Happiness and Sadness in Pursuit of Promotion

21 May

The word ‘promotion’ was made significant to us right from the early days of our childhood. Back in school, every year we had to clear examinations and the results would say ‘Promoted to the Next Class’. If somebody was not promoted he/she would be seen as a big failure and would cause huge embarrassment to their parents. So the race for promotions starts early on in our lives and we are conditioned to run after it. Doesn’t it sound a bit sad? But if you look back, sometimes it was fun, exciting, sad and now we can laugh about it and learn from it. So let me share my experiences about promotions with you through this blog .

My first promotion. When I started working, the thought of getting a promotion always existed somewhere at the back of my mind. It seemed like the most obvious indicator of growth. I thought to myself that I should be the first to deliver good performance and always be ahead in the race. As I moved up the corporate ladder, there were times when I felt that I deserved a promotion but I didn’t get it. I was disappointed but soon realized that my next move should be to find out how I could hone my skills further to become better at what I did. How could things have been done differently? That’s when I made an effort to understand the expectations of my superior, vision of my company and started working towards it. Promotions happen because of your competencies and skills. When you become great at what you do and promotions become insignificant, success will be yours. But when you’re obsessed about getting it, you lose track of the development of your skills. That’s when your performance suffers.

Season of promotion. This is as some rightly say, the promotion season in India. Some will get promoted, some won’t. Some will be content while some may feel disappointed and think it’s unfair to them. A gladiator becomes a better fighter due to grueling practice sessions notwithstanding pain and suffering. When the others rest, he continues to practice his skills. And that’s how he prepares himself for a victory. A lot of us in the pursuit of our short term desires forget to have a vision of a long term goal. We lose track of the development of our skills. Stay updated about the pulse of your business; learn from the best practices in the industry. One must believe in persistent innovation and disruption of the way they operate to ensure optimum results. Learn to focus on your skill-set, collaborating for constant learning and having an open mind towards success as well as failure.

Step out of your comfort zone. In a particular profile or location there’s a limit to which you can grow. Beyond a certain point it’s difficult to expect any growth. I realized this early on in my career that when you take up new roles, a new challenge, that’s when you learn to innovate, come up with new strategies and that’s how you evolve. During the course of my career I’ve taken up work in different departments, roles and locations to understand the business thoroughly. One example that I cite is when we started to learn driving we were very watchful of the clutch, brake but now that we’re trained we don’t even think about it. It’s a reflex. So the mind is not working hard to learn something new. Essentially the job we do should constantly move us out of our comfort zone. Irrespective of our good performance in a particular role, we should look at new geographies, new channels, new business lines to increase our exposure and learn new things. I realized that doing this always kept me very agile, increased my business exposure and learning which positioned me higher-up in accomplishing my responsibilities.

Understand your ambition. We should be very clear in our career expectations; what is the designation that we aspire for and in what time-frame. Jot it down against the attributes which are required for that role. I did that too. In some areas I learnt a great deal in the company and in some areas I enhanced my knowledge by taking up the required courses. This is how I kept pursuing my ultimate goal while enhancing my skills accordingly. So the clarity on what one aims for has to come early on in their career. You could aspire to become the CEO, President or a Regional Manager, but you are the one who will decide this. Once you’ve decided, relevance of what you should be learning becomes clear.

Collaborating with peers. One aspect that we miss out as we move up is peer understanding, collaborating well and working in a cross-functional team. If you were lucky to get promoted at the first instance without collaborating, as you move up you’ll realize the importance of it. You may be very good at individual performance but as you move up, the weightage of this quality in your overall performance decreases. Team performance, collaboration, driving your point across to the team is what will matter the most. One should also remember that as one keeps moving up, the same skill set will not ensure that you get promoted every time. Your skill set has to evolve and so should your leadership style, attitude. This is one my most valued learning and realization, as it made me a much better professional as I moved up in my career.

Finally. One core quality that I always endorse is being a good human being. In everything you do what takes you to greater heights is being a good human at heart.

So fundamentally, getting what you desire depends on developing your skills, tracking its progress and collaborating with your peers. My biggest learning is that happiness should be the ultimate indicator of one’s growth and not promotions.

19 Responses to “Happiness and Sadness in Pursuit of Promotion”

  1. Sameer S Oturkar May 22, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Respected Sir, Thanks for sharing as this will help us to think differently and will help to groom our mindframes.

