Going for a promotion these days is not for the faint hearted. It can involve a whole series of hoops and hurdles to navigate from shortlisting, to psychometric testing, to presentations and position papers for second, third and possibly even fourth round interviews, just to be in with a shot for the job in question.  Yes, it’s by no means an easy task and rightly so.  It’s not designed to be easy, it’s designed to draw out the very best of your potential and handled well that’s exactly what it does.


In my work as a coach, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this happen repeatedly with people and witnessing them become a bigger and more full version of themselves.    Some very successfully get that exact job they set their hearts and minds on and that’s wonderful to see.  But the story never just ends there.  Although, some people myopically can think it does.  Because you see, this is never just a story of black and white thinking which has just one winner and the rest categorised as losers or “runners-up”.  In reality, it’s a story that  has far more potential than that and just like with every situation in life, an interview or a promotional opportunity always holds within it a whole host of possibilities …if you are able to see them.

Possibilities Emerge

I know this to be true, because I’ve seen those possibilities emerge and have delightfully witnessed so called “runners-up” offered alternative and exciting opportunities that they didn’t even know existed and maybe would not have put themselves forward for.   Others, I’ve seen finish the whole process with such a new found excitement, confidence and belief in their own abilities that they courageously widen their net to successful seek out opportunities in new sectors, which previous to this they didn’t believe possible for themselves.   And finally there’s a third category of “runners-up” that I see and incredibly admire, because in spite of their natural disappointment in not attaining the job, they hold on to, value and are proud of how much they have stretched themselves through the whole process.  Which in turns frees them up to listen and act on that crucial feedback that will and does successfully propel them forward.

Shift in Thinking

So what’s the common denominator, that enables all of them to not just successfully navigate the promotional obstacle course, but to come out a better more empowered version of themselves?   From my experience, the thing I believe that most makes the difference is a shift in thinking.     A shift in terms of how they are seeing the possibilities in the situation,  how they are seeing themselves,  their potential, their ideas, their desired impact, learning, stretch and growth and most importantly a richer more empowered definition of success that serves them extremely well.   And while there are a lot of things in life and in interview situations that you have little or no control over, your thinking is not one of them, so nurture it well.