How to approach a job promotion wisely

Job promotion

You need a thorough approach to your new promotion. Here are five ways to do just that.

It’s a great feeling to get promoted.

But with the euphoria of a new position comes the instant dread of the unknown. You start to wonder: “How many people will I be responsible for? Am I qualified to do this? Do I need to come in firing on all cylinders? What do my executives expect of me?”

And if you’re not careful, there are plenty of ways to stumble after the honeymoon of your promotion wears off. You need a thorough approach to your new promotion. Here are five ways to do just that.

Set your expectations first
How can you manage other people’s expectations if you don’t have your own figured out? Think about why you received that promotion. Was it because you had a great idea for a product? Did you come up with a new sales approach for your team to close deals faster? Maybe you took the lead on a few projects, they succeeded, and executives want you to have more of a presence?

Whatever you want to establish, sit down and outline your goals before going forward.

Have an open dialogue with your new team
You think you’re nervous about leading a group of people? Imagine the uncertainty those employees feel about you. They’re probably wondering what new responsibilities they’ll take on and what your leadership style will be like.

Squash their uncertainty and establish communication lines the first day. Get everyone in a room and break down your goals and theirs. Schedule one-on-one meetings with them regularly to determine how they’re adjusting to any changes you’ve instituted, as well as to just check in on their well-being at work.

Invest in your training
There’s a reason management training isn’t a one-day affair. Not only are you learning to cope with more responsibilities, but you’re being put in a position to steer the ship better than the person who came before you. You need time and the right training approach to build better leadership skills for your team, to learn time management skills and to educate yourself on other lessons, such as how to run meetings more efficiently.

Don’t multitask every waking second
The need to prove yourself quickly can make you tweak routines you normally wouldn’t tweak, such as multitasking. You were great at it before the promotion, so why not crank it up to 11 and show your team how flexible your brain is, right?

Well, it turns out the brain isn’t as flexible as we’d like it to be. Studies from the University of London on the effects of multitasking revealed that the harder we multitask, the more IQ points we drop in that span.

And that’s just the beginning of the troubles. Too much multitasking also makes us prone to errors from distractions. A 2010 French study examined the brains of patients who were asked to work on two projects simultaneously. There are two lobes in our brain that can easily split duties equally between the two projects. However, scientists noted when a third task was thrown in, error rates significantly increased because the frontal lobe was under too much duress.

So next time you consider delegating assignments to your team while working on a spreadsheet and making business calls all at the same time, know that there’s a good chance you’ll have made a mistake on one of those.

Find your work/life balance
Sometimes it’s hard to avoid burnout at work after a new promotion, because you’re trying to manage expectations and how your employees feel about you as their boss. That might mean you stay later at work. Or you bring some of it home with you. You work a Saturday here and there to plan out next week instead of what you should really be doing: clearing your mind and focusing on your personal time.

While the go-getter attitude and mindset of laboring away on a Saturday and Sunday is great, it’s not always the smartest move. Your time away from the office is so valuable. There’s such a thing as smart hustle and hustling just to hustle because you don’t know any better. Avoid the latter by learning to maximize your time when at work and having the awareness to shut off from work as soon as you leave.

Kyle O’Brien is the community manager for the e-learning company, ej4, and covers topics on employee motivation, writes about GenY engagement and discusses a host of other themes on business.