I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “It’s lonely at the top.” Many of my clients have experienced this. Many of them describe getting a promotion that they were really excited about, eagerly stepping into the new role, and then feeling isolated and lonely. After a promotion, it can feel like there’s no one you can talk to.
The people who used to be your peers are now reporting to you. This means certain conversations you used to have with them are no longer as free. You need to be thoughtful about what challenges you raise, or uncertainties you feel.
It can take a while to get to know your new peers and to learn who you can trust. It’s natural that everyone will have their own agendas, and you’ll want to be mindful of those. As you move up in an organization, competition increases. So even if you do talk to your new peers about the challenges that you’re facing, they likely will not be neutral about the issue. You must take their advice and suggestions with a grain of salt – are their ideas in your best interest or are they just looking out for themselves?
Your new boss can be a real challenge. Most of us want a boss who can coach us, support us, and help us navigate in our new roles. Unfortunately, too many managers don’t have great coaching skills. They may take the issues you raise as a sign that you’re not ready for the job. I have seen this happen to far too many people. So it’s prudent to be cautious about really trusting your new boss with your worries and your concerns. It’s best to wait and figure out how they tick – until you have a really good indication that you can bring up concerns and ask for coaching and support without being judged.
All these changes with your team, your peers, and your boss contribute to feeling lonely after a promotion – that there’s no one to talk to, just when you most need guidance and support.
Without someone to talk to, being successful in your new role can be especially difficult.
Every move up in an organization brings challenges you haven’t seen before. There is a learning curve. Taking that on by yourself can be really daunting – and honestly not so effective.
Without good mentoring and support, people end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed. That dream promotion becomes a nightmare of overworking, stress and the related lack of sleep, with impacts on your physical and mental health challenges, and eventually burnout.
If you feel alone in your workplace, if you feel like there’s nobody you can talk to, if you’re in new territory in your work, a new industry, a new company, a new level, and you feel isolated, it’s time to reach out and get some support.
A qualified coach will know how to help you face the challenges of your new role in a way that sets you up for long-term success. You need your friends and family members, of course. But they may have trouble separating out what you need to hear from their own opinions, beliefs, and visions that they have for your life. Also, they are unlikely to have the depth of experience needed to help you effectively navigate your new organization.
However, an experienced coach can help you step back and define success for yourself. They’ll help you work towards that vision without bringing in their own opinions. A good coach is one hundred percent on your side and neutral – their only goal for you is to help you meet your goals.
This is the kind of coach I strive to be with my clients. And I’ve seen it make a big difference. My clients know they don’t have to feel lonely or isolated. They can turn to me, whatever the situation. We think it through and make sure they have a solid strategy – to move through challenges and to build trust, credibility, and respect in their organizations.
That’s what I’m here for, to support people in a way that inspires them to grow into stronger leaders. If this type of support is of interest to you, if it’s something you’d like to explore for yourself, I invite you to book a call with a member of my team. You’ll get on the phone for about 45 minutes and talk about your situation, where you are now and where you want to go. If we can help you get from here to there, we will absolutely tell you what that would look like and create a plan to make that happen. If we’re not the right fit, we know a lot of other coaches and are more than happy to make referrals to people that we know and trust, who can support you in your career goals. So, I encourage you to reach out and book a free call with us at ZMcoach.com/apply.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Here’s a video if you prefer to watch and listen to me talk about this topic: