Search Amazon.com:
Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«18 »
  • Post
  • Reply
ProFootballGuy
Nov 6, 2012

by angerbot


Didn't see anything here for general career path advice. We're full of goons seeking entry-level and early-career tips, but as a lot of us are reaching our late 20s-30s it's time for some discussion on how to progress in your career and get ahead in the world.

I consider this to be the "OK, now what?" phase of our careers. It's when you've settled into a decent/good position and are wondering what's next. Some of us want to go full-steam and become a CEO, while others want to progress to a cushy senior-level position doing similar work to what they're doing now. It's all great - this is discussion about your personal goals and how to accomplish them.

Input from professionals is huge here - what have you done and how have you done it? What do you want to do in the future? What are some critical tips on how to get it done? From a personal perspective, I can share my experience in the IT sales industry if anyone's interested. What's your position and how'd you get there? What do you want to do, and how did others who have your desired position get it?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Eating the Pudding
Apr 28, 2009



I'm not a big baller, but I think I've done pretty well for my age. Here are my tips:

1. Your job is to make your boss's job easier. Don't make them hound you for little things. Take care of your boss and they will take care of you. Loyalty is important!

2. People are social creatures. Your brilliance rarely means anything if you can't work with others. Hate social politics? Climbing the ladder isn't for you.

3. No one owes you anything. Life isn't fair. No one likes a whiner.

4. Show enthusiasm and passion when you speak! Walk with purpose.

5. See the bigger picture. Look at issues and understand what is really important. Eliminate the clutter.

ProFootballGuy
Nov 6, 2012

by angerbot


Eating the Pudding posted:

I'm not a big baller, but I think I've done pretty well for my age. Here are my tips:

1. Your job is to make your boss's job easier. Don't make them hound you for little things. Take care of your boss and they will take care of you. Loyalty is important!

2. People are social creatures. Your brilliance rarely means anything if you can't work with others. Hate social politics? Climbing the ladder isn't for you.

3. No one owes you anything. Life isn't fair. No one likes a whiner.

4. Show enthusiasm and passion when you speak! Walk with purpose.

5. See the bigger picture. Look at issues and understand what is really important. Eliminate the clutter.
Agreed on all counts. When I was a sales engineer it took me a year to figure out that my technology improved X, Y, and Z numbers and why wouldn't the customer buy? Once I learned how to translate those figures into actual, business value everything fell into place.

Social politics are huge. Be a likeable person and you'll thrive. Once you do that and figure out what actually matters? It's a new world, both internally and externally.

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!


What a wonderfully timed thread. I just turned 32, have been working as a customer support engineer for 10 years and am sitting here banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to transition from my current position to the next rung. I work remotely so I am very disconnected from corporate and the opportunities for advancement within the field service group are very few and very far between. I went back to school for a masters in Organizational Leadership and am constantly educating myself on various management tools/concepts so I know how I would approach running a service group. Unfortunately, when it comes to actually finding openings I'm coming up empty.

One of the reasons for this is I don't know what I'm looking for outside my own employer. Internally, the first layer of management over field service engineers is the Group Leader. No one else seems to use that title. Whenever I attempt to search for something less specific like Service Manager I tend to come across executive level, national or multi-region positions well above what I'm looking for.

I've thought about going back to school again to get an MBA (with company support) but I'm not convinced that getting another degree in such an overly saturated area of study will be of much help.

I've been reading the thread on how to find a job through LinkedIn and am hoping with a bit of work I can start to make some inroads through there but I still have some work to do before I really start to step up the effort.

I'm sure like many in this position I know where I want to end up but I have little to no idea how to get there. It would be nice to hear from others how they managed to move from where they started to something bigger.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web

I'm happy where I am right now as a manager for a small test prep company (10 employees). I was promoted earlier this year and negotiated a nice raise thanks to the smart people of BFC. Things I think worked for me:

- Working for a small company. There's no chance I would be able to take on the roles I have at a big-box prep place, and it's a lot harder to stand out if you're one in a thousand other employees. That said, I'm pretty much at the top where I am now. I think it's good practice to move up in a small company to get managerial experience and then move to a larger company if that's what you want.

- Adding extra value. I've always pushed myself to do the best work and volunteered for projects that would help my skills grow. That's led me to a place where I'm a pretty irreplaceable part of the company, which definitely helps for negotiations.

- Social stuff. I'm a huge introvert but if I were a dick to people I could never be a manager. I try to be friendly and helpful and I think it's definitely helped me get where I am.

Now, I love my job and don't see myself leaving anytime soon. However, my goal is to be able to travel much more than I am right now. So I'm working towards that by doing a number of things...

