Looking back at my own corporate career, I can see clearly some of my mistakes, and mis-steps, as well as successes. Hindsight is always 20/20, right? But one thing is really clear to me and that is I would have benefited greatly from reading Her Place at the Table by Deborah Kolb, Judith Williams, and Carol Frohlinger before I accepted some of the promotions offered to me along the way.

My recent radio interview with Deborah Kolb, PhD. was an eye-opener for me and I immediately recognized some of the mistakes and missed opportunities in my own career.

Deborah pointed out that when you are promoted to a new position, you must negotiate the conditions for your success. I admit that I succumbed to one of the basic blunders of being so flattered that I was blind to the potential challenges and obstacles. Can you relate to this?

The key question to ask yourself first is “why me, why now?” Look objectively at the situation and not only assess why you were offered the job at this point in time, but where are you most vulnerable? Why didn’t others get the job? Taking stock of the situation is vital to your ongoing success in your new position.

Determine where you are vulnerable. What resources do you need to be successful and negotiate for those resources upfront.

Make strategic alliances to support your efforts. Who are the key people in the organization or specifically on your team who need to better understand your value and what you bring to the new position? Identify these people and create a strategic plan to promote your credibility either directly or indirectly.

The lesson here is that a promotion does not speak for itself. People don’t automatically accept you in the new role. Support doesn’t necessarily line up behind you simply because you were promoted and perhaps have the endorsement of senior management.

Assess the situation and determine what you need to be successful and before you accept the promotion, negotiate for what you need.