Four traps to avoid when you get promoted

It feels so good for all your hard work to be recognised in the form of promotion! Congratulations and well done! And yet… what’s that niggling little feeling that’s putting a dampener on things? Do you maybe feel uncomfortable about having to pull rank on your former peers? Perhaps you’re worried about how your promotion is going to affect your work relationships?


According to the Wall Street Journal, there are four traps that you need to avoid when your next step up the corporate ladder leaves your former work equals on the rung below. Please read on for a quick synopsis of the pitfalls and the strategies that will enable you to navigate them.


  1. Enduring first impressions. People have a hard time shaking off first impressions. You may have accomplished great things since you first started at your company but your colleagues still think of you as the panic-stricken junior who couldn’t work out how to access the company intranet. To counter this, be sure to clearly communicate how your skills, capabilities, expertise and mindset have since grown.
  2. Lack of clarity about your focus and responsibilities. You may previously have had the time to help your teammates with certain tasks but your new, more senior role is likely to necessitate a re-focus. This needs to be articulated clearly and specifically to your colleagues.
  3. Outdated relationships. You’ll need to re-think your personal relationships too. The best way to manage the transition is through honest, transparent, explicit conversations. Discussing potential problem areas – regarding, for example, the decision-making process and conflict management – will go a long way to preventing them from occurring in the first place.
  4. Lack of accountability. If you’re not clear about what you expect from your subordinates at the outset, it’s easy for standards to slip. So when you get promoted, be sure to promptly outline your expectations regarding key deliverables as well as the accountability process for when things go wrong.


There’s a lot to consider to ensure you don’t fall victim to these common post-promotion traps. As long as you’re prepared for them, the potentially delicate transition should be smooth, leaving you free to concentrate on succeeding in your new senior role. Enjoy!


For advice on a more recruitment-based flavour, please get in touch at or 020 7092 3911. ABL Recruitment is the UK’s leading multilingual recruitment consultancy and we are, as ever, here to help!