I think sometimes we really do need to take a look at why we are not getting the promotions that we want. Why aren't we getting the opportunities that we want?
Let's start with the first reason. I think it is you don't raise your hand for anything. People who are volunteering and being successful at the things they volunteered to do get noticed. So if there's an opportunity to help on a project in your organization help on the project and do a kick-butt job at your current role and at the parts of the project that you take on. Now I see this happen all the time as well which is totally the opposite of what you should do. Somebody who volunteers for everything but doesn't do a darn thing really well. Don't be that person because that's just as bad.
"YOU are the biggest, best investment you can ever make."
Reason number two that you might not be getting a promotion this year. You've not invested in yourself at all. For years you haven't invested in yourself. YOU are the biggest, best investment you can ever make. When I was younger in my career I didn't really believe that my husband would always tell me that. I was like, “Hey honey, I want to take a class on cake baking.” I don't know why… and he would say, “You're the best investment you can make. so if you think that investing in cake baking will help you be a better person or a better cook, then you should do that investment.” I did eventually I got smarter about what I invested in. That way I was making sure that I was getting a return on my investment for business as well as I'm getting a return on my investment for just my personal enjoyment. There has to be a balance there. If you haven't invested in yourself and you might be thinking right now, “Sarah, I don't have money to invest in myself.”
You know what that's an excuse and here's why there's always a way. If you feel strongly enough about investing in yourself, you'll find a way to do it. You find a way to buy $100 shoes. You find a way to buy Starbucks coffee. Think about it; if you really want to invest in yourself, there's a way. Then also think about the ways that you can invest in yourself that don't cost a lot of money. You can watch YouTube videos that talk about it. You can go volunteer somewhere so you get practice at that while you're helping another person. You can read books about it. There are all kinds of ways to invest in yourself so be creative.
"You have to manage your inner voice. You have to start replacing those voices that are crappy with ones that are positive and ones."
The third reason that you might not get a promotion this year is because of your self-talk. You have a voice inside your head. All of us have it and most of the time we let that voice become our inner critic who holds us back from everything that we think we want to do. It tells us everything that we're not prepared to do. Everything that we're not good at instead of celebrating who we are and what we offer to the people in the organization. So this year if you want to make a difference and you really want to be able to put your hand up and say, “Hey, I'm ready for a promotion or I'm ready for that next big opportunity.” You have to manage your inner voice. You have to start replacing those voices that are crappy with ones that are positive and ones. That really feels like I can do anything. The way that I did that is I had to really be able to catch the inner voice because I didn't hear it. I think that's for a lot of us. We don't hear when the inner voice says, “oh, you're too young. You're too old. You're too tall. You're too short.” Whatever it is it it's telling you that you're too… You have to be able to hear it consciously so that you can combat it. What I had to do was I had to reprogram so that way there was a conflict.
When that inner voice was telling me that I'm too not good enough or I'm too young to old, I had to hear it. I created a mantra that I pasted all over the place and I kid you not it was on sticky notes in my car visor when I put down my car visor. It was on my mirror and I told myself that I was good enough. That I paid my dues. That I was a professional. That I knew what I was talking about. Because those were all the voices in my head that were always getting in my way. When I did that and I read that to myself all the time; eventually, I was able to hear when I was telling myself I wasn't good enough. I was able to correct it. I would say, “No, that's no longer the truth the truth is…” eventually, I reprogrammed how I think and I reprogram that voice inside of me. Now I focus on being my biggest fan. On being the person who says, “You know what Sarah, do this and you can figure it out.”
So here's what I'd like to encourage you to do. If you want to move to the next level this year in your career.
Volunteer - raise your hand.
Invest in yourself - you are your best investment.
Manage your inner dialogue - be your biggest cheerleader because it'll make all the difference