Please Join Us!
When: Friday, September 28 @ 1pm EDT (5pm GMT / 10:30pm IST)
Topic: Promotion in Progress
“Hiring and promoting talented women is the right thing to do for society, and it’s an economic imperative.”
– Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Renault
About This Week’s Chat
The day I went for the interview that landed me a sales job in the health and fitness industry, I never imagined that I would be any good at it. But I was, and here’s how it happened.
I had just gone through a very difficult time in my marriage. While my husband (now ex) and I were separated I realized that I was very vulnerable because I haven’t worked at a ‘proper’ job for a few years. After we reunited I went back to the town where he lived. There weren’t many job opportunities and it didn’t help me that I’d been out of the formal job market for a few years.
It was before the days of the internet and I had to search through the classified ads in the newspaper every morning. One day I saw and advertisement from the chain of health and fitness clubs where I was a member. They were looking for sales consultants.
New to Sales, But Still Got the Job
Up to that point I had never done formal sales, but applied nonetheless. I loved going to the gym and could picture myself carving out a career in the health and fitness industry.
In the interview I was upfront about not having had any sales experience. I must have done something right because the sales manager appointed me anyway.
During sales training he made sure we understood the “numbers game” concept. He said that to be successful in sales, you simply had to do the daily activity required of you, work out your ratios every evening and know at least fifteen closing techniques. When necessary you had to adjust your activity for the day (increase the number of phone calls, appointments etc.) to stay on target.
Being a sales novice, I did exactly what he told us to do. I was also enthusiastic about training and being physically fit. The combination of enthusiasm and putting in the right amount of work was great: I broke record after record, and no-one was more surprised than me.
Hard Work, Enthusiasm, and Promotion
I was soon promoted to assistant sales manager. About six months later one of the sales managers in the area resigned and everybody, including me, thought I was going to be promoted to the sales manager position.
A few days before the regional director was going to announce who the new sales manager was going to be, he called me to his office. We worked in different buildings and while I drove to his office I was thinking of how hard I had worked during the previous twelve months, how many records I had broken and how different the role of sales manager would be.
Twenty minutes later I walked out of the director’s office in disbelief, feeling deflated, and shocked. He had decided to appoint an old friend of his who wasn’t even in the industry but was out of a job at the time… favors for friends!
The Pivotal Lack of Progress and Promotion
That event proved to be a pivotal moment in my career at the company. I stayed on for another year before being headhunted by another company to do sales for them. A few months later I was headhunted yet again, by another health and fitness company who appointed me as their training manager, and it lead to a whole new career path.
Missing out on that first promotion was devastating at the time. However, had I been appointed to that position I might never have discovered my passion for teaching and for helping others reach their potential.
In our Twitter poll this week we wanted to know if you’ve ever been passed over for a promotion and why you think it happened. A whopping 74 percent of people said they were overlooked because they didn’t play politics while only two percent felt they weren’t competent enough. Click here to see all the questions and results.
In our #MTtalk Twitterchat this week we’re going to talk about “Promotion in Progress,” and it’s all about working toward a promotion. We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
- How do you measure the success of your own career progression?
- How pressurized do you feel by family, friends or co-workers to progress your career?
- Is social media a help or hindrance to career progression?
- What values are important to you regarding career progression?
- How might it benefit your progress to not actively pursue advancement?
- Is progress necessary for a happy, rewarding or fulfilling career?
To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.
How to join
Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.