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3 Counterintuitive Things You Should Do After You Get A Promotion

After moving up the ladder at work, it’s time to assess what you have to do (and not do) to succeed at your new position.

3 Counterintuitive Things You Should Do After You Get A Promotion
[Photo: Flickr user Allen Skyy]

You just found out you got a promotion. Electricity shoots through you as the fronts of utter excitement and sheer terror collide. You think you have what it takes, and you know others believe in you.

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But there’s still a hint of insecurity about whether or not you can excel at this next level. To counter this, you pour yourself into learning what you need to do next and whom to impress.

If you only think about doing more work and making more people happy, then you’re setting yourself for potential failure, burnout … or both. Through my work with time coaching and training clients around the world, I’ve seen that, to succeed after a promotion, you need to go beyond the average strategies to the exceptional.

Here are three counterintuitive truths that will dramatically improve your chance of success after a promotion:

1. You Must Define What You’re Not Going To Do Anymore

It’s simple arithmetic. If you spend more time in one area, then you need to spend less time in another. That means in addition to determining what you will do following your promotion, you need to define what you won’t do anymore. That could mean decreasing the amount of projects you’re responsible for–instead of doing reports, models, or proposals, simply review them. That could mean putting some of your direct reports under another manager. That could mean answering fewer emails that an assistant can reply to instead.

It’s essential you clarify what you won’t do for a number of reasons:

  1. It helps you to recognize when you need to delegate versus doing it yourself.
  2. It allows the people reporting to you to take full responsibility for their jobs.
  3. It forces you to really do your new job.

Initially, you’re going to be worse at doing your new tasks than you were at doing the work that you’ve been doing before. But if you take courage and master those new skills instead of clinging to the familiar territory of your last position, then you give yourself a great chance of growing into mastery at the new level.

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2. You Must Depend On Other People More

Yes, you got promoted because you were recognized for your skills, hard work, and potential. This can make it tempting–particularly if you’re feeling a bit uncertain about your promotion–to horde work. You want to show you can do it all yourself–and well.

The only problem is every time you get a promotion, you need to depend on others more, not less. That means getting the team in place around you in the office who can take responsibilities off your plate so you can get the higher level strategic and management work done.

That also means getting more support outside of the office–whether it’s a housecleaner, babysitter, cook, or whomever else you need to get tasks done so you have more space to recharge when you’re not at work. That also means finding mentors and coaches who can help up-level your leadership skills from time management to communication and everything in between.

You’ve never done the job you’re in before, so it’s normal to not be exactly sure what to do. However, you won’t excel if you don’t learn the skills to thrive at this next level.

3. You Must Cling To Your Core Priorities

The higher you go in your organization, the more the basics matter. You don’t need less sleep, you need more–and to be far stricter about making it a priority. Being sleep deprived dramatically decreases your emotional control, decision-making ability, and productivity. You can’t afford to have those compromised at the next level.

You don’t need less exercise, you need more–or to simply maintain a solid schedule of physical care if you’re already staying in shape. Regular movement improves your health, your mood, and your energy levels.

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You don’t need less time with your family, friends, and simply relaxing–you need more. This will give you the resilience to weather the stresses of ups and downs in your business, and the perspective that there is more to life than work.

After your next promotion, use these strategies to succeed at work and life.

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