[Senior managers] look at an employee in a current role and see what a great job the person is doing. So they consider (him or her) for a promotion," he says. "They don't stop to find out if this person has leadership skills or not, such as the ability to mentor or coach others or rally a team around a goal.So how can you avoid falling into the trap of the career-killing promotion? Bruzzese passes on a few suggestions from Erker:
- Ask for the job's parameters. Understand the requirements of the job. Ask what the purpose, goals and objectives will be, especially in the first year.
- Read the job description and ask questions about specific duties.
- Inquire "why me?" Find out why they think you'd be successful in the job. You want them to point to strengths you have shown, such as the work you did on a task force. If they tell you they don't know why they chose you, that's a red flag.
- Find out what support will be available. Leaders learn from training, coaching and mentoring and on-the-job experiences, so those offered a promotion should find out how they'll be supported in these areas. "Don't think you're going to learn these skills from a leadership book," he says.
- Network. Find people who now fill a similar role and take them to lunch or even meet for 15 minutes to ask about the work. Get an unbiased view of the job before making a decision.
- Don't be afraid to say, "Next time." "You don't have to jump at the first opportunity," he says. "You can tell them you'd like to stick it out where you are and go at it next time" when better prepared to take on a management role.
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- Why That Big Promotion Can Be a Curse