  2. Nitish Kr. Roy May 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    Repected Sir,
    Thanks you so much for sharing this great views and suggestion which definitely help us to grow up our career. After the promotion list was released, I was a little bit of upset but when I understood the expectation of the company from me, I have already decided to move up (relocate) from my present location by consulting with my ZHR

  3. Rajeev bhandari May 22, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Sir, excellent article and am sure people reading this, would hugely benefit out of this.

    This article has delivered a very powerful message in a very simple form and that is “continous sharpening of one’s skill’s set”

    Thank you


  4. Bhaskar Nerurkar May 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Sir, the article covers the topic of promotions and beyond extremely well. Thanks for sharing the thoughts!

    • Anuj Singh Salaria May 23, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      Sir, Rightly and well said….
      1. Step out of your comfort zone
      2. Understand your ambition
      3. Collaborating with peers

      Thanks for sharing, as this will help the teams and everyone to prepare themselves.

  5. Nikhil Bharadwaj May 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Excellent blog, makes a lot of sense sir. The Disappointment that one feels after not being promoted is beyond words, and one seeks clarity. This sort of clarity which you have rendered, can be really useful to motivate oneself towards continuous improvement.

  6. roopa kochhar May 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Tapan, very nicely written..makes a lot of sense and as usual you do a great job of using your own story to drive the point home :) ! Agility , rigour and collaboration..the values that help differentiate between good and great …

  7. Anil Bhalla May 26, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Dear Sir

    thanks for your sharing your views in such a nice manner.
    Excellent article.
    as you grow up, you have to come out of your comfort zone and learn to collaborate with your peers and aim for your ambition and work towards it.


    Anil Bhalla

  8. Sameer Lone May 26, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Respected Sir,
    Thanks for this wonderfull Blog,One who read it would definitely get back to the childhood & how often we have been growing right from schooling…This beautifull article on Promotions in life with relate to the Happiness & sadness would really be an Energy Booster & would aspire everyone in the industry to reach their Potential..

  9. MAHENDRA SHARMA May 26, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    Respected sir,

    Thanks for writing this block, it was very much needed, we always go in to shell due to over expectations.
    sir you have mentioned about amibiton which i liked most. it is great motivation for us.

  10. Gaurav Gupta May 26, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for sharing your views with us, this will surely help to the fresher like us to groomed our carrier.

  11. Anagha Kulkarni May 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Thanks Sir for sharing your thoughts..
    It helps in analysing oneself from a different point of view..

    best regards,

  12. Niladri Sarkar May 27, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Excellent blog Sir,it’s reality personified.It’s actually the flashback of the journey completed so far,from school to corporate by climbing up the ladder to acheive happiness through continuous improvement and perseverance.
    Thoroughly enjoyed,Thank you.

  13. Rajiv Jaiswal May 29, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    Respected Sir ,

    I sincerely thank you for the superb thoughts you have shared above . I am sure , it will help many tyro’s like me to cope in tough and competitive situation .

  14. Francis June 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Dear Mr. Singhel,

    It is quite surprising to see a CEO of a company blog to its customers and definitely its welcoming to notice the use of Information Technology.

    Before reaching this page, I had a feeling that BA is less IT savvy because of a glitch in the Policy renewal page .The Name section I couldn’t enter ‘i’ from Francis as it was not taking it. I had to workaround to do the renewal.

    After this I am sure this will be taken care.

    All the best and good wishes for the future.


  15. Anup Kumar Verma June 14, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Dear Sir,
    thanks a lot for sharing such important views. Learning to be happy is most difficult, challenging and final factor of life. Promotion is require to get some financial benefit, social status and have a chance to share our experience to a broader group but as you said that happiness is final factor. again thanks sir for such important insight of life. Reg- Anup kumar verma

  16. Prawin Mishra June 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    Dear Sir,

    As usual sharing live examples from your own experience goes deep within reader’s heart. Its a touchy & sensitive issue & I really appreciate the way you have shown the path to bounce back & become gladiator. The ball goes as high as its hit hard on the ground. Taking cue from there the ones left in the race need to sharpen their skills & show more determined approach towards goal as per expectations of their role.

  17. Alpesh Patel September 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Respected Sir,

    Thanks for sharing this article . This will certanily us people like me who had statred our carrier or novice to System and helps us to grow further in this corporate world.

  18. bath robes.design September 17, 2017 at 5:34 am #

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