This is what you should do when you’ve just been promoted

  • There are simple ways to make an impact when just promoted.
  • Resist the urge to dive in head-first.
  • Reassess priorities and set goals.
  • Set boundaries with your former peers.

You’ve just been promoted.


Now take a deep breath and consider how you should consolidate your position and set yourself up for the next rung on the corporate ladder.

According to recruiting experts Hays, there are three steps to help you make a positive impact straight away while laying the foundations for further progression.

“Understandably, following a promotion most people want to make a positive impact and prove themselves, but for this to happen, you must have the humility to listen and learn from everyone around you, the focus to think about your short and longer-term goals, and the tact to manage both old and new workplace relationships,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

“In doing this, you will find that you are able to make the most of this exciting new chapter in your career and ensure it is indicative of all the successes to come.”

Hays says the three steps are: Resist the urge to dive in head-first; reassess priorities and set goals; set boundaries with your former peers.

The newly-promoted will often dive into their new role head-first, especially if they’ve worked at a company for a while and already have an insider’s understanding of how things are done.

“You may want to implement changes here, undo old processes there, and say yes to everything and everyone in a bid to prove yourself worthy of this promotion,” says Deligiannis.

“Instead, slow right down. Nobody expects you to start making waves straight away. You have a grace period in the early days following your promotion, where you should learn everything you can about what this role and new level of seniority entails.”

Nick advises to book in one-on-one time with stakeholders and peers to identify what they need from you and the improvements they would like to see.

“Ultimately, use the early days of your promotion to absorb everything around you and listen more than you talk. This will enable you to make better informed decisions in the long-run and get everybody’s buy-in on these decisions,” he says.

Taking time to reflect and assess enables you to make more well-informed decisions.

“Draw up a list of short and long-term objectives and put together some SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Measured),” he says.

“From here, you can identify quick wins that will add value straight away, as well as some more strategic objectives which require more forethought and forward planning.”

It’s also important to fight the inclination to focus on tasks which were part of your previous role.

And one of the hardest parts of being promoted is managing former peers. Some of these might be your friends.

“Your first step should be to book in one-on-one time with them individually to outline both your visions for the team, as well as their own career objectives,” says Deligiannis.

“This is a key part of your role as a people manager anyway, but booking this meeting in sooner rather than later will help your team take you seriously as their manager and respond to this change in dynamic early on.”

Deligiannis suggests you clarify with them, in private, that during work hours they need to see and treat you as they would any manager, because you will be managing them just as you would any other employee.

“It may be easy, or you may experience some teething problems,” he says.

“It depends on your team and the nature of your relationship. The key is to give it time and stick to the boundaries that you put in place, and soon you will establish a professional but also open and amiable dynamic.”