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by Rob Porter | November 09, 2023


One of the most rewarding things that can happen during the course of your career is getting a promotion. Earning a new title typically means a higher salary, and in certain cases a promotion might also mean added perks or a better work/life balance. Of course, all of this comes along with more responsibility, and the possibility that you’ll be leading a team of people. A promotion is a great accomplishment, and is something that’s worth celebrating.

Depending on the person, a promotion can also be stressful. You might feel unsure about your new position, fearing that you lack the necessary skills to take on more challenging tasks and bigger responsibilities. These thoughts can actually stifle your progress, and could create problems for you down the line. Worse yet, negative thought patterns can lead to serious emotional issues. Promotion anxiety can affect just about anyone, so it’s important to recognize the signs while taking steps to overcome it.

Change Your Perspective

If the initial feelings of excitement and accomplishment have worn off and you’re starting to feel uneasy about your promotion, the first thing you should do is take a step back and try to see things from another perspective. There’s likely a good reason why you’re being given these new responsibilities—in other words, your promotion wasn’t an accident.

If you’ve been a great employee, consistently churned out excellent work, and displayed leadership qualities in how you deal with major projects and collaborate with others, it hasn’t gone unnoticed. You wouldn’t have been promoted if management thought you couldn’t handle it, and keeping that in mind will help you to build self-confidence moving forward.

Research Your New Position

Taking on a new role will likely require you to develop additional skills, and your day-to-day tasks might be very different from what you’re used to. Take some time to review any information you can find about your new position. Online job descriptions are great since they often provide bullet points detailing the skills the role requires. You could also reach out to friends or network connections who already have the same job, and ask them any questions you might have.

In the event you don’t have all the skills your new role requires, work on developing the ones you’re missing right away, and don’t be afraid to ask questions at work. Remember, you’ve been promoted for a reason, and management is aware that there is a learning curve associated with taking on a new role, so asking questions will show that you’re eager to learn and motivated to succeed.

Set Goals

Once you’ve seen what your new day-to-day looks like, consider setting some goals for yourself. These goals can be as simple as completing a project or developing a new skill, or depending on your role, you could set goals related to sales. Think of your goals as a sort of roadmap towards further success in your career.

Start with goals that are smaller and easier to achieve, this way you’ll get a nice confidence boost each time you accomplish something. When you’re consistently hitting your goals, you’ll feel motivated and excited about your work, and you might start to consider setting new goals in your personal life as a result.

Learn from Mistakes

It’s very important that you allow yourself to make mistakes. No one’s perfect, and it’s never easy to jump into a new role, especially if you’ve got an entire team counting on you. There will be times when you’re uncertain about how to proceed with a project or deal with an issue between team members, and it’s quite possible that you’ll make a few mistakes.

Try to see mistakes as learning opportunities. Be mindful of the steps you took and what the outcome was. Next time, try a different approach. If you expect yourself to be immune to errors and missteps, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Everyone makes mistakes; it’s whether you learn from them or not that makes a difference.

Reward Yourself

As we said earlier, a promotion is a reason to celebrate. Sure, taking on a whole new set of responsibilities can seem daunting, but after some time you’ll feel right at home in your new role. Let yourself feel the sense of accomplishment from being promoted, and make plans to spend time with friends and family to celebrate. It can be far too easy to find things to worry and stress about, whether it’s your career or your personal life, so give yourself some props—you’ve earned it.