Case Study: Paul’s Story. How to Get Promoted in Just 2 Months
Have you ever wondered how to get promoted, or simply felt like you should be doing more with your career…but have absolutely no idea where to start?
You’re not alone. All across the world, there are thousands of employees like you who never get to fulfil their true potential. And, all too often, it’s because they don’t know where their true strengths lie.
Because of this, they end up feeling frustrated, demotivated, and resign themselves to a lackluster career. And before they know it, the years have gone by and their dreams have become just a distant memory.
In fact, according to a recent survey by World at Work, only 9% of employees (based primarily in North America) received a promotion in 2014. And that’s a real shame, because it definitely doesn’t have to be this way.
Just ask Paul – now a sales director at a software company. If you’d have spoken to him two months ago and told him that he was going to become a sales director so fast he’d never have believed you.
Paul’s been with his company for three years, but knew that - deep down - he could be doing something better and more fulfilling with his career. However, he had no idea how to get promoted, and no career plan in place to change things for the better.
In today’s case study, you’ll discover how Paul went from having no direction to becoming a sales director in just two months.
Now, if that sounds incredible, it’s because Paul made incredible progress in an incredibly short amount of time.
But it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as you might think. In fact, it was as simple as the catchphrase written down on the index card by Paul’s desk: ‘Work smarter, not harder’.
Paul currently works in sales for a cloud software company based in Colorado. He’s worked in sales for about 15 years, and holds undergrad and MBA qualifications.
He’s been with his current company for around three years, but had recently felt that he was ready for the next challenge. It’s just that, two months ago, he had no idea what that next challenge was.
He says: “I knew I was looking for more, but I didn’t really know how to get there. So, I was sort of meandering around, not necessarily totally satisfied with my current situation.”
After a while, Paul started looking at other, more rewarding roles, and talking to people to find out what they’d done to get these jobs. He explains: “I wanted to find out the best way for me to get the same fulfilment from my career that I had when I started my job.”
What Started Paul Thinking…
Paul says the idea of moving into a new role or getting a promotion probably started around 12 months ago when his manager mentioned it.
He says: “He’d put it out on the table, and once you put it out on the table, it’s sort of always in the back of your mind. But, there was never a path for me to go from where I was at to where I wanted to be. And, I didn’t even necessarily know if that was the path I wanted to take – let alone how to get there!
“So, I’d been looking on and off, I’d been talking. I didn’t want to feel like I was annoying or pressurizing my organization. I wanted them to feel grateful for having me as an employee, but I felt like there was something more, and I didn’t know how to internalize it…or certainly didn’t know how to articulate it.”
How Did This Affect Paul?
The situation left Paul feeling frustrated… Apart from not knowing where to start from, he also didn’t have clarity on how to get promoted at work.
He says: “I have invested a good amount of effort and time into my company, and I really wanted to leverage that and take it to the next level, but I didn’t really know how to. I felt like even my company could use me better, but they didn’t necessarily know how to.
“But I knew that things weren’t just going to happen on their own; that something needed to happen.”
Soon after planting this seed of job promotion in his mind, Paul came across a potential solution
Searching for a Solution…and Finding it
After spending some time browsing executive job sites in order to better understand his opportunities in the job market, Paul came across my free training on 'How to accelerate your career without working harder or playing office politics'.
He says: “I wasn’t really in the market for any career trainings or coaching. I didn’t even know this was something I wanted or that existed, so I wasn’t actively searching.
“But, your free webinar came across my desk and I thought: ‘Well, what in the world – I may as well check it out!’ And, a lot of what you’d mentioned resonated with me, and I thought this is something that could potentially be worth the investment if it can give me the job satisfaction that I was looking for.”
Soon after attending the free training, Paul signed up for the Career Acceleration Formula, a step-by-step home training program that is designed to help struggling achievers to land a job promotion and boost their salary fast.
The Surprising First Step About How to Get Promoted… and the Action Paul Took
Paul wasted no time in taking action and learning everything he could about how to get promoted as soon as he enrolled on the course.
In his own words:
“I’m someone that once I get my mind set on something, I go hard after it – I think that might be from my sales background! So, once I started going through it, I was ploughing through the content of Career Acceleration Formula day and night.”
One of the first eye-opening moments for Paul came when he realized where his true strengths lie and how he can use them better.
He says: “For me, the whole idea of identifying your skills and strengths gave me the confidence to say to myself: ‘Yeah, this is something that I want to do!'
“Whenever you take on a new role or title, there’s always a hesitancy of the unknown and the risks, but finding your strengths and identifying those –things really clicked.”
Time for Massive Action!
Once Paul had identified his strengths, it was then a matter of putting them into action to get the promotion he was looking for. So how did he achieve this?
“It’s sort of like the cat’s out the bag! Once I put my strengths on the table and saw that I wasn’t using them, it was like getting slapped across the face and saying ‘You’re not happy with what you’re doing!’ It really emphasized that.”
Do you also feel that you have not been using your strengths at work? If so, here are the exact steps Paul took to get his promotion after he identified his strengths.
1) He talked to people in similar roles to the one he was after.
Most people try to identify their next perfect role by endlessly rationalizing pros and cons. Instead, Paul went out to validate his initial hypotheses through talking with people who are already in the roles he was aspiring to. This is a powerful strategy that can save you two to three years of being in a wrong job that 'looks good on CV.'
Paul says: "From there, I was just going after every which way to figure out what it is that I needed to do. So, I started looking externally and talking to people who had similar jobs to the ones I was looking to go after; I started looking at other titles and job descriptions and roles, and seeing what they were going after.
“And then, I also looked internally in my organization and I said ‘Where are the gaps? How can I leverage my skills and experience and take a higher level of responsibility to help our organization move forward?’ So, a combination of looking internally and externally is really what started putting the pieces into play."
