When I joined TCS in 2012, I had never thought that I would be joining my 5th company within the next nine years. TCS felt like home, and home was where I learnt the fundamentals of the corporate world. In my 9+ years of career, I have worked on large MNCs other than TCS in Accenture, Wipro and IBM. I have been promoted four times, switching between 5 companies together. In this article, I will discuss the steps I followed to get these. I hope you may find this helpful.
Why Promotion is good?
- The first and foremost reason to be happy about the promotion is that it brings a higher pay package.
- With higher compensation, you can reduce your debt, reduce your retirement age to achieve financial independence.
- You will better perks and benefits in the company and outside in the community.
Are you ready for promotion?
- You will not be promoted because you thought so; the employer enables you because you add more value to them.
- It's a prize paid to you to get done more work by you. Awards and recognition are the media for that.
- You will have more responsibility, and you need to do more mental work, and the decisions you will take will affect more individuals, and the impact will be higher. Does this inspire you or scare you? It varies from person to person.
- You need to decide if you need a promotion.
Points I followed to get a promotion
These are the points I kept in mind and executed in my career to grow in it.
1. Set quantifiable and realistic practical goals
- From the day of joining a new org even during your interviews, make this straight what is expected from you and under which metrics you will be measured.
- Set quantifiable goals and chase them. E.g. set goals like take a minimum of one knowledge sharing session this quarter or improve my unit test coverage above 90% by the end of this quarter.
2. Ask for feedback not only from your manager but, all good colleagues around you
- Discuss with your boss the gaps that need to be filled up for the next role.
- In many cases, you may have been working with your colleagues more often than your supervisor. Therefore, it makes sense to ask for genuine feedback from your colleagues.
- I use two-point feedback from my colleagues from time to time. Generally, once I switch teams/projects, I ask for feedback from my colleagues. It is like a retrospective but on a large scale.
- What qualities do you like about me, and what should I continue doing in the future?
- What areas do I need to improve myself to be a better in the next ?
These specific questions make the feedback question reduce the scope, making it easier for the other person to give feedback.
3. Improve on where you are lacking and ask for help
- Once you collect feedback from all, do a retrospective in your terms. Sometimes what your colleagues observe may not be 100% correct.
- After analysis, makes a solid plan on how to improve on the areas you lack.
- In most cases, you should ask for help from your colleagues directly if they can help or any source/link they can suggest from where you can learn.
- On the other hand, do not forget that you need to find creative ways and do experiments to further improving your good qualities.
- You need to improve your brand value. It is easier to improve what you have than the things you lack.
It takes far more energy and works to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.
― Peter F. Drucker, Managing Oneself
4. Be in constant touch with someone who is already in that position
- In addition to building connections on your level and lower level, you should definitely make connections with your high-level employees.
- Make a mentor in your org. I could not stress this enough. A mentor can save you from the wrong path and guide you towards your goal.
- Making mentors will help you accelerate achieving your goals.
- it is better if you make a mentor who is already in that position. They can guide you on how to reach their position and how did they reach there. E.g., if you want to become an architect, ask an architect how they were able to reach there, what is their day-to-day job looks like, and which skills matter and which does not.
5. Shadow and get shadowed
- Ask your superior to loop you in on the meetings they are attending. In return, you can offer them that meeting summary you will prepare.
- You learn what is expected from your supervisor and how are they handling the situations. Offer them a hand.
- Cowork with them and learn the why and how of the works they have been doing.
- You should be comfortable covering for them if they are on leave or in another urgent meeting.
- Your supervisor going on leave should be an opportunity for you to reach your goal a bit closer. Grab the opportunity. Before that, always be ready for this. One day or another, this will come.
- Remember, shadowing your higher authority is a two-way process.
- On one way you need to learn the supervisor's work, while on the other hand, you need to develop a replacement for your current role.
- You need to develop your backup/delegate your tasks to one of your sub-ordinates.
- While you shadow your supervisor's work, the delegate should do your work. In this way, it will be a win-win situation for the three of you.
6. Do non-BAU works. Do something which motivates you and help others.
- In addition to these, you need to go beyond daily business as usual works.
- You need to do extra works which will attract visibility, e.g. delivering a session to a broader team, conducting an event for the org, rising up to the occasion and volunteering when asked if it is worth the value.
7. Be smart
- You need to be smart and think proactively.
- Judge the situation and act intelligently.
- Every day is a new day, and new opportunities will arise; analyze the situations, predict the future outcome, and make your steps accordingly.
- Make contacts, have good relations among the people who matter and maintain your brand value.
- Have your eyes and ears open about the office politics. Good or bad, you should know things happening around you. For example, anybody leaving, coming, changing the equation, adapting to a new boss, merging, splitting, etc.
8. Promotion should be an official recognition
- You should work like the higher position works, and promotion should be like official recognition.
- Do not think that after you get promoted, you will start working in that role. No, it would help if you thought like you already got promoted and work accordingly.
- Do your work in such a way that when your name will go to the higher management, everybody unanimously should agree to your promotion.
Thanks for reading.