No Work Promotions? CAN You Move Up? OR Do You Move Out?

When we’re young, we’re often taught that “winners never quit.”  Yet, the reality of the working world is that there are times when you will most likely have to make the call whether to stay at a job where you might not be promoted, or look elsewhere. 

The way we look at it today is you either are promoted, or you need to start looking. Still, everyone knows someone who is a serial job hopper, something that used to be frowned upon, but in today’s growing job market, it's seen as increasingly the way to “get what you want” out of a job. 

But here's the can you be sure whether to stay at your job if you’re unsure whether a promotion will ever come? Here are some tips on making that decision and what to do in the meantime.

1. Know the Basics

Many companies fear appearing as though they are playing favorites. Be aware that 18 months – two years is usually the minimum amount of time to wait for a promotion, unless you have had a discussion about that timeline being shortened before you were even hired.

2. Look at Comparable Moves

You need to be aware of similarly qualified people who have the same amount of experience as you do. Are these people being promoted faster than you? This is a good benchmark. Resist the temptation to make THAT the only basis of an argument for your own promotion. But your feelings should be expressed to your boss. 

3. Take an Unflinching Inventory of Your Contributions

Understand your actual contributions should be recognized by peers or your boss. This exercise serves a dual purpose: If you have been a great worker, you now have a list of your accomplishments to work into a salary discussion with your boss. If you feel you may be lacking upon closer inspection, you have a chance to redouble your efforts to get your projects over the finish line. 

4. If You Decide To Wait It Out, at Least Have the Talk

Not many people enjoy engaging their boss in a salary or promotion discussion, but nearly everyone who has been promoted or gotten a higher salary has had to do it, so approach it as the fee of entry, and get your talking points down. Know what you’ve done. Keep your plea short, and unemotional, and ask your boss for feedback. If you feel like you were not listened to, it’s probably time to set a deadline after which if you’re not “up,” you can see yourself out.

5. Look at Comparable Moves

Are there other, similarly qualified people who have the same amount of experience as you who have been promoted recently? Perhaps there are some who have been promoted faster than you. This is a good benchmark. Avoid making THAT fact the basis of an argument for your own promotion. However you should you broach the topic with your boss.

6. Close the gap between your current and future skill-set requirements

“While you may be a top performer in your current job, there may be areas where you still need to develop before hitting your target role.” Says says Sarah Paul, Director of Human Resources at Govan Brown Construction Managers. “You may require further education or certification, demonstrated decision taking, change management etc. Ensure you are accurately gauging where the gaps are between your current behavioral and technical skill-set and those required in the more senior role at your company.”

Being honest with yourself, candid with your boss, and knowing what you’re worth in the marketplace can go a long way towards making the decision easier.


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