According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, in a sample of male and female employees pursuing promotions, 10.6 percent of men had received promotions versus 7.6 percent of women, a statistically significant gender gap in promotion rates favoring men. And Business Insider cited a study by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. that says it’s even worse. “Though women and men say they want to be promoted in about equal numbers (75% and 78% respectively), women are significantly less likely to make it to the next tier in their organization. Across all organizational levels, the study found that women are a whopping 15% less likely than men to get promoted.”
Getting promoted has a major impact on your income. According to Mercer’s 2015/2016 Compensation Planning Survey, the average salary increase is expected to be 2.9% in 2016, yet the percentage increase for a promotion is 7.7%. That’s a big difference. But being promoted does more than put money in your wallet; it validates your hard work and provides an opportunity to expand your knowledge and competencies.
Getting promoted is something that’s on the minds of a lot of the women who are coached by my business partner Ora and me. In fact, it has become such a hot topic, we’re building a new business – CareerBlast – that’s uniquely focused on helping career-minded professionals get promoted faster. What I share with you in this article is a series of questions we use to help our clients know if it’s time.
Are you ready to get promoted?
Use these 15 questions to assess your readiness. Make note of the ones to which you answer “no,” and then make an action plan to turn them into a “yes.”
- Have you mastered most of the skills required for your current role? Your boss wants to know you’re ready, but don’t feel you need to be a black-belt in every skill!
- Have you been in your current role a sufficient amount of time – allowing you to learn all you can? Remember, “sufficient” does not mean ten years!
- Are you feeling antsy in – or a sense of boredom with – your current position?
- Are you ready for the challenge, along with the extra work and effort required at the start of a new role?
- Is this a good time for you personally to take on this new challenge?
- Have you put together the case for why you are qualified for bigger and better opportunities? Document those things that make you relevant and compelling for a promotion – a portfolio of your wins in your current and past roles, your differentiation from others who seek to get promoted, and your list of what you would accomplish in your new role.
- Do you meet at least 60% of the requirements for the job you are pursuing? You do not need to meet them all. Women are more likely to want to meet 100% of the requirements before they put their hat in the ring. Men are less likely to wait before pursuing a promotion.
- Are you a lifelong learner who’s willing to develop new skills to succeed in the role you seek?
- Do you have a demonstrated track record of exceeding expectations in your current role?
- Have you told your manager that you have skills that are unused, and that you would be more valuable in more senior positions?
- Is your manager aware of your potential and your desire to move up?
- Have you regularly and visibly demonstrated skills beyond those required for your current role – clearly standing out from your peers?
- Have you built your brand internally with senior leaders and decision makers? According to McKinsey, “Women report that they have fewer ‘substantive’ interactions with senior leaders; 51 percent of women said they talked with a company leader at least once a week, compared to 62 percent of men.”
- Are you on the radar of thought-leaders in your area of expertise outside your company?
- Do you have unique and valuable assets you can bring to your next role (a robust external network, resources, access to potential staff)?
When you can answer “Yes” to at least 9 of these questions, you’re ready to get promoted. Remember, you don’t need to answer “yes” to all of them!
William Arruda is a personal branding consultant and partner in CareerBlast. For a limited time, get a free copy of his ebook 13 Things All Successful Professionals Do to Fuel Their Career