Don’t allow promotion to halt your career dreams

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By Carolyne B. Atangaza

“A promotion is like starting all over again; there are new questions, new challenges, and this time the stakes are higher. Because my promotion moved me from employee to manager I had the challenge of managing the same people I had been working along. All of a sudden I was part of the managers my colleagues and I had been doing our best to undermine,” Stephen Oundo a mid-level manager in a transport company recounts.
Oundo says he soon realised that his new job was even harder than he imagined. To get on top of things he had to change his strategy by arriving earlier than before and leaving later in order to accomplish all the tasks in his docket.

Stick to schedules
There will be more meetings, emails and calls awaiting your response that will leave you with less time to concentrate on your other assignments. To combat this avalanche of responsibilities Oundo recommends making schedules and sticking to them.
“For instance I am always in office at 7am. I use this time to make official email communication and make calls until 8:30am. After that I attend meetings. I then handle employee issues from 2-3pm. The rest of the afternoon I dedicate to my other responsibilities,” he explains. If you are tech savvy then employ apps such as Postbox and Setmore that can help with scheduling and sorting email so that your time is well utilised.

Learn about new role
Invest in learning more about the company you work for. Every company or institution has its unique culture, policy and practices. Your level of knowledge of these will make or break your career advancement. It is, therefore, very vital to take time to familiarise yourself with them starting with the position you are assuming.

When media personality Patrick Kanyomozi got his first promotion, he was determined to be the best person to have ever held that position. “Although I felt like the promotion was long overdue, I needed to learn the hidden intricacies of that position. So I approached the person I was replacing and asked him to guide me through and he kindly gave me the bigger outlook of how my position tied in with the rest of the company and gave me tips on what I should do to perform excellently,” Kanyomozi explains.

Another major change to make after your promotion is your appearance according to Faith E. Nabaggala, an image, etiquette and brand consultant. “Granted, your promotion was based on your hard work but you now need to look the part,” Nabaggala notes. She observes that as a manager, you might have to interact more with the public, staff and senior stuff so your image should reflect this position. “Overhauling your whole wardrobe might be extreme but you can start with the basics such as paying more attention to your grooming yourself such as having clean nails, clean shoes and clothes,” Nabaggala tips.

What you should avoid
Arrogance. Do not expect applause for all your big ideas and subordinates to jump out of the way when you walk down the hall. This kind of attitude is only going to make people resent you—and your direct reports not want to do what you ask. Instead, stay humble and curious, and focus on how you can succeed as a team, rather than on your own. This will ultimately make you look good and your team more productive.

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