How to promote in economic times

And now, with layoffs, budget cuts, and hiring freezes dominating the headlines, the signs of a global recession are surely on the horizon for many of America’s largest employers. .

In fact, a survey sent out by the World Economic Forum to chief economists in January found that two-thirds of respondents believe a recession will occur by 2023 — nearly 20% of whom consider it “very likely”.

While many have sent back their estimates when the economy hits, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development‘s (OECD) business confidence index continues to fall since the start of 2022.

And it’s true, with businesses pessimistically tightening the ropes as they prepare to weather an economic storm, a promotion and salary can be a tough sell.

But while experts agree that it’s harder to advance your career during a recession—they have insider tips on how candidates can best position themselves to do so.

Show that you can deliver today

For Amelia Sordell, founder of Klowt, a UK-based personal branding agency, the best way to show managers you’re ready for a move is to prove you can will give you the role you want next time.

“More often than not people get promoted to the level of their incompetence. What I mean by that is, you’re good at your current job, you get promoted to the next level,” he explained. “It makes sense, doesn’t it?” right? Wrong. This makes no sense. There is no evidence to suggest that just because you are good at your current job that you are good at the one you want to promote.

That said, he advises employees to take the initiative and do the job they want within three months: “Involve yourself in tasks, take responsibility. Show that you can. And if you want to manage, start teaching other staff members, give them one-on-one.

Competition vs collaboration

Competing for promotions against your peers is also natural, adds Sordell. In fact, a survey of 1,000 people in 2020 by software company Prodoscore found that 67% of people want to know how they stack up compared to peers.

But hiring managers will notice if you’re being selfish to the detriment of your peers, “Don’t act like ‘It’s not my job’. If there’s a problem, fix it. And if you don’t fix it? Flag it to someone who can. Catch the dropped balls, help your teammates out,” Sordell said.

“People think that to get promoted you have to be selfish—and to a certain extent you do. But to get the attention you need to get a promotion, you also need to play the high game and also add value to your colleagues’ lives.

Sordell was echoed by career coach Matthew Warzel, who said that building relationships with colleagues not only shows that you are a leader but also gives you better control over the company’s goals. In a recession, he explained, companies are more focused on generating revenue and cutting costs.

For people outside of sales functions it may be more difficult to demonstrate your value to the bottom line but by working with other departments, you will identify projects and initiatives that you can help support or go on, he continued.

“Be open to new ideas and ready to face new challenges, even if they are out of your comfort zone. Analyze the market and see if there are new opportunities that you can take advantage of company,” he added. “Bring your ideas to your supervisor and be prepared to show how they can benefit the company.”

In a world of wolves, be a hedgehog

In 1953, Isaiah Berlin wrote an essay on personality types titled ‘Hedgehog and the Fox’. The wolf knows many things, Berlin explained, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. And in the economic downturn it’s the hedgehogs that thrive, says Matt Cooper, CEO of online learning platform Skillshare.

“At this time, companies are looking for specialists who are unique talents in the specific area of ​​​​expertise that they need most and solve specific problems. In a recession, specialists get jobs and generalists will struggle,” he said. “For this reason, it is beneficial for candidates to dig into their specific area of ​​expertise or discipline and master it with new and advanced skills to stand out.”

Promotion at a distance

It can be harder to stand out from the crowd when your name is best known on Slack, but in a post-pandemic world where employees want to maintain their newfound work/life balance there’s no reason you should miss out.

That’s according to Amanda Day, director of people enablement at global employment expert Remote.

“It’s hard to get a promotion, even in a strong economic environment. To do it in a recession, especially if you’re working remotely, you have to be intentional about making sure that the job you done in line with how your performance is evaluated,” he said. “If you’re spending a lot of time doing work that doesn’t show up on a performance evaluation, that could be a sign that you need to talk to your manager about adjusting your measured goals to meet that job or acquisition. some of that works on your plate.”

Being flexible in your career path can also help you advance faster, he added. Companies want Meta, Alphabet and Amazon Everyone is launching hiring freezes and as a result, getting a leg up by backfilling a colleague who has left becomes more realistic.

“The role above your current role may not be available, but you can apply for a higher position within another department if someone leaves,” Day added. “Promotion is not something you can force to happen – instead, show professional maturity and find ways to demonstrate the value you can bring to a higher role.”

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