How I Proved Myself for a Promotion

When Michelle came to Bossed Up Bootcamp, she was in the running for her absolute dream job – the position she’d been working towards for eight years straight with financial services company American Express.

During her interview period, her boss told her to “bring it,” and prove that she had the leadership skills to step up and fill the shoes of her prior manager, who had moved on to a new post.

With so much on the line, Michelle came to Bossed Up Bootcamp hoping for a confidence boost and the inspiration to let her best self shine.

Letting your leadership light shine

Emilie: It sounds like there was a lot on the line when you came to Bossed Up Bootcamp, huh?

Michelle: You better believe it! I’d been working with American Express full-time since my sophomore year of college, and it quickly become more than “just a job.” They offered me a real career path. I moved all over the country to advance myself, too, filling roles in Arizona, Utah, and ultimately, here in New York City. This whole time, I’ve always been striving towards this leadership position in change management, which had just become vacant.

E: Were you worried that you might be passed over for the promotion?

M: Well, yea! There are no guarantees with this kind of thing. I work hard and am a fast learner, but I’ve always been anxious about the fact that I took a less-than-traditional path when it comes to getting my degree. Because my career with AMEX took off when I was a sophomore, I took a break from school, and didn’t go back until later on as an adult. It was a big risk, but it was the right path for me. I worried that because I didn’t “officially” have all those collegiate credentials until I moved to New York, that I might be seen as less qualified.

Confidence can help with executive presence

Emilie: So you came to Bossed Up Bootcamp looking to gain that confidence you needed to step up and shine as a leader?

Michelle: Right. I was looking for tools to re-energize myself and get that confidence to believe I could rock this big new role – and more importantly: show that to my leadership team. I came to Bossed Up Bootcamp with my bestie from NYC who’s on her own journey to getting bossed up, and the first impression we got early on, was just wow – this is a room full of  awe-inspiring women who are all leveling up in their career paths! It was so inspiring and impressive. It hit me like a ton of bricks: you’re not going through this alone.

Courage through community

Emilie: So true, that community element is key. What lessons learned did you bring back with you to AMEX?

Michelle:  The assertive communication piece really stuck with me. Owning your voice means so much more than I realized. It’s not about talking constantly, it’s about being strategic and confident about asking for what you need to be successful. I started to realize that your external assertiveness feeds into your internal confidence in your own abilities. I came back to work thinking, “I know who I am, and I know what I am capable of.” It’s part of what helped me nail the big project that was on my plate, rock the rest of the interview, and ace the negotiation that followed. I got the job just before my 29th birthday!

Emilie: Fantastic, Michelle! Congratulations!

Michelle: Thank you, it feels amazing to be here as the new Manager of US Marketing Services Training & Change Management after having sacrificed and devoted so much over this past decade to getting here – from moving all over the country to going back to school. It feels like it’s all been worth it.

Emilie: Amazing, Michelle. You should feel so proud, boss! What are you striving towards now?

Michelle: It’s funny, because now a different lesson from Bossed Up Bootcamp has become even more important in my new role: mindfully pursuing more work-life balance. It’s essential! I’m focused on exceeding expectations without overworking myself. I’m ready to own it in this career and make time for family, friends, loved ones, and staying balanced.

Emilie: Like a boss!


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