2) Once he had a clear idea of what role to go after, Paul initiated a conversation with his manager.
Because Paul now had a crystal clear idea of how he was going to use his skills and experience for the good of his company, he felt much more confident about approaching his manager and discussing this.
In other words, he had a clear game plan of how his promotion was going to benefit his organization, which is very different from how most people think of job promotion (what’s in it for them as opposed to first giving value to the organization).
And that made having an open, constructive discussion a whole lot easier. Armed with a career development plan and the exact steps on how to get a promotion at work, Paul started to see changes….
He says: "Yeah! Things were now different because now there’s a dialogue. Now there is a discussion. Now there is a game plan and there are commitments around what that would look like.
“So it was definitely a plan and something where I could say to my boss ‘We’re on the same page here as far as what needs to happen and what the future will look like.’ So it’s getting these mutual commitments."
3) Paul used the powerful goal visualization technique he learned from the Career Acceleration Formula (wait until you hear about the result below)
One of my favorite ideas taught in the Career Acceleration Formula is for students to visualize their goals. This is because visualizing the outcome of something in the future gives you a clear goal to aim for.
It also puts you into the right mindset to achieve what you want to achieve. After all, it works for top athletes, so why shouldn’t it work for your career, too? Let’s ask Paul how it worked for him.
He explains: “I’ve got two different ways that I’ve been visualizing it. First, I got a little index card right here in my office. It has three main points: ‘Work smarter, not harder’, ‘Career success is in my hands’, and ‘The best jobs are not advertised, but created’.
“So I got those things lined up for me here as a reminder, and then I had a little note in my calendar every morning, at the top of the morning. It says, ‘Today is May 1st. I work as a director of sales in a software company.’
"That was sort of a reminder of what the goal was and what the priority was in managing my career. So, every day, I’d get that reminding me that this is something that’s important to me and that I want to focus on.”
Result: Promotion…on May 1st!
Paul didn’t just get the promotion (and the pay rise) he was looking for only two months after enrolling on the Career Acceleration Formula.
Spookily enough, he landed his dream role on May 1st – the exact same date he’d written down on an index card when he first started to visualize his goals!
No-one was more pleasantly surprised by this than Paul himself, who explains: “It was exactly the same day that I had expected two months back! It was weird!”
But although this prediction coming true might seem a little strange, there’s nothing ‘woo woo’ about it. Indeed, there’s nothing more complicated here than tried and tested techniques for getting the outcome you want in your career.
The 3 Key Beliefs That Helped Paul Get His Promotion so Fast
Belief #1: Work Smarter, Not Harder
This was one of Paul’s key mantras, but how did implementing this differ from the approach he’d been taking before he enrolled on the Career Acceleration Formula?
"Look, I’ve got my undergrad, I’ve got my MBA, and nowhere in any of this was there any conversation, topic or class about career development. You just go into a job, you want to work hard, deliver, and make people happy.
"That was sort of my mindset and there wasn’t anything about taking control of your life. So 'work smarter, not harder' - you want to deliver results for your organization but you’re also working as a means to an end.
"You’re not just working to work. You’ve got to have some goals in place as far as why you’re spending all this time and effort working. So really big focus, laser focus on the core objectives that are going to elevate my career from a professional or financial level as well as the organization. So, really narrowing it on that.”
Belief #2: Career Success is in My Hands
The next big mindset change for Paul was believing that the only person who could change things for the better career-wise was himself and no-one else.
"It was very empowering to remind myself that this isn’t something that’s just going to happen for me. And, I was looking at other jobs thinking that the grass is always greener. But the reality is, I don’t think that any organization has got their top priority focus on career development. Maybe, it just wasn’t anything that I’ve experienced. So I realized that I’m responsible for my career and no one is going to do it besides myself.”
Belief #3: The Best Jobs Aren’t Advertised, They’re Created
Paul’s third belief also made a huge difference to his career. This fundamental shift in mindset helped him think outside the box and go beyond traditional thinking to really help him nail that dream role.
“You can’t always be looking out there at the job boards for the next greatest thing. You’ve got to know what you’re looking for, you’ve got to have that focus and you’ve got to map it back to your skills, in your success stories, and you’ve got to create that job for yourself.
"That was the case for myself. I ended up getting promoted to a job role or title that didn’t exist because I knew from my experience, the gaps in my organization and how my skill sets play to that. It was a ‘win-win’ for everybody.”
Should You Also Invest in the Career Acceleration Formula?
I asked Paul about his investment in the Career Acceleration Formula. Hear his reply:
“Yeah! I got a salary increase. I got a very able compensation increase. It has definitely paid off in that regard as well.
It’s definitely the investment cost was pennies on the dollar, and that’s sort of how I thought about this thing. If I can get a promotion,whether it’s 10%, 15%, 20%, the cost of the course and the investment, worse case scenario is that I just learned a couple of things and exposed to something that I don’t know, but obviously with the end goal being that you make that promotion, that you get that financial upside, it was sort of easy to justify.
I guess the people that are listening to this - I’ve never spent, never invested that sort of money on anything for myself in career development, so it was sort of parting with a dollar or $2 was new for me. It’s just putting it that mindset an investment and seeing what their returns are and having the confidence in saying that this is a good program. I can work through it and achieve those results.”
So What's Next For You?
You’ve heard Paul’s story, so what’s the next step for you? If you’re struggling to advance your career, then click on the link to register for my next free career acceleration training.
During this training, I’ll be sharing some of my best strategies for career acceleration with you for free. Plus, you’ll also have the option of enrolling in my Career Acceleration Formula if there’s one open at the time.