You’ve Been Promoted! (Now What?)

You’ve Been Promoted! (Now What?)

You have been promoted.  Congratulations on your job promotion.  You are now a boss.  No matter whether you were selected by the owner or you applied for the position using information from your journal and were the candidate picked you are now in a position of authority over other employees.  One thing almost always remains the same.  You will be expected to know what to do without being given any training.  You may be fortunate enough to work for a business that will send you to training classes but first time supervisor training is rare.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t get it.  Even if you do get that benefit most of those classes are of minimal value.  Not that I believe in turning down education especially when you can get it for free.  But understand that you’re going to have to decide what actually applies to you.  Even if you feel the whole class was a waste of time you still have a completed training course to add to your journal for any future promotions or new jobs.

Needless to say this is not a one post topic.  I can’t tell you everything there is to being a boss in four or five paragraphs.  What I can do is start with the most common issue new supervisors deal with from the start.  The best way to promote someone is to promote them out of one group of people and put them in charge over a different group of people.  There are very few places that do that.  It’s just not a workable scenario for a lot of businesses.

So why do I say that’s the best scenario?  One of the hardest things to do is to go from hanging out with your co-workers, being their buddy, drinking with them, knowing their secrets, knowing what they did on the job that they shouldn’t have done, etc. and then becoming their boss.  People choose one of two paths.  They stay doing exactly what they had been doing and will eventually get demoted or fired or they try to be a good boss.  I’m only interested in the second option.  The first will take care of itself to that person’s detriment.

So, do you think nothing will change when you were once an equal and now you are their boss correcting them for their mistakes, maybe even disciplining them?  If so, you are mistaken.  If you are trying to be a good boss you will have to give direction, make corrections and give discipline.  It’s hard to do that to friends but it’s now your job.  It’s what you accepted.  As your friends start accepting your new role they won’t be as open with you.  You will start to feel as if you aren’t really part of the group anymore.  The truth is, you’re not.  As a boss you have to have a bit of distance between you and your subordinates.  The distance can be small but it still needs to be there.  You need to be able to step back from the kidding and step into boss mode whenever the situation requires it.

Some of your previous co-workers that you thought of as friends aren’t going to like this new situation.  Some may be jealous that you got the position.  Some may think someone else should have gotten it even if they didn’t want it themselves.  Some will think it’s awesome that you got it because they think they’ll be able to get away with all kinds of things.  You’re their friend, you won’t say anything.  And some will think you were a good choice.  That last category is quite often the smallest group.

Promotions change the office dynamics.  I’ve seen a lot of people be baffled and hurt after a promotion when people they thought were their friends turned out not to be.  The reality is you are there to do a job.  It’s the route you chose to achieve your goals and dreams.  Yes as a supervisor you are there for your people but as far as just having a job, you are there for yourself.  The quicker you can accept that things have now changed, that there is a divide that had not been there before, the quicker you can move forward towards becoming a good boss.  It’s not easy but it is necessary.