This original article by Helen Mitas was previously published on Woman With Drive Powered by Porsche
It was February 1997, and I was both excited and terrified. At the age of 28, I had been offered a managerial position at a large energy retailer that had just been privatised and undergone significant structural changes.
My responsibilities included managing 33 staff members that were mostly older than me and who had extensive operational experience in an industry that, at the time, I knew nothing about. After the initial thrill, I was almost immediately flooded with doubt, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy.
Landing a promotion can be a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, it feels wonderful to be rewarded and recognised for your hard work while on the other, it can feel intimidating as you step into unfamiliar territory. Faced with these conflicting emotions, you may wonder if you have bitten off more than you can chew and if everyone will soon find out that you are an “imposter”.
In my case, there was no way I was going to knock back this incredible career opportunity so being a chronic list maker, I put pen to paper and developed a five-point strategy that helped me feel better about my new role. I am sure it will do the same for you.
#1: READ AND PREPARE
Knowledge is power. No matter what your new role, there are many valuable books and online resources on that subject matter that will help you with your transition. Do your research and get your hands on the best information out there. Then carefully go over the material and take note of specific points that will help you move forward.
#2: LEARN FROM YOUR MENTORS
Mentors are an excellent resource and can do wonders to boost your confidence and increase your knowledge during your transition. Do not be afraid to ask for their advice. In most cases and at some point, they quite likely stood where you are now standing. Their perspective of your situation will therefore be rooted in experience and stories of trial and error.
#3: DRAW ON YOUR EXPERIENCE IN YOUR PRIOR ROLE
Your new role will likely hold a connection to your previous one. Use this to your advantage. If you were a sales representative who has been promoted to supervisor, draw on past experience to effectively supervise your team. If you have been promoted to branch manager, consider implementing changes in your branch based on the challenges you faced in your previous role. Treat all your work experiences as interconnected and relevant to your current role, and you will find yourself more than capable of carrying out the job.
#4: DRESS THE PART
Dress to impress. Invest in a stylish suit, shoes and bag. Make sure your nails are manicured and your hair is appropriately styled. This may seem superficial but perception is key. You need to feel good about yourself so that you can exude the confidence you need.
#5: KNOW THAT YOU BELONG WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN PLACED
At the end of the day, this list is futile if you do not realise and accept that you deserve your promotion. Do not think of it as a gift but a reward earned for your hard work and dedication. Your superiors are running a successful business and it is precisely because they recognise your skill set and experience as a valuable asset that they have given you the job. Silence the doubts by telling yourself every day that you earned and deserve this. The rest will fall into place.