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your new promotion

You've landed the promotion you wanted. Now, here's how to make the most of it.

By Shari Barnes

Over much of last year, your energies were directed toward the coveted promotion. You practiced interviewing in the bathroom mirror, you came to work early, and you perfected your executive demeanor. You were smiled on you with a promotion and a raise. Now what?

If you're a newly promoted manager, these steps will help you over the hurdles of your job:

(1) remember how you got here

You probably weren't the only internal candidate for the job, so tread lightly on colleagues' tender feelings and bruised egos. The person who promoted you should announce your new status. It's even better if the reasons for your promotion are also communicated. "Betty was selected for this promotion from a field of outstanding employees. I promoted her because she is thoroughly familiar with our new software and can train each of you." Don't hesitate to ask your boss for this kind of support. After all, she's the one who chose you, and if you're successful, it proves what a brilliant choice she made.

(2) tap into your company's politics

Tap into your company's politics to understand how to play your particular business game. But don't assume there's only one way to play a successful game. While a unique perspective can effect corporate transformations, you can't convert a system you don't understand. Think of yourself as a change agent. Many businesses operate in crisis mode, reserving the biggest rewards for employees who solve problems. Robin Bliss Patrick, training manager for a Florida manufacturing operation says, "My company's goal of achieving world-class status means we cannot afford to put out fires. Either we prevent problems or we go out of business." Moving from a solution mode to a prevention mode can save big dollars.

(3)network, network, network.

Whether its' called a good old boy system, or a good old girl system, a network system can work to support successful business. If one doesn't exist, you may do well to start one. Bonding processes work, and they don't only occur with softball teams or poker parties - you don't have to be an athlete or gambler to network. For instance, the female staff of a computer systems department takes an annual out-of-town shopping trip and invites members of other offices to come along. They write a mystery with inside company jokes and everyone plays a different character. "No one is allowed to be serious or in charge," says information services manager Linda Haskell. "We may enjoy an apparently totally frivolous weekend, but the camaraderie lasts throughout the year. You'd be surprised," she says, "at the resources I can call on because of friendships I've made during this one weekend."

(4)make yourself visible.

You probably did a fair amount of this in order to get the job. Don't discontinue the process just because the paperwork on your desk has tripled. Visibility can be negative if you use your new power to make drastic changes overnight. Establish your credibility in low-key ways that don't identify you as a career driven personality climbing your way to the top over the bodies of peers and subordinates. Respond also to some less-aggressive needs, chairing a company charity drive or organize a business educational or social event. Not only will you communicate a positive personal image, you'll also build an internal network of friendly resources.

(5)listen to your staff

They will make or break you. Meet individually with the people who work for you, and let them know you value their input and ideas. Your talents and abilities plus the skills and strengths of your employees equal a dynamic corps. Teamwork isn't just a could be the ticket to your next promotion.

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Sharon (Shari) Eurich Barnes is Director of Employee Relations for Texas Christian University. Complementing her human resource career, Ms. Barnes writes for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Working Mother, Women as Managers and Management Review. She also conducts private and court-ordered mediations.

In addition to hosting Books in Review on cable television, Ms. Barnes speaks on employment issues for professional associations and conferences.

Ms. Barnes received her Bachelor's degree from California Baptist University and Master's degree from Texas Christian University. Among other affiliations, she is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, American Society for Training and Development, American Association of University Women, Fort Worth Human Resource Association Board of Directors (past), College and University Personnel Association, Fort Worth Mayor's Committee for Disabled Persons, and Tarrant County Association of Mediators Board of Directors. Ms. Barnes has also been named to Who's Who Among American Women.

Comments and questions about this article: Shari Barnes.

The opinions expressed in articles by this author do not necessarily represent the opinions of MindData. These articles are provided as a means of informing you of current events and opinions that impact employers and the workplace.

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