Movin’ On Up

By Malcolm Fleschner

The desire for more responsibility, the wish to take on new challenges, the lure of higher pay and even the need to impress your classmates at the next high school reunion are all good reasons to pursue career advancement. But as AstraZeneca sales manager Orlando Ceaser points out, there’s more to winning a promotion than just sitting back and waiting for your superiors to notice how great the word manager would look under your name on a business card. In a recent issue of PharmRepOnline, Ceaser offered three strategies you can use to prepare yourself for that next promotion.

1. Do right today. Before you’ll even be considered for a promotion you must do your current job well. Even if you’re better suited for a job on the next rung of the ladder, attack your current assignment with vigor and enthusiasm. Beat your numbers, be willing to work for team goals and establish yourself as a role model for others. All this will set the stage for future advancement.

2. Inquire within. Think of yourself as a product you’re trying to market. Now perform a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis on yourself. Possible items on each list include:

  • Strengths: talents, educational background, career history, relationships developed, maturity
  • Weaknesses: character flaws, lack of education, job inexperience, procrastination, lack of attention to detail
  • Opportunities: special assignments coming up, task forces, mergers, new business opening up
  • Threats: colleagues seeking to undermine you, reputation for poor judgment, negative business relationships

In addition to making your own self-assessment, ask others whose opinions you respect to offer their insights into your SWOT characteristics. Your goal is to get an accurate picture of where you are today to help you get where you want to be tomorrow.

3. Look into that growth. Making the successful transition to management likely will require more from you than you’re currently capable of delivering. This is where personal growth and development come in. Write down a career development strategy blueprint for yourself that includes your SWOT analysis, tactics, resources, timeframes, milestones, relationships, assignments and necessary skills.

Use this blueprint as your map to the career you hope to build. As you take steps in the right direction, reassess your blueprint and the remaining steps you need to take to achieve your dreams.