I was promoted at work last week.

I’ve been the Social Media Manager for just about two years and now bear the title: Vice President, Director of Social Media. To say that I’m excited about the future and the increased expectations that come with my role would be an understatement. I have a great team that’s growing, and some of the best colleagues I’ve had in my entire career.

When I shared the news in a Facebook status update, the likes and comments went through the roof.  It was amazing to see the out pour of well wishes from family and friends and people I’ve worked with dating back to 1996.

But despite this new title, I am nowhere near complacent. Nor do I feel like I’ve reached a mountaintop. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a milestone for me. But to think that there is such a thing  as “arriving” or making it to the top in an industry that changes almost overnight is a huge mistake.

If anything, I am even more challenged now to stay on top of changes and trends and make sure that I am providing the best guidance for my team, my co-workers and our clients. I have to groom others to do the same kinds of things that I’ve done and even more.

I have to provide value and work even harder on integration and proving the value of social business.

In my mind, this is the beginning. I know so many people looking to get in social media who feel like all they need is that one position with a well-known (or maybe even not-so-well-known ) brand to claim themselves an expert. But that’s not how it works.

I’ve met and even interviewed people who truly believe that because they’ve managed a Twitter and/or Facebook account they are a bona fide community manager. I even know people with social media titles who have no idea what they’re doing, let alone what their role should be in the organization. They wouldn’t know how to write strategy if their lives depended on it.

So if you were recently promoted, expect to get promoted in 2012 or are still looking for your first job (or even your second or third) in social media, my advice to you is this: Never get comfortable. Treat every job like your first and work very hard to stay knowledgeable and gain practical experience.

You never know what’s around the corner, because the world still isn’t convinced.

There’s a long way to go. If you have an opportunity to shape the future, do it.  Think beyond platforms and focus on business value.

And no matter how great people say you are, please do not believe the hype! We all drink a little of our own kool-aid sometimes, and that’s okay. But take a small sip and then put the glass down.

You’ve got some serious work to do.

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