How to Get Promoted

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Erin Baker


Aug 1, 2022


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Erin Baker, Director of Solutions Engineering at AlayaCare, was recently a guest on the PreSales Collective podcast to discuss how to get promoted. She’s had four different roles and three promotions in less than five years at AlayaCare, and these are her actionable takeaways for others looking to make the leap from being an individual contributor to a leader. 

Going Above and Beyond 

Erin’s first piece of advice is to always give 110%, regardless of your role. She started on the customer success side, which was not where she saw her career progressing, and she didn’t always love the day-to-day. But she still went in every day and gave it her all, and that dedication was noted. 

Then when Erin made the move from client services to SE at AlayaCare, it was a lateral move. Showing her hard work and dedication got her to her leadership role today. She also recommends always being a team player, not just within your immediate team but also in the company as a whole. Sometimes you can even create ways to get involved within the company, like when she started a WISE program.  

Be Vocal and Proactive

Always be open and communicate about what you want in your career, now and in the long-term, with your manager and within the company as well. Your manager is your advocate, but they also are probably managing multiple people and projects as well, so you need to be in control of your own destiny. 

Erin recommends using 1:1s as a time to remind your manager of your goals and keep those lines of communication open. She also recommends asking for critical feedback and creating an action plan together based on it. For example, she was told at one point that she needed to demonstrate leadership potential more, so she and her manager decided on a plan together - hiring an intern and having Erin manage them - and checked in along the way. 

Build Your Personal Brand

Erin also recommends building your personal brand by being a problem-finder. SEs have time in between demos - how are you using that time? Going above and beyond by finding problems, and going out of your way to develop solutions, helps you get recognized and even considered for leadership roles. 

Where can you do better, and where can the company do better? Tackling these tasks that you’re not specifically asked to do allows you to become known for something more than simply giving demos and build your internal brand. 

This brand can make a difference when you apply for a promotion or leadership role and your company is considering both internal and external candidates. What do you bring to the table that they can’t, even if you have less experience? Erin worked hard to be a great SE, of course, but also to build a strong team culture and develop extensive product knowledge.  

Advice for Taking the Next Step 

Above all, Erin says that aspiring leaders should be curious. This is a quality she looks for when hiring an SE as well. And don’t limit yourself to exploring your current role - you should take that curiosity to other areas of your company and externally as well. 

If you’re looking to change roles, explore to be sure you understand the day-to-day and career progression possibilities before you switch. And get to know people within your company - expanding your network is always a good idea. 

Erin’s story of going from an IC to a leader is inspiring - and there’s so much more detail in the podcast episode. Give it a listen and use this article as your action plan for making the leadership leap!

Erin Baker

Director of Solutions Engineering at AlayaCare.

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The Leadership collective is a group designed for PreSales leaders in a management capacity (Manager+ title) who are looking to network, grow professionally, and actively participate.

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