Friday, July 07, 2006

Don't Be Afraid To Make It Known That You Want A Promotion!

Make it known that you want a promotion. Many African Americans feel we should be grateful for having a job and that we should not make a fuss at work. We are afraid to ask White supervisors and managers for something that others ask for on a regular basis. While White employees will go to their supervisor, Human Resources or executive and demand a promotion (sometimes with threats of resigning), many African Americans are afraid to ask for or to even discuss a promotion. We’d rather wait until someone brings it up, which may be every 5 years or so, if we’re lucky.

There’s nothing wrong with sitting down with a supervisor or manager and telling them that you want to be promoted. You should make your argument for why you have already demonstrated the capability to work at the next level.

In addition to being afraid to discuss promotions, some of us are afraid of even requesting more advanced work and challenging assignments in our current positions. So, we allow people to stifle our careers by forcing us to work on the same types of projects that only allow us to utilize a certain set of skills because we’ve been seasoned into submission and have accepted the fact that we have no or little control over work day, assignments, and future.

Any good manager should be focused on ensuring that his or her staff are being challenged and are moving in a path that gives them no other choice except to develop new skills, overcome weaknesses, improve on areas of strength, and to advance.

My advice is that you shouldn’t wait for your supervisor to tell you that you’ve reached a point where you can take on more work. You should perform your job to the best of your ability, try to exceed expectations and requirements, and make your case that you are ready to continue to the next phase of your career path. If you have not had the opportunity to perform higher levels of work and feel you legitimately need to build up your skills before advancing in the company, tell your supervisor or manager that you’d like to know:

-- What skills are needed to be promoted?

-- Is any training or are any special skills needed in order to be considered for a promotion?

-- How do I currently stack up for a promotion?
-- What are my strengths?
-- What are my weaknesses?
-- How do I improve my weaknesses?

-- Can I get more advanced assignments to show that I can work at a higher level?

-- Can I be placed in charge of small, mid-level or advanced projects (depending on your level)?

-- Can I have or have more client contact?

-- What suggestions do you have for me as I work towards a promotion?


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