Thinking about promotion?
As we head towards the end of the year, it’s the time many Universities start to open their academic promotions processes. I love it when clients ask me to support them with their promotion applications because it is an exercise in helping someone to reflect on all the tremendous progress and achievements they have made through their career.
Most people (naturally) find it somewhat daunting when they start to examine the promotions criteria, with all of the high-powered buzzwords ‘Excellent’, ‘Inspirational’, ‘Innovative’, ‘Impactful’, ‘Distinctive’, ‘World-leading’, ‘Strategic’…..etc, and it’s an inevitable trigger for the old imposter syndrome to rear it’s ugly head – ‘Who are you to say you have made a sustained and distinctive contribution to your field?’ I hear your imposter gremlin cry!
However, by the time the application is ready to submit, most clients describe a genuine sense of pride in how far they have come and have usually re-discovered some successes they’d forgotten about in the general busyness of navigating day to day academic life. Regardless of the eventual outcome, the process of taking stock of your career to date and seeing it all described on a page is re-affirming. It is also a great opportunity to consider your goals for the future. As you reflect on what you’ve done for your application, you’ll naturally start to have ideas for things you’d still like to do. So, not only can a promotion application help you to recognise (and hopefully get recognition for) your current set of achievements, it can also help to boost your momentum and motivation towards the next phase of your career as you consider what comes next.
So, how do you overcome the self-doubt, push through the daunting buzz-words and put your best case forward for promotion? I definitely don’t claim to have a magic formula, but here’s a few thoughts to help you to get started: