How to Get Promoted During a Recession

by Shawanda Greene

Raised Glasses for Celebratory Toast

Photo by Melalouise

This is a guest post written by Tiá Jones, MBA. Tiá is the owner of SistersSpace.com - the fastest growing online community for women of color.

If you frequently watch the news, all you hear are the negatives.

Revolution this.

Unemployment that.

Things are bad, but they aren’t bad for everyone.

Since 2006, I’ve been promoted four times. My income has increased more than 30% (and this was all within the same company).

By no means am I a career expert, but here are a few simple strategies that worked for me.

  1. Pray. Your path should be spiritually guided. If you’re unsatisfied with your current job, ask God for direction, clarity, and motivation.
  2. Take risks. Sometimes you have to leave a job and a city that you love with the hope that more opportunities abound elsewhere. I took such a chance and hated my new job almost immediately. There were no advancement opportunities!
  3. Further your education. Six months into the job, I realized that it wasn’t working. I went to graduate school and decided to stay in my current position until I finished.
  4. Recognize the warning signs. If your work is slowing down, take heed. You’ll either come to the realization it’s time to get serious about your career progression or move on.
  5. Network. People underestimate the value of building relationships. I was referred to a position through networking. It helps you get your foot in the door, but it’s up to you to stay in the game.
  6. Take a job for no pay. This is the part that many people don’t want to hear. I left my job for no additional pay. I actually loss money and a week’s vacation. However, my focus was on the better opportunity. Don’t get stuck on making more money. If you do the right things, more money will come.
  7. Work your butt off. Stay late. Request work on new projects. Help your colleagues.  Build up a reputation of being a solid performer and team player.
  8. Ask for a promotion. Make it known to your supervisor(s) that you’re interested in moving up with the company. Explicitly state that you’re ready to take on more responsibility. Show that you’re the perfect person for the job. Doing so led to my promotion to a lead position as well as company sponsored management courses.
  9. Stay positive. The industry I worked in was timultuous. My new company was involved in a merger. In fact, they were laying people off.  It was more important than ever to express my eagerness to adapt and my excitement about the changes.
  10. Be proactive. As things changed, and management shifted, I was left with a new boss and no work to do. By reaching out to my old customers and assisting them, my value to the company was clear. As a result, a position was created for me to gain experience as manager. (Read #8)

In five years, I went from small time analyst to Assistant Vice President with staff in two cities. The best advice I can give you is focus on the opportunity. Be prepared to make adjustments along the way.

Sure. The economy isn’t great.

People are unemployed.

People are underemployed.

Don’t let that stop you from aggressively pursuing your career goals.

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