Let me tell you about a time I got promoted at work, but I wasn’t happy about my promotion.
I had just gotten a congratulatory email and a letter of promotion, and as expected, I was jumpy with excitement and gratitude. But as I went through the letter, all the excitement began to fizzle out, and I started to feel funny about the promotion.
It was a great offer with a new job title and a significant raise. However, the new job title didn’t quite acknowledge all the value I brought to the table, which left a sour taste in my mouth.
Now before you get me started on how “I should be grateful to have gotten something and not feel entitled, after all, there are those who got nothing.” Hear me out.
To some people, job satisfaction translates to a fat paycheck, a corner office, or something like that. While for some others, job satisfaction is the recognition for their contributions and the value they bring to the table, and I guess I fall into the latter category. But this package didn’t exactly do justice to that, so I wasn’t as excited about it.
You will agree that it takes self-awareness to get to this point.
It is why the importance of knowing who you are, what you stand for, your strengths, your shortcomings, your personality, your unique wiring, your outlook on life, what makes you tick, your dreams, and your goals cannot be over-emphasized.
I wasn’t excited about the promotion, so I wasn’t sure how to reply to the email. Honestly, I didn’t even feel like responding, but I had to respond. After speaking with a friend, I sent a response, but I still didn’t feel good about the whole thing.
Later that week, I visited another friend, and while we were together, she sensed something wasn’t quite right with me. She didn’t have to probe for long before I explained the situation. I told her how I felt and why I felt that way about it, and we had an honest conversation.
In the end, she advised that I speak with my boss and ask for clarity about the new job title and responsibilities, share my reservations with him, and put forward my request to change the job title to reflect my responsibilities. Even though I had my doubts, I felt lighter and more hopeful after our conversation than I felt before.
At this point, let me stress the importance of having the right circle of influence.
Nothing beats having sound people in your life – family, friends, teachers, colleagues, mentors, coaches, etc., who teach, comfort, correct, encourage, console, guide, support and spur you forward. They are priceless!
It is necessary to build a strong circle of like-minded people. People who care about you that they go out of their way to show you the way. People whom you can bounce your ideas off on, who may not necessarily understand your seasons but can support you to navigate them successfully. Everyone needs such people in their lives.
But first, you need to be that person because that’s how they’d find you attractive. You may not necessarily match their energy, but you need to add value to them too because he who must have friends must first show himself friendly.
The next workday, I miraculously got the chance to have a one-on-one with my DMD. And I call it a miracle because I’d been trying to have a one-on-one with him for over a month, but it never came through.
So, when I randomly met him that morning and we had a brief chit-chat (where I mentioned how I’d been trying to meet with him, but he hadn’t been available), I knew that God was cooking something good on my behalf.
Later that day, he asked that we have that meeting that I’d wanted to have with him for over a month, and I knew that was my chance to discuss all that I had in mind to say. I was excited!
Even though I didn’t have time to prepare because it was sudden, I wasn’t bothered because I felt like I had prepared already. So, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I summoned the courage to speak.
We had a great conversation, a very productive one. We discussed my career goals and opportunities for professional development, among other issues. Of course, I expressed my gratitude for the promotion, and I asked for more clarity about my responsibilities which led me to talk about the other aspects of my job that the new job title had failed to capture.
I will pause the story and talk a bit about courage and self-confidence.
It took a lot of courage to speak up about the promotion. After that conversation with my friend, I kept asking myself, “if you ever get the chance to, how will you present the matter to him? What if he says no how will you handle it? How will he perceive you after that conversation? What if he thinks badly of you, ungrateful, over-ambitious, short-sighted? See, it’s just a job title, and it doesn’t matter. Maybe you shouldn’t bother about it.”
I had all the what-ifs of this world running through my mind, but I knew I wouldn’t have my answers unless I tried. It mattered to me that my job title reflected the value I brought to the table, and speaking about it was the least I could do to make that happen.
Moreover, you know what they say, “a closed mouth is a closed destiny”? There is only so much the Holy Spirit can do if you lack courage and self-confidence. He will be there to nudge, encourage, and support you, but you still wouldn’t do anything if you lack self-confidence.
Courage is not in the absence of fear; courage is despite fear.
It is not enough to know what you want and have clear goals and dreams; do you believe in yourself? Are you actively pursuing them despite the fear of rejection, the fear of failure, or the fear of being misunderstood? Do you go beyond having clear goals to executing them?
Confidence doesn’t just come upon you because you have an advantage.
You build confidence by acting, speaking up when it matters, making decisions, failing, and trying again. That is how you build your confidence. It’s not something you wish for; confidence grows from the series of actions you take.
We talked about my promotion, and he explained that the scope of my responsibilities still included these other responsibilities that the new job title didn’t capture. Then I asked that my job title be changed to reflect these other responsibilities he had mentioned.
And he responded, but it wasn’t quite the response I was expecting. Even though he explained his position, I still did not agree with him. However, I understood that pushing it further at that time wasn’t a good idea, so we moved on to other discussions.
We ended our meeting, and I left with mixed feelings. While I was excited about the possibilities we discussed, I also felt disappointed about the job title conversation.
Now, this was the hard part.
My friend had advised that I follow up the meeting with an email to keep both parties committed to the action points discussed during the meeting, but by this time, I wasn’t feeling up to it. One, because I didn’t get what I wanted. Two, I thought it was too audacious to send a follow-up email after a meeting with my boss.
But you know the beautiful thing about having good people advise you? They keep you accountable. They keep you on your toes in a good way. I called her and explained how the meeting went, and she insisted that I follow up with an email stating highlights from the discussion, including my request.
I sent the email and appreciated his willingness to meet with me, and I highlighted the salient points of our discussion, including my request. Lol!
No, it’s courage, persistence, tenacity, willpower, determination, doggedness, and perseverance. And you will need all these armories on your journey because the best things will not always come easy. Sometimes, you will need to fight for what you want and not give in to the lethargy that comes from rejection because that’s how you win.
I sent the email, and guess what?
The next day, I got another congratulatory email, but this time around, with a new letter and a new job title reflecting the change I had requested.
Boy! I was ecstatic!
I was so excited that I screamed and jumped out of my seat when I read the new letter. I quickly sent a message to my friend, updating her on the turn of events, and she was equally excited. I was on cloud nine, and you can imagine why.
And the beautiful thing about the experience is that it had little to do with the job title.
It had more to do with the fact that I spoke up, and my voice mattered. I had broken a mental ceiling; I had influenced a system. And in the process, I unlocked a new level of courage and confidence. It was a mind-blowing experience knowing that nothing is impossible and impossible is nothing.
Even as I write this, I still feel the emotions from that day.
It is one of my memorable experiences, and I shared it with you in the hopes that it inspires your journey and moves you closer to your desired destination. I hope that it helps your pursuit of a better life.
But remember that your journey is not a sprint. It is a marathon. It is a gradual process.
Whatever you do, do it well. Speak up where and when it matters. Do not shrink your dreams. Do not settle for less. Believe in God and believe in the abilities that he has given you. Never hold back from pursuing your goals, no matter how audacious they may seem.
I hope this has inspired you. If it has inspired you, do not hold back from sharing this link with others.
You can also listen to this on the OYU podcast using this link. I bet you will find it more interesting. Lol!
OYU podcast is available on all podcast platforms – Spotify, Amazon, Apple, Google, Anchor, and every podcast platform you choose. You can also download it and let it serve as a reminder to you that nothing is impossible, and impossible is nothing!
You can read more on building on your self-confidence here.