1. You learn if you like it
One of the worst outcomes of a promotion is when a great performer realizes they have made a mistake and do not like their new job. This often happens with technical employees who love to solve problems and get their hands dirty in complicated situations. When promoted to a manager role, these individuals are not challenged in the same way. Instead, they find themselves submerged in meetings and miss “adding value.” Stepping into the role before you have it allows you to give it a test drive. It is easier to return to the lot if you are unhappy with the outcome.
2. People appreciate others willing to step forward and help
Becoming a Manager when you were just a previous team member is a hard adjustment. As much as you want relationships to stay the same, they just cannot. You will now have great insight into the skills and capabilities of your peers and they will have to change how they approach you. This transition is easier if they have had a preconceived notion that you were always willing to step forward and help the team. Being selfless is a characteristic that translates well into future management positions – take it from someone who once attacked all problems as zero-sum contests. Do everything you can to make your team successful.
3. Propels you to figure out how to do your existing job more efficiently
One of the benefits of taking on more responsibilities is that you reprioritize your own job. Tedious manual tasks you used to spend more time on because you were aiming for a certain quality shift in priority. Instead, discover methods of building an automated solution to become more productive. The same goes for complicated items that you would once individually look through; these reduce in occurrence to allocate more time to learn new skills. When you stretch yourself, you will find that resetting your own priorities helps you become even more effective at your current job.
4. Makes it hard for your boss not to give you the job
The most difficult thing you can do is refuse an individual that is doing a great job and has the support of their peers, from stepping into a more elevated role. It is an expected natural step and when done well, hard for your manager not to recognize that you are clearly the better choice. The term “reverse reciprocity” denotes a situation where you have done something positive for someone and in turn, that person becomes more inclined to return the favor. Use human nature to your advantage and create a great culture in the meantime.
5. Helps you earn your position through sweat equity (and show it)
With a lack of information, people tend to fill in the void with a best guess. “Why did Sally get that job?” … The boss always gives her the easy assignments.” “How did Jerry get promoted when he was only in that position for six months, while his peers were there for three years?” … “He is clearly someone’s favorite.” Doing the job first demonstrates that you have earned your position and removes the information void. This way, if you are ever in the same situation as Sally or Jerry, you won’t have to initially overcome everyone else’s predisposed belief that you were not fully qualified for the position you earned.
6. Forces you to keep thinking of your overall growth prospects
I find it challenging to discuss how to grow an individual’s career when they respond to each of my trial project suggestions with the likes of, “Just give me the position and then I will show you I can do it.” While I appreciate someone clearly putting their objectives in the open, I find the reason that we are discussing career opportunities is because they are not doing much of the above and have often plateaued in their careers.
If they are only looking for a promotion for promotion’s sake, once the initial elements of the new role wear off, I typically find these individuals do not enjoy their job. Ultimately, poor habits tend to creep into their daily operations. Not long after, in one way or another, the individual wanting the position ends up leaving the organization.
Organization’s need to provide the environment for employees to have these opportunities, as well as the safety, so that these stretch assignments fail correctly. That is, with a lesson learned. However, the environment is just one factor. The true talent comes from the individual and their want to drive to the effort forward. Make it hard for your company to not promote you by doing the job before you