What to do after getting promoted: how to transition into your new role

Shot of businesspeople shaking hands in an office

Though many professionals strive for promotions over the course of their career, it could be suggested that there’s little consideration for what comes next after landing that new role.

As you transition into a new post, there’s a whole host of unfamiliar elements to stay abreast of. Not only is there a shift in priorities and responsibilities, but the dynamics of the office will change too, with peers potentially becoming subordinates and different stakeholders taking over as your line managers.

To make the move as seamless as possible, we’ll present some tips and advice you can use to ensure you hit the ground running when transitioning into that next promotion.

Set out some goals

Give yourself some direction with regards to where your new role is heading. Schedule some time in with your boss to talk about what you’d like to achieve in the short and long term, and what they expect of you going forward.

By creating a vision for you and your team within the wider business, you’ll be better equipped when it comes to decision making. In this discussion, bring up some of your ideas and show how you’re going to implement them. With this clear plan of what you want to achieve in the coming weeks, months and first year, be sure to review your progress at certain stages to ensure you’re on the way to meeting your goals, and revise them whenever necessary.

Women stood in front of large whiteboard with sticky notes and drawings on it

Of course, some of your peers will now become subordinates too. If you feel it’s necessary, have a conversation with those you’ll be managing to talk about any changes in your relationship with them. 

Get input from others

Before you put these plans into action, make sure you have an understanding of your new place within the company. Yes, the environment is the same, but in many ways, things will have changed.

Talk to your team and any necessary stakeholders about current processes and any changes that they want to see take place. This gives you a better sense of what needs improving and anything that requires rebuilding from the ground up. Get input from people who have been working in their position for a while, as this can help you to make better decisions on the most salient parts of the business.

Additionally, unless your new position was created for you, then someone else was in the role beforehand. They may prove an untapped fount of knowledge who can explain how things should be done. Get to know this person, and be sure to pick their brains on the finer points of what your role entails.

Be aware of your responsibilities

With the boost in salary and other benefits comes a greater amount of both expectation and responsibility. Your superiors and those you’re managing will undoubtedly be casting a watchful eye on your actions, so consider how you comport yourself going forward.

You’ll be leading by example to a degree; make it a point to straighten out any habits you fell into in your previous role. For example, if you were sometimes late into the office, come into work 5-10 minutes early instead. If there’s any office gossip that you used to partake in, try to stay away from such conversations. Falling back into these bad habits could present the wrong impression to your subordinates and superiors.

Likewise, you might have more access to certain sensitive information. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t be divulging such things to your team. Make sure you’re aware of your increased degree of responsibility when starting your new position. 

Conduct an audit of your systems

With all these new duties and responsibilities, you’ll need a new framework for how you stay organised. There’s a chance you’ll receive more emails, have to attend more meetings and schedule in more calls – so how do you stay on top of the workload?

Weigh up how you’ve done things previously and what you need to do now to complete your tasks. There are plenty of methods out there to ensure you utilise your time properly, including a whole host of productivity apps to help make things easier.

Define the boundaries

Having spent the last few years getting to know your duties well, you might find it difficult to let go of some of your old responsibilities. Factoring in your new role, things can get pretty stacked if you can’t tear yourself away from duties of old. Be aware that you now have a team with which to delegate certain tasks in order to free yourself, so you can focus on other areas.

There are plenty of resources available to you, so make sure you’re using them. Allocating the right amount of time to carrying out your new duties is important; attempting to steady the ship the old way might cause you to fall behind as a result.

Understand that learning doesn’t stop

As you begin your new role, it might seem apparent that you still have a lot to learn. And there’s nothing wrong with that; you’ve spent the last few years getting to know your previous role inside and out. It’s understandable that it might take some time to get into a rhythm with this new role.

Even in the same company, a promotion can seem like you’re starting at the beginning again; you have new systems to learn, new supervisors to answer to, and obviously a host of new skills and managerial techniques to get to grips with.

If this is your first managerial role, for example, then you’ll have to find out what works best for your subordinates, both on an individual and team basis. Additionally, you’ll need to learn about things like conflict resolution and negotiation that can help to smooth out any issues within the team.

This is why we stressed the importance of getting the lay of the land earlier. It’s tough to make changes without knowing how things operate within your new role. Take your time, and don’t fret if you don’t get things right straight away.

Expect different treatment

It’s not always the case, but your relationship with your former peers may change to a degree after your promotion. If you’re managing them now, then the power dynamic may come into play and the results aren’t always desirable.

You might find interactions with them aren’t the same, but if you can make everyone feel appreciated and heard, then there’s no reason you can’t maintain your previous relationships.

Mentor your subordinates

As a manager, it’s your role to support your team as much as possible. Don’t just tell them what to do, show them how to do it and then explain the reasons why. Part of your duty is to help them improve in their own roles. Praise them when appropriate and pass on any suggestions and ideas to your own supervisor.

A positive approach such as this benefits everyone involved. Not only will your subordinates appreciate that they’re improving, but it will also reflect well on you. If it’s time for another promotion, those in senior positions will be confident that someone on your team is ready to take your place. So, as you help those on your team to move up, you also help yourself to reach the next stage in your career.

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