After getting her new advertising, Hope Hicks will have to keep alert during this transitional period, and not merely because of the frequency with which individuals leave the Trump administration after brief tenures.
Hicks, 28, was named interim White House communications director on Wednesday, replacing Anthony Scaramucci. A longtime aide to President Trump, Hicks becomes the fourth person to hold the role since the president’s inauguration. Though a permanent communications director will be announced finally, the appointment nonetheless represents a major advertising for Hicks, who was serving as director of strategic communications and handled communications tasks since the start of Trump’s presidential campaign.
Big promotions, whether temporary or permanent, can radically alter the course of one’s career — to say nothing of the higher salary and respect that typically includes a title change. But those that are newly promoted may also face higher expectations, jealousy and self-doubt in the process. “As you grow up the ladder you become more vulnerable in corporate America,” said Lynn Taylor, workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Bad Office Tyrant.” “You must be ready to take more criticism and warmth.”
Here are 10 dos and don’ts for navigating a game-changing advertising.
Do not get uppity and only talk to the ‘higher ups’
As NowThisNews editor Kim Bui told Poynter, talking to support staff such as IT technicians or assistants will be helpful when it comes to the nitty-gritty, such as finding office supplies. If senior management notices that a promotion has gone to a worker’s head, that could ruin that person’s chances of another advertising or, worse, even keeping their job.
Discover How you will be judged in your new role
Familiarity with an organization does not equate to familiarity with a new job and its responsibilities. Determine the clearest expectations possible of what managers want them to perform in their new job, Taylor said. “Proceed beyond the job description,” she said. “Find out from the boss how they define success and failure in your work,” she said. Don’t assume you will be judged by the same criteria.
Do not shy away from embarrassing conversations
It’s natural that some co-workers will be jealous or angry about someone else getting a promotion, but avoiding talking about it can often make things worse, ” said Dorie Clark, a marketing strategy consultant. Previously close relationships with colleagues can be an asset to people who have moved up the corporate ladder. “There is a propensity to want to shy away from those relationships,” Clark said. “This is the wrong move because it cements the weirdness.”
Discover what people are happy and unhappy about
For someone like Hicks, who may now be the boss of people she once worked with, it’s important to find out more about what people feel is and isn’t working about the company (in this case, the White House.) Do not wait for people to come to you. “Employees may have had great ideas all together, but previous leaders may not have had the opportunity to listen to them,” Clark noted.
But don’t be too pushy if someone does not want to talk about the new situation. Similarly, be careful not to exclude anyone. “Showing favoritism is the fastest way to reduce your team’s commitment and zap morale,” Taylor said.
Make your colleagues’ respect, but don’t try to be a superhero
Spare a thought for Anthony Scaramucci, who had been fired as head of communications in the White House last month. While it’s important to make a mark, doing too much too quickly can be just as insecure as not doing enough. “That’s when you can overstep your boundaries and make mistakes,” Taylor said. Delegate tasks and handle responsibilities one at a time.
Figure out what your predecessor didn’t do
There’s a reason you have promoted: Your bosses saw you perform at a high level and, if your predecessor was pushed out, he or she wasn’t up to snuff. Take some time to work on soft skills such as presentation skills or volunteering to take on a new job that one’s predecessor hadn’t tackled, Taylor said. “This way you are recognized for a new set of activities and accomplishments,” she said.
Do not try to change too much (and don’t avoid change)
Tackling one’s job following a promotion is a balancing act, based on leadership expert Kevin Eikenberry. “Avoid being the person who wants to change everything immediately, and avoid being the person who wants to leave everything alone,” he said. A complete overhaul runs the danger of coming across as some type of autocrat. But don’t be a pushover.
Decide on a leadership style
It sounds wonky, but winging your leadership style can be hard. Your direct reports may influence that. “It’s a balancing act between listening to their opinions, but being willing at the end of the day to make a clear decision even when that may be upsetting to particular factions,” Clark said. And don’t forget to alert clients and anyone else in your company, especially if they could be inadvertently affected by the advertising, said career consultant Lynn Berger.
Let yourself be cautious about the advertising
Obtaining a new promotion is a rewarding experience, but many individuals naturally feel fearful of boasting about their accomplishment. While someone who has received a promotion may want to wait some time before broadcasting such, posting about a promotion on social media is not taboo.
And, remember, your team’s accomplishments are your achievements. So celebrate them. After all, as Taylor puts it: “You may not get as many pats on the back once you’ve been promoted.”
Everyone is winging it — you are not an impostor
Finally, the challenges that come with a new job will naturally leave many to imposter syndromes and feelings of being ill-prepared or insufficient. But thoughts like these can be self-sabotaging. It’s important to remember that the advertising occurred for a reason. “Everyone experiences a moment or two where they wonder whether they’re worthy,” Taylor said. Showing up for work with a smile, some humility that you are not perfect and a collegial manner is a fantastic start.
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