You’ve been at the job for years. As much as you want to stay—you love your coworkers, the space is great, you’re comfortable—you’ve started to get bored with your day-to-day routine.
You apply for a promotion, and time goes by. You almost forget about it.
But then, one morning, your boss asks you to come in early because she wants to talk to you. She never does this . . . you’re either getting that promotion, or you’re being let go.
You head into her office, hold your breath, and wait for the verdict:
“You got the promotion! Congratulations. You move offices tomorrow.”
First, you’re relieved. You still have a job! Then, you’re pumped. You just got a raise and an amazing new title overnight.
But then, the panic seeps in. You’ve never had this much responsibility. You were on auto-pilot yesterday, and now you need to step up.
A new position is only overwhelming if you let it be. Here are some tips to help you maintain your cool as you get settled with the new leadership role.
Don’t think about the big picture.
It may seem counter intuitive, but stop worrying about the entirety of your new job and all of its responsibilities. It will do nothing but stress you out.
There is no time to sit at your new desk and simply overwhelm yourself with contemplating all you have to do. Plus, if you enable yourself to worry about these endless duties while you’re at work, it won’t stop there. You will start to carry this stress home with you at night and risk having it interfere with your time off.
Don’t let the new position swallow you whole. People always say, “Take it day-by-day.” But I go one step further and say, “Take it hour-by-hour.” Assess what needs to be done within one given project, and start to chip away at it.
Your work is in the cracks and corners of the job responsibilities. As long as you’re attentive and deliberate with the small tasks, you will be serving justice to your new job title.
Start owning up to mistakes now.
Instead of trying to appear like the perfect manager, you need to get used admitting your mishaps. Beat your boss to the chase and own up to mistakes before they get too big to ignore.
With any new responsibility in life comes the opportunity to start out strong. Prove that you were the right person for this gig by taking responsibility for everything you do from the get go.
I’m not just referencing your own mistakes, by the way. You now have a team of people who work for you. And guess what? When one of them makes a mistake, your boss will look to you for the blame.
Your first instinct when a team member messes up will be to name names, but that’s not how a leader responds. A good leader takes full blame for the problems that occurred under their watch, which sets the example for others to do the same.
Ask for help.
Although you’re nervous about everything that accompanies the new job, you may hold back on asking for assistance. You want to appear confident—like you already know exactly what to do.
Yet, no one expects you to already have it handled! You’re in a new a position, and any person in a new position needs some guidance as they settle in.
It reflects better on you as a manager to reach out for help at the very cusp of a problem instead of attempting to solve it on your own. If you find yourself in a situation that you’ve never experienced before, you are much more likely to succeed if you have advice from those who’ve been in your position before.
Plus, if you’re worried that seeking help or advice makes you appear incompetent, that’s not the case. Studies show that people who reach out when they’re in need are actually seen as more competent.
After you accept your promotion and prepare for a new leadership role, you can honor those newfound nerves. But you should also remind yourself that being a manager is about more than holding a spotless record.
Your mishaps make you a more relatable leader, one that employees will seek out when they need advice or someone to talk to about an issue they’re experiencing.
If you can show up each day with a positive, can-do attitude and a commitment to the job at hand, no one will doubt your capabilities in the new position. They’ll respect you for admitting when you make mistakes or need help. In fact, you’ll inspire everyone around you to show up and do the same.