next level and start working on developing them now.

In fact, you may even realize that you already have most of the skills needed at the next level, but your mindset is holding you back.

Let me reassure you that feeling nervous about taking on more responsibility is normal.

Let me reassure you that you will never have ALL the skills needed for a more senior role right now. These skills will develop over time.

Over 150 years ago, author and psychologist William James said, “If you change your mind, you can change your life.”

So, don’t let your mindset hold you back from that great new role.

Work on developing your skillset, and go for it!

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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