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Career

What You’re Losing If You Don’t Get Promoted This Year

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Getting promoted is one of the most powerful events in your career. It’s something that most ambitious professionals seek. That makes promotions hard to come by – with lots of professionals jockeying for a small number of roles. But getting that promotion is critical. Sure, you probably can’t get promoted every year, but delays or missing promotions will have a major impact on your career and life. So if you want to achieve your ultimate career goals, it’s critical that you make sure you are always promotion-ready and visible to decision makers.

Wealth. Your future salary is determined by adding a percentage of the amount you currently earn. When you get promotions regularly, you increase your base salary multiple times and thereby increase your wealth. It works the same way as compounded interest. Getting one more promotion in your career and getting promotions as soon as you are ready – not waiting a year – will significantly impact your wealth. When you get a raise, if you save that extra income instead of spending it, you will have a better shot at an early retirement or whatever you decide to do with Chapter Two of your life.

According to Mercer’s 2015/2016 US Compensation Planning Survey, the average salary increase budget was 2.9% in 2016. Mercer’s survey shows that promotional increases as a percent of base pay are rising, a sign that organizations are looking internally at talent and career progression to retain key employees rather than risk losing them to competitors. These increases, which average approximately 8% of pay, vary by job category and consistently rose for all groups. There’s a significant difference between the average “cost of living” increase and the average promotional increase.

Self-esteem/Confidence. The financial impact is important, but the greater value is to your psyche, through the emotional benefits that come from being acknowledged by a promotion. Getting a promotion is a giant pat on the back. It’s recognition of what you have done and a vote of confidence in the potential you have. If you’re an ambitious professional, promotions are major milestones toward your ultimate goal. Not getting promoted, on the other hand, can zap your energy and dent your resilience. It can stall your career if you can’t push beyond the disappointment.

Influence. Whether it makes sense or not, we give more weight to the opinions of those with a big title. Having a more impressive title helps you open doors to other opportunities that extend beyond the walls of your company. Your ability to build your thought-leadership increases as your title reflects increasing seniority. The press seeks quotes from those who have credibility – and having a hefty title is a key criterion. The same content coming from a VP seems more credible than if it came from a Senior Director. Having a more senior title lets you play in a bigger sandbox.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you’re ready for promotion:

1. Am I knocking it out of the park it in my current role?

2. Do I meet or exceed all the qualifications for the role I seek?

3. Am I seen as a high-potential rising star in the organization – someone who could be a future senior leader?

4. Are the value that I deliver and the potential that I offer visible to decision makers and influencers?

5. Am I prepared to rock my annual performance review?

6. Do I have a sponsor – a senior leader who supports my promotion?

7. Do I offer value beyond what others who seek the same role offer?

If you can answer yes to all seven questions, here’s to getting promoted this year!

William Arruda is the cofounder of CareerBlast and creator of Ace Your Annual Review, a proven system to help you ace your performance review and get promoted faster.

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