Pushing towards online development of our materials.
Diversifying into side businesses. Now that I have some free time, I'm moving into developing my online freelancing work that will hopefully push me towards more independence. I don't ever want to HAVE to do one job.
Networking with other people in different fields so that if I need to switch jobs, I will have a number of prospects already lined up.

I'm a big fan of reading career development blogs to push myself ahead, and my personal favorites are Ramit Sethi and Penelope Trunk (mainly for women).

Mutar
Sep 10, 2003
His name is Robert Paulson. His name is Robert Paulson. His name is...

I've been thinking of making this post for a while, but never figured out where to put it.

Iím in a rather niche role at the moment within IT, and Iím trying to figure out what I should be doing to keep myself in demand. I currently working in Executive IT support - I am the IT guy for the C-Level execs at a largeish financial services company, and have performed the same job for a Fortune 50 retail business as well. I basically keep any bit of technology these C levels touch working; their office needs, as well as their home networks/devices and their half dozen iPads. Iíve been doing this gig for close to four years now, and it seems to work fairly well for me. I was recruited away from my current employer to go to the big retail gig, and headhunted back a year later. What I am trying to figure out is what to do now. I donít have a college degree, and my only certifications are pretty old/outdated. My position seems stable, and provides a good income for the amount of effort I put in, but it is a very niche role - Most companies have maybe 4 guys doing this total. That leads to openings being a bit more uncommon than your usual desktop support role. It also leads to a lack of a simple advancement path for me. I essentially report to a guy who reports to the CIO, so not a whole lot of room opening up there any time soon either. This also leaves me without a lot of opportunity to lead a team and get some managment experience.


This job is really not as much of an IT job as you might think, its just the biggest Customer Service job youíll have - my job is to keep them happy with their technology, explain issues to them in a manner that they understand, and help them use their equipment to the best of their ability. The thing of it is that now I am a bit nervous that my technical skills are going to atrophy away to nothing. From a purely technical perspective, I do the same thing that Geek Squad does, just for more demanding clients and for a lot more money. I work on desktops, laptops, iOS devices, and home networks.

So Iím trying to figure out whatís next - as far as I have figured I may have two options: Specialization or Management. Specialization would be tough to while I am in this role, as I donít touch enough of the systems that could be potential career paths. Management might suit my soft skills better than specialization, but itíd pretty much require me to get more hands off on the actual technology, which is where Iím hanging my hat now.

I apologize if this is a bit of a stream of consciousness style writing, but Iíve had trouble organizing my thoughts on this of late. What do you say? What's next?

Wagoneer
Jul 16, 2006

hay there!

Eating the Pudding posted:

I'm not a big baller, but I think I've done pretty well for my age. Here are my tips:

1. Your job is to make your boss's job easier. Don't make them hound you for little things. Take care of your boss and they will take care of you. Loyalty is important!

2. People are social creatures. Your brilliance rarely means anything if you can't work with others. Hate social politics? Climbing the ladder isn't for you.

3. No one owes you anything. Life isn't fair. No one likes a whiner.

4. Show enthusiasm and passion when you speak! Walk with purpose.

5. See the bigger picture. Look at issues and understand what is really important. Eliminate the clutter.

This seems about right. I'm at a cross-roads right now. I've been moving laterally for about 4 years (since I graduated) - but done fairly well salary-wise. However, I'm looking to get into management. Unfortunately, I'm more-or-less "stuck" in this worker bee role. I have management opportunities elsewhere, but moving doesn't help me shake a reputation of a job hopper. I'm also pretty close to the people I work with. They're also incredibly smart and the best in the business. My boss is incredibly nit-picky about the small things and I'm not the most socially compatible with one of the partners (though we try and it's a little painful).

So basically I'm snagged on the hook of #1. Loyalty is important, but I'm getting hounded for small (often inconsequential) things. I know I can go into management, but I'm not sure if I should make another move to do it. I still have more to learn regarding the technical side of my field, but I feel if I stay a worker bee I'll get pigeon-holed into being one indefinitely.

zmcnulty
Jul 26, 2003



Interesting idea for a thread, pretty well-timed for me as well.

My current career path will probably be ending in 18-24 months. Basically due to the combination of my location (Tokyo), industry (finance), role (derivatives operations), and company (the one exiting the derivatives business), I expect to either be forced to relocate to Singapore/Shanghai or be in the street within 18-24 months. So I'm evaluating my options.

I knew this path would be relatively short before I signed up, so it's not like I'm being caught off-guard. But for the past 6 years I've been lazy; I haven't given enough thought to taking the next step. Investment banking operations doesn't really prepare you with a skill set applicable in lots of other industries, since we're not qualified (i.e. we're not accountants/CPAs/laywers/anything), nor are we analytic (we aren't traders or investment bankers) nor good salespeople (we're not sales/marketing).

