How NOT To Get a Promotion

I’m aware that I’ve been citing other blogs frequently lately. I’m also aware that this next one I’m referring to was written over a week ago. But I’m writing about it anyway, because it’s that good. This was one of those think-about-it-days-later blog posts. I’m talking about 7 Lies That Undercut Your Chances of Promotion at Everyday Bright. I absolutely encourage you to take a moment to read it – it will definitely give you a new perspective on some tried and true job skills.

I’d like to outline a few of my thoughts on some of the lies.

Lie #1: Work hard

I love this. We all know that one person in the office who comes in at 7:45 and leaves at 6:15. She likes to talk about how much work she has to do and how there isn’t enough time in the day. In fact, everyone in a nonprofit has more work than time to do it in. That doesn’t mean you should overwork yourself and sacrifice your personal life. After the workday is over, put your work down and go home to your family. You’ll be able to recharge your batteries and will be that much more efficient tomorrow.

Lie #2: Do your job well

This one might be the one that resonates with me the most, that I personally need to work on. This relates to what I mentioned earlier as my biggest weakness – I need to step up and do projects that are outside of the box that showcase my creativity and understanding of fundraising and the nonprofit sector. I need to do more than my job – I need to prove that I can do my future job.

Lie #5: Network with influencers

Jennifer is emphasizing the point that you shouldn’t just network with the high ups, you should network with everyone. You never know who will become what and who has pull where. I love this point. It’s critical to be friendly and open to everyone you meet, whether it’s the receptionist or the CEO. Everything has something to offer – you just need to give them the chance to show it.

Lie #7: Have a career plan

I disagree with her just slightly on this one. I would modify this point to say you should have a plan (or goal), but it should be loose and ever-changing. I think there is value to having an idea of where you’d like to be in the future, but mostly to notice the aspects of the goal that are attracting you and keep them at the heart of your actions.

Notice I didn’t address Lie #6: Go back to school, because clearly that’s exactly what I’m doing in two months! However, I don’t see going back to school as my ticket to promotion, instead simply something to pair with my work experience and knowledge of the sector as I navigate my way to my goal.

Thank you, Jennifer, for such a wonderful post. We all can learn a little something from these points!!


6 thoughts on “How NOT To Get a Promotion

  1. I think there’s only one or two reasons to go back to school. 1) You want to and think you’ll enjoy it, and 2) there’s no other way to learn what you need to know. Okay, I guess 3) would be you have to have the credentials for your field, but too many poeple use that as an excuse when it’s not really required. So I’ve temporarily rescinded that as a reason until people show more sense.

    So if you fall under category 1 or 2, we still agree.

    Anything else, and we delightfully agree to disagree. Thanks for the post!

  2. Well OK I do fall into category 1, so I’m happy to hear that! I definitely just look at the program as an addition to the experience I’m getting hands on day in and day out. I’ll also be working full time at the same time so I won’t be stagnant in the working world. I’m excited about it!

    Thanks so much for the comment!

  3. Hi Chapin, I just came over from Jen’s blog and saw your replies. It’s good to get the perspective of non-profits. I’ve just released my own “Crack the Code to Get Promoted” product after a year of research (oh and 12 years at corporate!) and I agree with all your points here. The one about going back to school can be tricky. I know that certifications, for instance, don’t necessarily advance your career but sometimes employers use that as a requirement to withhold your promo and the honest ones come thru on their promise when a precious few go out there to get the said certification. But I can tell you that getting an MBA, which is no easy feat, has not advanced the careers of many that I know at least to the extent that they thought possible. Great to hear your thoughts here.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and for the comment! I am about to finish my Masters in Nonprofit Administration program in December so I definitely have mixed feelings on the graduate degree argument. Bottom line is that I’m happy I did it. While it doesn’t necessarily directly translate to a specific job (or hasn’t so far anyway), it has been part of my conversations with new employers. And, that’s been enough!

      1. Hi Chapin, good for you. I did my own graduate program too – electrical engineering with a master’s degree and all. I am very proud of myself, and glad I did it too – when you look back later in life, what’s 2 years compared to a lifetime, it’ll be just like an experience. But I can say for certain it did nothing to advance my particular corporate career…. maybe if I’d gone to work somewhere else it had. I do hear you though. It is rewarding on its own.

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