Promotion Stories – Episode 4 (Coordinator to Manager)

Promotion Story – Episode 4 (Promoted from Coordinator to Manager Level)

Welcome to episode #4 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


32, he/him, married, 1 dog, Chicago. Hobbies: snowboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, camping, travel

2) What do you do for work?


Global Product Marketing & Sales Enablement

3) Tell us about your employer/company


B2B SaaS, Employee-owned, ~900 employees, Legal Tech, mid-market & enterprise, global

4) How long have you worked in this industry/field?

I have worked in Marketing and/or Communications for 11 years.

  • B2B + B2C
  • Agency-side & In-House
  • Pharma, B2B SaaS, Management Consulting, Legal, Ag, Food, HR/Payroll, NFPs, and consulting
  • At company sizes from ~20 person shops to the Big 3

B2B SaaS, Employee-owned, ~900 employees, Legal Tech, mid-market & enterprise, global


Promotion Process Questions

1) Tell us about your promotion?

The last time I was promoted internally, it was from Senior Specialist to Manager.

2) Why did you want to get promoted?

Higher compensation, interested in more strategic oversight and work, and living up to my potential.

3) How long did it take to get promoted?

This came 8 years into my career. Yes and no; as I mentioned, I hopped around between different employers/industries for the first portion of my career. Determining what focus I wanted. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, even 4 years out of college and into my career, which I attribute to why I didn’t make progress faster.

3) Did your compensation increase with your promotion?

Yes, by a roughly 20% salary increase.

4) Describe the promotion process you experienced.

I had held a Sr. Specialist role for over 2 years. I was assigned a couple high-visibility projects, one in which I quarterbacked across-functional project of team members much more senior than myself, including the COO. My impression was, my supervisor and the COO agreed my title and compensation should reflect the level of work I was doing and results I was achieving.

5) Were you promoted as part of an annual performance review process or during another time?

It was directly tied to the project mentioned above, but I get the impression my supervisor saw the other good work I was doing and these 2 projects gave her an excellent business case to promote me.


Reasons for Your Promotion

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

No, as stated, I believe my supervisor made this case for me.

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

I think it was a number of things, but the biggest one was a supervisor with whom I had exceptional rapport with, who let their direct reports shine. I’ve had a lot of bosses, and this one was truly a servant leader.

Second, projects with high visibility where my strengths would show. Lastly, my supervisor taught me to think how to scale the work I was doing.

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

Honestly, finding an exceptional boss who believed in me was #1. That came in part when I finally identified the focus area I feel most strongly about in marketing.

I didn’t realize the “fun” marketing I had in college classes was done in product marketing until this company. Getting excited about that kind of work is how my boss and I hit it off, resulting in them poaching me from another team and eventually promoting me.

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

Trying but not not finding the work I cared about most for the first ~8 years of my career.

5) Were you given advice about what you needed to do to get promoted?

The best advice I ever received was, keep trying different things. If it’s enjoyable or you’re learning from it or best case scenario both, keep doing it. If neither, try something else. And I think the biggest piece of that is knowing yourself or at least being honest with yourself. For me, that’s taken time.

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 Coordinator to Manager Level

“I’m proud to say I got promoted because I asked!”

Promotion Story 5

Promoted from Manager to Director Level

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


Future / Misc Questions

1) What’s next for you? Do you want to continue to advance your career?

Given the lifestyle I want and the type of marketing work I want to do, yes, I believe that’s my best path forward. Otherwise, I’ve always considered starting my own business–think rental properties or a lawncare company or another form of more passive-income.

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

Be honest with yourself about what you want to do for work. And if you’re not sure, keep experimenting until you get it right. Then, try your damnedest to find a boss you have chemistry with and coworkers who are reasonable. Life’s to short to work with or for terrible people if you can help it. Finally, work on projects you know you can make a visible impact.

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

Books: Monster Careers, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Also for any NEW role, The First 90 Days is exceptional.

I haven’t found any good podcasts along this topic, but I also haven’t actively searched for one.

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