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Is a promotion really what you want – 10 questions to ask yourself

Is a promotion really what you want – 10 questions to ask yourself

The best part about wherever you are in life is having the ability to go wherever you want.


Regardless if you are happy with the results you have achieved in life or if you desire change, it is natural for you to want more. This is not a sign of greed but rather a very healthy part of your human existence. Improving your professional position through promotions can be very rewarding. Conversely, a promotion could also be a disappointment resulting in undue stress and even job loss.


As with any change in your life, if you are striving to advance in your career it is important to properly prepare yourself. Changing job responsibilities can have a significant impact on your career and your personal life. If you are expecting a promotion or seeking career advancement, it is important to prepare yourself for the personal “metamorphosis” that will occur.


10 Questions to ask Yourself….

  1. Do I deserve a promotion?

    This would not be feedback from friends and family. Its true they may be a good place to start however often it’s no different than how you perceive yourself. It’s filtered! Unfortunately, the full truth isn’t always revealed when it is being viewed through a filter. As a professional, you will want to seek feedback from outside sources, peers and mentors.

  2. Do I really want a promotion?

    The answer may seem obvious, but there are a very high number of individuals who want a promotion and quickly fail once they get it. Why is this? There can be many reasons which are discussed below. However, it’s possible you have not spent enough time to fully understand your new role, changes in responsibilities and relationships.

  3. Am I sending the right message?

    Are you behaving as if you want and deserve a promotion? Many times, an individual will wait for a position to open before expressing an interest in a promotion. That may be too late. Simply because you are familiar with the company, the operations and the people will not automatically make you the best candidate. They will look first to those that continually express interest in growing within the company.

  4. Have I stopped trying because there never seems to be opportunities in this company?

    Why? Because you never get recognition? Or the person who is currently in the position you want has been there since dinosaur’s walked the earth? Whatever the reason, you are correct! If you know your career will never progress given you current circumstance, what are you doing to achieve results you want? Your ability to be promoted must start first from within. Expect it, take chances, work toward goals.

  5. Have I proven myself?

    Even if you have finished all necessary education or training required for promotion, don’t stop proving yourself. You want to always be performing your very best. Strive for excellence and seek out new challenges and experiences.  Increasing your skillset and broadening your scope of expertise may tip scales in your favor when promotion opportunities arise.

  6. Do I seek opportunities to train?

    It’s an old saying but as relevant as it ever was…. “knowledge is power”. Learn about the position you’re seeking. Volunteer to assist people already holding that position and make it clear you’re there to learn. Conversely, help others achieve their goals by helping them to learn aspects of your position.  Mentorship programs can help foster these productive relationships. Don’t have a mentorship program? Why not start one?

  7. Do I know how my responsibilities and relationships will change?

    A promotion is likely to bring more money, authority, responsibility and accountability. You will need to carefully evaluate how your responsibilities and relationships will change. Are you willing to accept those changes? Will you even enjoy that new position? Will your supervisor be different? Will your co-workers become your employees? How will professional relationships be different? Personal relationships? How will a new position affect work/life balance?

  8. Do I know what experience, education or knowledge is needed to qualify for a promotion?

    The best time to prepare for a promotion is now! While in your current position, manage and utilize your time. Are there classes you can take to enhance your skills? Are there individuals you can spend time with to stay aligned with your goals? Do you have volunteer opportunities that can contribute to your experience?

  9. Am I a problem solver?

    Experience has shown there tends to be two types of employees: problem finders and problem solvers. Start now by demonstrating your ability to be a problem solver! Although your boss may appreciate your ability to identify issues within your organization, real value is bringing your boss solutions.

  10. Am I prepared to sell myself?

    Don’t be caught off guard. You never know when a promotion opportunity may be presented. Physically and mentally prepare yourself by planning for your interview. Practice! Who will be interviewing you? If you have the opportunity, seek out others who have interviewed with this person and learn what you can about how to best prepare.


Think it through

Achieving balance in your life is one of the keys to happiness. Will a promotion help bring you more in balance, or potentially create vertigo in your life?

Any time you are out of balance, eventually will affect other areas of your life. People spend most of their waking day on work-related activities. If you are unhappy at work or stressed, this will impact your personal life and your health. Maintaining health is more than exercising and eating right. It’s maintaining a healthy environment. Do not underestimate the amount of stress that can be experienced when being promoted into a position for which you are not truly prepared, mentally and physically.


This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Can I add one, Bobbie?

11. Seniority does not equal capability!

I think some people believe that since they have been there the longest that they are "next in line", but they haven't put in the work to make themselves the best candidates for the job!

  Brent Williams
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Fantastic list! Always great to be prepared when discussing work and a raise.

  Janet Cornett
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These are great questions to ask when thinking about promotions. Like you said, they come with more work and responsibilities. Also added stress, in some cases. You have to make sure it is worth it!

  Amanda Hill
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This is such a great article! I've seen many people get management promotions over the years simply because they were good at their jobs and not because they were good leaders. Good leadership takes time and dedication to developing those skills and it's not for everyone.

  Lilah Poltz
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An enjoyable read for sure. However, my last promotion was a brand new position for our company. Meaning there was no written job description or anyone who held that position before me to seek guidance from. I would like to hear any advice you have on how to navigate those waters, as I am once again faced with an opportunity for a title change and responsibility shift. Of course, salary will shift with it.

  Joei Lemacks
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This is very helpful. As we are seeing more and more people want to be promoted because that is what they think they should do, this article poses some relevant questions to be considered.

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Wow, I love these! So powerful and helpful - even for experienced industry veterans. I still remember being passed over for my first possible promotion and the blow to my ego. I worked so hard and checked almost all of these boxes you list out, but what I realized was...I just wasn't ready and would have failed. A year later a different promotion came along, I got it and I excelled. I always thank my old boss who promoted me for knowing when I was ready and for setting me up for success, instead of failure. Another skill I've learned and will always be working on, is processing losses. When we don't get what we want, or what we think we're ready for or what we think we've earned, it can feel devastating. We can feel angry, sad, helpless, cheated...so many emotions. But I've learned that these are just very natural, emotional reactions. If I "sit" in the moment for a bit and give myself a few days to process the grief of not getting what I wanted, I usually come away with a slightly different perspective than what I initially felt...a healthier, more open-minded perspective where I can appreciate other viewpoints instead of just my own. And that can be super helpful to getting back on track and taking the necessary steps to eventually earn a promotion.

  Kristi Fickert

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