Promotion Stories – Episode 3 (Coordinator to Manager)

Welcome to episode #3 in a series of posts sharing inside details on what it really takes to get promoted at work.

Served up in a Q&A format, we learn how others have successfully managed to move up at work. Including…

    • The process they went through to get promoted.
    • The factors that were most important to getting promoted.
    • How much their compensation increased as a result of getting promoted.
    • The challenges they had to overcome to be recognized as promotion-ready.
    • And much more…

General Questions

1) Tell us a little about yourself?


I’m 45. I’ve worked in the tech industry for most of my career, developing strategies, building teams, and creating new technologies. I’ve invested a solid 10+ years traveling for work, which led to opportunities and upward growth professionally.

Now, it’s time for a change. I’ve re-prioritized my life to focus on what personally inspires me. I moved close to the beach, left my corporate job, and I’m focusing on building something for myself.

2) What do you do for work?

Business Founder

3) Tell us about your employer / company.

My experience has been working for larger, public companies within the tech industry.

4) How long have you worked in your industry?

20+ years


Promotion Process Questions

1) Tell us about your promotion.

I’ve been promoted many times throughout the years. I’ve been fortunate to take steps up at organizations I’ve worked at for years, along with steps up and over by switching organizations.

The promotion I’m sharing today took place early in my career, when I was promoted to manager from coordinator–it was a big deal for me. It was my first manager role and I wanted it bad.

I got a job as marketing coordinator at an IT company out of college. Since it was my first full-time job, I did a lot of observing and taking everything in. I was able to figure out quickly that although I was hired in my role to help, the day-to-day responsibilities of my role were not defined.

I had a direct manager, but part of my role was helping other managers and teams. Because of this, I was able to learn so much about all areas of the business and I collaborated closely with many leaders and departments.

This was a huge win and allowed me to identify an opportunity and ask for a promotion into a manager role I would create and lead.

2) Why did you want to get promoted? What motivated you?

My coordinator role allowed for visibility into all aspects of the marketing team and much of the business. I was performing various tasks and helping with projects, while gaining a greater perspective on company initiatives, roles at the organization, company politics and overall structure. I was able to figure out what I liked doing and what I did not like doing…and I saw an opportunity to carve out a path for where I wanted to go next.

3) How long did it take to get promoted?

I was in my coordinator role for about 2 years before I realized where I wanted to go next.

4) Did your compensation increase with your promotion?

Yes, I received a nice boost to my base salary.

I don’t think there was a bonus or equity option, but I wasn’t taught about compensation options or how to negotiate compensation at that time. I took what they offered me.

5) Describe the promotion process.

I’m proud to say I was promoted because I asked!

But it wasn’t simple. I initially had a conversation with my manager but needed to gain support and buy-in from other business leaders.

I was not only asking for a promotion in title and salary, but I was selling my vision for a job that did not yet exist and the benefit it would provide.

6) Were you given advice about what you needed to do get promoted? Was it helpful?

I was told I needed agreement from other leaders, but I wasn’t given any other advice on how to proceed.

I was young and trying to navigate the company, understand who the players were, where my place was and where I wanted to go. I believe my ability to observe what was happening, listen to what business leaders talked about, what they focused on and what was important to the business helped me frame up my ask for the promotion.

I have heard people say to wait your turn for a promotion, it will come. I don’t believe this. In this case, I decided it was my turn and asked for it.


Reasons for Your Promotion

1) Did you have to build a justification for your promotion?


I took a proactive approach to develop a game plan for my new manager role and the outcomes to the business. I shared my vision and plan with my boss and other business leaders.

I stayed focused on the value I would provide in this new role. I highlighted specific examples that would benefit the leaders based on my experience collaborating with them in my current role.

    2) How did you get promoted? What were the most important factors?

    In my coordinator role, I was exceeding expectations in my performance reviews so I laid out a game plan to help my manager understand the new responsibilities I wanted to take on and value I could provide.

    I crafted my ask around future outcomes. I delivered my ask with enthusiasm and confidence. Inside I was nervous, but I knew my delivery had to be strong. I had to focus on the big picture value I knew I could provide to really make myself stand out. Also, I had to be clear and professional in my delivery.

    3) Did you have to adapt or change any behaviors to become more promotable? Any missteps?

    I needed buy-in from various leaders to get my promotion, so I had to tailor my talking points to outcomes that would benefit their specific needs and teams. My ask and vision didn’t change, but I had to be clear on how my new role would provide value to each individual stakeholder.


    4) What was the most difficult part of getting promoted? Any roadblocks?

    Getting clear on my talking points and gaining buy-in from leaders. I needed to gain support and excitement around my vision, while ensuring it tied to the overall vision of the company.

    more promotion story Q&A interviews

    Promotion Story 2

    Promoted from Director to Executive Level

    “I received a 15% bump in total compensation (base, bonus, equity).”

    Promotion Story 3

    Promoted from Manager to Director Level

    “The hardest part about getting promoted to where I am now was overcoming age and gender prejudice.”

    Promotion Story 6

    Promoted from Manager to Director Level

    “I had to get better at working with other groups and influencing without authority.”


    Future / Misc Questions

    1) What's next for you?

    Today, I’m building my own ladder.

    2) What guidance would you give to someone struggling to get promoted?

    Get clear on what you want and why you are deserving of it. Be professional, assertive and focus on the value you know you will provide in the new role. You must believe it, want it, and go after it. Ask for it! You got this!

    3) Do you have any books, podcasts, or other resources you would recommend?

    1) The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod,
    2) Power + Presence + Position Podcast, Eleanor Beaton,
    3) Any article, book, podcast, TED Talk featuring inspiring female leaders and founders



    3 Key Takeaways

    1) Show your potential to do more for the company. Be confident and ask for what you want and know you can do.
    2) Observe leadership to learn what is important to them. This will help you identify new ways to stand out and add VALUE to your company, and how to present your ideas in a way that matters to management.  

    3) Don’t wait for an opportunity to come along. Sell your vision based on value-creation and ask for what you want. 

    More Advice About How to Get Promoted at Work

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    When is the Best Time to Get Promoted at Work

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    When Your Boss Promised to Promote You But Then Quits

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