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Getting Promoted Part I: High-touch or high-tech

With flattening organizations eliminating many middle management positions, 76 million middle-aged baby boomers vying for advancement, and promotion based on seniority as extinct as the pterodactyl, it's getting harder and harder to get promoted. To increase your chances of climbing the corporate ladder, you will need a proactive plan for reaching your goals.

Begin your plan by identifying promotional opportunities of interest in your organization. Review the job descriptions, including the major duties, skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to perform the job. And in your zest to raise your technical competency, don't overlook the softer skills.

The results of a survey of 1400 CIOs, developed by RHI Consulting (, revealed that the most important skills for reaching management were interpersonal skills (27%), advanced technical skills (23%), customer service orientation (17%), business acumen (16%), and the ability to meet deadlines (11%).

"IT staff are often unprepared for the transition from technology specialist to team leader," says Greg Scileppi, executive director of RHI Consulting. "The predominance of project teams has created a corresponding need for strong communication and team-player abilities as they work with employees at all levels to create and implement IT solutions."

Adds Dale Neaudette, SHR manager, Microsoft Gaming Zone (, "When management looks for someone to promote, they will favor the candidate who can command the respect of those that work with them. Surround yourself with good people, back them up with your support, give credit where credit is due, and make them feel appreciated. They are the people who will make you a winner."

In Getting Promoted - Part II, you'll discover how to put your plan in action.

Linda Gail Christie, M.A., is a contributing editor based in Tulsa, OK.
This was last published in October 2000

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