What is Career Promotion Anxiety and How To Prevent It

Being offered a higher role is an exciting and fulfilling reward for a job well done. However, for many, promotion is bittersweet as that would mean taking a new challenge, learning a new system, and stepping out of your comfort zone. This is the ultimate reason why many would rather keep their existing jobs and positions instead of facing the sugarcoated opportunity. It is even harder when you ponder on the fact that if you choose to miss it, it might never come around soon again — especially in these trying times of the pandemic which is responsible for many employment uncertainties experienced by many, one must carefully study the pros and cons first before turning the promotion down.

Career Promotion Anxiety

Mental conditioning helps to color the gray areas of any challenge we sometimes find ourselves confronted with. It is a process of training your mind by modifying thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes — to accept thinking patterns, tendencies, and or mental states so that we can optimize positive thinking and therefore optimize our performance. Getting a promotion at work may trigger career promotion anxiety but as soon as you initiate change in your perspective, the promotion might turn out to be life-changing. The promotion reflects your incredible job performance, which only means your supervisors not only saw the potential in you for the role but also took notice of your productivity and efficiency. Saying yes to the offer might be advantageous for your compensation package as well, alongside other benefits and perks.


What is Career Promotion Anxiety?

Career promotion anxiety is a feeling of an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety associated with a promotion. It is normal, natural and everyone experiences it as each would reflect on his or her capabilities. Rationally, we all are, by nature, afraid of failure, disappointing others, and new responsibilities. But by being open to change, getting a pep talk from your boss, and getting feedback from your colleagues who believe in your skills, you will be able to smoothen things out.


How to Prevent Career Promotion Anxiety

It is not every day that we get a chance to be offered a step to further our career growth. Here are 12 ways for you to hopscotch your way out of the anxiety loop:


1. Know your mentors

It pays to have someone who can become your strong ally or coach who you can lean on during your role transition period. At times, you may find yourself in between forked roads where decision-making is crucial, a mentor can help you be enlightened from a different point of view or perspective so that you can reach a sound decision.


2. Make a Gantt chart for yourself

This can help you identify your plans and be guided by them throughout your transition. In this way, you can also monitor your progress and stay on top of your goals and objectives by following a specific timeline. Set self targets per week or month.


3. Identify your leadership style

Before you get frantic about how you are going to treat your colleagues differently with your new role, you must know the kind of impression you want to make. Then, talk to your team members or colleagues about the changes you might think would work and consider hearing them out so you would know which leadership style can bridge the gap between you and them.


4. Know your scope

Not for job complexity or going the extra mile but for your understanding. Many new promotees tend to jumpstart in their new role by immediately going out of their scope. Remember, you need to master your new role first before dipping your fingers outside your quadrant. If your supervisors know you for always going beyond, they also know it would take you time to warm up with the new role and take off.


5. Attend seminars and conferences in your field

There are plenty of webinars and virtual conferences that can improve your expert knowledge, oral communication skills, motivation, confidence and widen your professional network. Not only does this hit your lifelong learning goals, but your participation in such can also gain you a professional credential.


6. Plan for leisure

This is important. Consider some vacation or off-time reward for yourself. Most promotees see this as their silver lining or simply a motivation to keep going. It is not bad to enjoy your new salary for every accomplishment or achievement. If it is something that can help you regain or renew your energy, have at it every once in a while.


7. Divert your attention

One way to mitigate your fears is to divert your attention. You can do this by trying out a new hobby or doing something worth your while. Enjoy a good movie, learn a new recipe, shop for a new dress, or simply read a book. For others, adopting a dog or setting up an aquarium can provide for relaxation and hence, diverted focus. Focusing on other things that entertain you can alleviate any feelings of stress and anxiety.


8. Practice mindfulness

It also helps to enjoy some peace and quietness. Meditation can help you gain a new perspective even in stressful situations. It increases your self-awareness and reduces negative emotions while increasing your patience and tolerance.


9. Review your core values

Remember how you started with the job? You made mention of your strengths. Use them to your advantage. Capitalize on your work ethics, dependability, and adaptability. Take things lightly and never take a word from your inner critic. If it helps to enumerate the things you are good at or have achieved, do so. Motivate yourself to grow and learn from any situation that comes your way and remember to do these with grace.


10. Keep yourself away from detractors

Keeping a safe distance from your detractors, who can potentially ruin your motivation, willpower and mindfulness can go a long way. You want to orchestrate your day-to-day activities with a positive mental attitude so you must learn how to dodge negative bullets.


11. Carry yourself confidently

To excel and overcome anxiety, you must at all times be confident, or else you will fall into the turmoil of self-second guessing and then eventually fail. Think that you rise above the others and that you are capable of doing the role. Your supervisors have their positive reasons why they picked you. Esteem yourself, think about your experience, educational background, soft skills, and all the other assets that make you a valuable employee.


12. Speak up

Negotiate with your supervisor or the hiring manager on how you can make the onboarding or transition process favorable to you without demeaning your adaptability and integrity. Perhaps you can accept the offer on account that they will give you 3 days to self-reflect or go on a vacation for a while to make the change less overwhelming.


There is no way to go but up, that is the reality. If you feel like the promotion is something your future self would thank you for, go for it. If your current and future goals are indicative of the position and that you can always choose to be happy in the new position, then you will always find the job to be much more rewarding. Remember that at the end of the day, it is only a matter of perspective. Once you have decided to embrace the unknown and let go of your fears, only then will you be in control of your mind and fulfill whatever is asked of you.

Bash Sarmiento

Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated into his works. You can find him on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *