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How to secure a high level promotion

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Eugene Farrell provides advice to employees seeking a top level promotion at work moving from senior manager to director.


If you are an ambitious senior manager looking to move up the ladder and make the next step to director, it can be difficult to know where to concentrate your efforts in the workplace when dealing with your everyday responsibilities.

However, there are several key points that you can focus on which will help you to gain the attention of decision makers and show your managers that you’re ready for the next challenge.

Demonstrate leadership

When decision makers are choosing to promote staff to the next level, they will choose employees who are capable of shouldering the extra responsibility that the new role will bring. When you want to make the move, volunteer to take on projects and tasks to show other people in the company, both at a senior and junior level to you, what you’re capable of. It will make your ambitions apparent and be in a good place to move up, when a new role comes along.

Build respect

To lead from the top, you need to have already earned the trust and respect of those who work with you. Take a moment to think about your personal identity at work and how other people are likely to perceive you. Firstly, are you visible in the business? If necessary, aim to reach out to new people who you have not dealt with before. Build networks of people who can help you when you need it.

People enjoy working with positive personalities and when you arrive at work each day, bring with you an energy and enthusiasm for the role as other staff members will thrive on your charisma.

Develop good communication skills

It’s likely that you will already have good communication skills as you’re currently working at a senior level and will know the value an excellent communicator can bring. You may also like to consider, your ability to combine good business skills with softer skills, like emotional intelligence. Try and understand how other people in the working environment may be feeling, make it part of your day to ask them. This will create a positive and caring approach.

Gain experience

It’s always going to be necessary to have the right experience to become a Director. If you’re feeling unsure about where your expertise lies, write down all the experience you have, so it’s easier for you to identify where your strengths are, which you can then try to develop to the highest level. You may like to consider getting help from a personal coach who can help you maximize your opportunities. They are likely to ask you some difficult questions, but ultimately the process will help you better understand what you want and what you can offer.

Understand the business

Whether you’re looking to move to a new organisation or would like to be promoted internally, managers will want to see that you know and understand the business’ vision, its values and current position. If you’re looking to move up internally, look at becoming a spokesperson for your business and offer comment to managers about how the business could move forward. Increase your profile through public speaking and comment.

The interview

It’s very likely that the interview for your new role will be competency based and as such, it’s important to prepare properly in advance. If relevant, consider asking those you work with for 360 degree peer review feedback to gain a better sense of how other people in the business see you and what your strengths and weaknesses are.

A director will strive to use the skills of their team to optimum effect and in the interview, have a number of different and clear examples of your competencies, successes and how you have improved yourself and others in the workplace. It is important to show that you can manage though others, in addition delegation and coaching are important. This will show that you manage yourself and others well, and that you are confident enough to develop subordinates.

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