9 April 2024

Getting ready to abandon ship

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To move on, you can’t be indispensable in your current job. Picture: File.

May Busch lists the three essential preparations for ambitious young achievers who want to be noticed in the next round of promotions.

I work with a lot of achievers and a question I’m often asked is: “How do I get promoted and keep advancing?”

While you can’t promote yourself, you can put yourself in a position to be “promotion-ready”.

Over the course of my 24-year corporate career, in which I earned 10 promotions (and missed out on some more along the way) I found there are three aspects to making yourself promotion-ready; I think about them by using a ship analogy.

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The first aspect of being promotion-ready is to make sure you are on top of your current job.

When you’re the captain of the ship, you have to make sure the ship is in good shape and sailing smoothly to its destination.

The second aspect is to stop being indispensable where you are. If you’re the captain of the ship and you’re standing on the bridge, you don’t want to be the only one who can steer. You want to have somebody who is ready to take on the wheel.

This is because the third aspect of being promotion-ready is to start being indispensable for what you want to become.

As the captain on the bridge of your ship, you’ve got to be able to hand over the steering so you can seek and attract future opportunities, which could be the helicopter that’s waiting on the pad and ready to lift you off to your next adventure.

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If you’re stuck with the steering wheel of your current role that helicopter isn’t going to be able to take you off the deck.

You want to be able to hail the helicopter, get in and take off.

Where do you stand on the promotion front — and which of these aspects would most help you prepare for that next step up?

May Busch’s mission is to help leaders and their organisations achieve their full potential. She works with smart entrepreneurs and top managements to build their businesses. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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