Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

How to Move Up Without Falling Down

Career Success

What’s the one thing that’s stopped you from grabbing a promotion that should have been yours? For most people, it’s fear. That’s right. Fear that they might not be good enough or that they’ll actually get the job and won’t know what to do when they finally arrive in the executive suite.

Fear holds lots of people back. However, it doesn’t have to hold you back if you know how to move up without falling down.

Look, I get it. I was once in your shoes. At the age of 24-years old, I asked for a promotion and actually got it. Overnight, I was thrust into the executive suite with a team of people old enough to be my parents. Was I frightened? You betcha! But I knew this once in a lifetime opportunity was something that I had to grab.

Lucky for me, I was assigned a coach, who helped me swiftly navigate through some huge landmines. You see, not everyone was happy to see someone my age snag a corner office. But what did I know? I thought everyone was as excited to have me on the team, as I was to be there. Looking back, I can say with 100 percent certainty, this was not at all the case.

Here are some lessons I learned on how to move up without falling down.

  1. If you want the job, you’ve got to ask for it. Sure, it would have been great for my ego if the CEO would have come to me and asked me nicely if I’d consider taking my boss’s place. However, I soon realized that I needed to put my ego aside and ask for what I wanted or someone else would take my dream job.

Are you waiting on the sidelines until you are “ready?” I can tell you from personal experience that you’ll never be 100 percent ready. Nor will the person who steps forward and takes your promotion right from under you be fully ready either.

Now if you’re really not ready because you don’t have the required education or even half of the experience being asked for, this is the time to go get it.

2. Those who self-promote get promoted. Have you ever noticed that those who get promoted aren’t necessarily the smartest people in the room? They usually have one thing in common. They have no problems letting others know about their accomplishments.

I get how self-promotion can be uncomfortable. After all, shouldn’t your work speak for itself? If this were the case, why do so many artists become famous after their death? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be recognized and compensated for all that I do while I’m alive.

The good news is that anyone can learn to self-promote. But first you have to change your mindset and believe that you’d be remiss if you didn’t share your talents with others.

3. Everyone is learning on the job. I know, it must sound shocking that even your CEO is still learning on the job. And that’s a good thing. No doubt he’ll expect his team to be open to learning as well.

Back in my early days of management, the only way to develop yourself was to go to graduate school or if you were fortunate enough to work for a big company, you might be invited to participate in management training. Today you can learn 24/7 on your way to and from work and from the comfort of your desk. In fact, you can preview my latest Learning on Managing Up right here.

Sorry to say, but there are no excuses anymore for not being fully prepared for the role you are taking on. If you prefer, you can hire a coach who can help you accelerate your performance.

So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to stay in your current job and wait until you’re ready or are you going to give yourself permission to go for it? I hope you’ll choose to soar!

© Matuson Consulting, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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Join me this fall as I launch a new coaching group called Probable Promotions. The Probable Promotions Coaching Program is for experienced leaders who are interested in boosting their effectiveness as a leader and securing their next promotion. The next program begins in October andwill be limited to 10 people to ensure everyone has adequate air time. We’ll meet virtually for an hour twice a month. We’ll discuss real-time issues that are holding you back, as well as strategies to ensure you’re top of mind when the next promotion becomes available. Included will be unlimited access to me via phone and email. An option for a half-day immersion session will be offered for those looking to super charge their leadership skills. The fee for the Probable Promotions Coaching Program is $5,000 for three months, $8,500 for those selecting the immersion option. Contact me at to secure your place.

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