Despite the common portrayal, job seekers aren’t always unemployed. In terms of importance to your career, seeking advancement should only come second to actually having one. Whether it’s an internal promotion that has caught your eye or a glittering move to a new company there are plenty of things to consider.
There is more to a promotion than money, although that is nice. It often comes with increased responsibility, but your status will also grow as the workload and pressure build up. There are several aspects that you should give some thought to before you broach the subject of promotion with a current employer.
If you can’t succinctly provide an answer to the following essential question then it may be wise to hold off. Why does your employment to date deserve promotion? Working hard and having potential won’t cut it here; there will likely be many others in your workplace that can say the same. You’ll need to stand out from the crowd to get ahead, but it’s important to get noticed for the right reasons.
When looking into candidates for a promotion, managers often focus on four areas:
People get promoting for excelling and developing, not walking the line.
Do you work as hard as your boss? If you follow their work ethic you may follow their career path.
Ingenuity is a prized asset, simply waiting for others to take charge won’t get you anywhere.
This goes beyond arriving on time (but that does help). Deliver to a high standard consistently and you are bound to get noticed.
Understand What Your Employer Values
General advice is useful, but each employer is unique. Some groundwork into what your manager, MD or whoever holds the power to promote you appreciates most is essential. Taking the initiative and asking whoever’s in charge is bound to get you noticed, even if you don’t necessarily get the answer you were hoping for. If you don’t want to go straight to them, seek others who have achieved promotion and see what they feel set them apart. If there aren’t guidelines for career progression, it’s important to enquire and establish what you can do to take the next step.
As far as the conversation goes, saying you want to progress is a statement of intent, but asking what you need to do to be considered for a promotion will give you the direction you need on top of signaling desire. Treat any meeting like an interview, sell your strengths and achievements but don’t issue any ultimatums or demands.
Regardless of if it’s due to a stagnant career with limited opportunities or a significant offer from a fresh company, people regularly change their workplace. After accepting an offer, however, it’s common to not give much consideration to resigning and all it involves. A well-handled resignation can result in a clean separation and ensure any bridges you have built stay built.
Don’t call a meeting and simply declare you have a new position, apply some thought. Consider what you say to your employer carefully as well as what may be said in response to ensure you are not unprepared for any questions. Explain your reasoning, make sure there is no doubt as to why you are leaving and discuss your reasons without bad-mouthing your team, manager or company.
Always resign face-to-face. It’s that simple. An accompanying letter of resignation is also a good idea as the written form should ensure emotion doesn’t affect your delivery. This letter should reiterate your resignation, but it is equally important to give thanks for the opportunity.
There’s no reason your job seeking should end as soon as you land a position. Look forward, think big and see where your career can take you.