Seems like every one of my options has some pitfall:
1. Roll with the punches, stay in my department/company, get promoted, move to a new city blah blah. It may be a nice change of pace and definitely wouldn't be a BAD lifestyle. But it would be increasingly competitive... as an industry we're just getting more and more desperate by the day. Also I can't stand the thought of being 50 years old, looking back on my career, and seeing that I've spent decades of my life doing this.
2. Switch companies to stay in Tokyo. Easy enough, people do it all the time, but I have a feeling I'll be in the same boat in 2-3 years time.
3. Switch roles. Once in a blue moon an opportunity arises for an operations person to take a role in front office (typically sales/trading). Maybe the work would be slightly more engaging. But not enough?
4. MBA is sort of the textbook post-banking career path. I have enough savings that I could go, debt-free, but that doesn't instantly make it worthwhile. Why do I need an MBA, or the network that comes with it? Until I can answer that question, I have no reason to go.
5. Try and swing into a different career. I interview well and my resume looks nice on paper, but realistically speaking it's going to be very difficult to apply my experience. I'd be heavily reliant on soft skills. Plus there's the pesky salary issue... nobody wants a pay cut, which I'm virtually guaranteed by switching away from finance.
6. Turn my back on all of that and do something completely unrelated. Some of these options are more realistic than others: starting a pineapple farm, bartending, teaching English, starting a business, taking a white-privilege gap year to travel, volunteering

Combination of #4 and #5 seems like the best. I need to dust off that GMAT textbook.

ixo
Sep 8, 2004

Eventually it will kill you


I work for the USDA doing quality control work in poultry and egg plants. I have fantastic benefits and a comfy salary. There's plenty of advancement opportunity, but the trouble is that the majority of those opportunities exist in places I would never want to live. I'll need to give serious thought to my career path in the next 3-5 years, and decide between:

- Moving to a less desirable area, ie CA central valley/the midwest/Washington DC for a promotion

- Staying where I am as long as possible with minimal raises (they won't let me do this job for more than 8-10 years)

- Either switching agencies or leaving for private industry, and losing all the perks that come with federal employment

Shadowhand00
Jan 22, 2006

Golden Bear is ever watching; day by day he prowls, and when he hears the tread of lowly Stanfurd red,from his Lair he fiercely growls.

One of the VPs in my company sat down with me for a skip-level meeting. He told me he looks for 3 things when he promotes someone:

1. The smarts to deal with the new position as well as deal with unexpected situations
2. The humility to learn to deal with the new position, as well as the ability to learn.
3. The hunger and desire to work for the new position, as well as the passion to excel at the position.

He told me he really sees me as strong in #1 and #2, but he definitely wants to see me get better at #3 before he would consider promoting me. It wasn't disheartening to hear as much as inspirational in this case.

ProFootballGuy
Nov 6, 2012

by angerbot


zmcnulty posted:

Interesting idea for a thread, pretty well-timed for me as well.

My current career path will probably be ending in 18-24 months. Basically due to the combination of my location (Tokyo), industry (finance), role (derivatives operations), and company (the one exiting the derivatives business), I expect to either be forced to relocate to Singapore/Shanghai or be in the street within 18-24 months. So I'm evaluating my options.

I knew this path would be relatively short before I signed up, so it's not like I'm being caught off-guard. But for the past 6 years I've been lazy; I haven't given enough thought to taking the next step. Investment banking operations doesn't really prepare you with a skill set applicable in lots of other industries, since we're not qualified (i.e. we're not accountants/CPAs/laywers/anything), nor are we analytic (we aren't traders or investment bankers) nor good salespeople (we're not sales/marketing).

Seems like every one of my options has some pitfall:
1. Roll with the punches, stay in my department/company, get promoted, move to a new city blah blah. It may be a nice change of pace and definitely wouldn't be a BAD lifestyle. But it would be increasingly competitive... as an industry we're just getting more and more desperate by the day. Also I can't stand the thought of being 50 years old, looking back on my career, and seeing that I've spent decades of my life doing this.
2. Switch companies to stay in Tokyo. Easy enough, people do it all the time, but I have a feeling I'll be in the same boat in 2-3 years time.
3. Switch roles. Once in a blue moon an opportunity arises for an operations person to take a role in front office (typically sales/trading). Maybe the work would be slightly more engaging. But not enough?
4. MBA is sort of the textbook post-banking career path. I have enough savings that I could go, debt-free, but that doesn't instantly make it worthwhile. Why do I need an MBA, or the network that comes with it? Until I can answer that question, I have no reason to go.
5. Try and swing into a different career. I interview well and my resume looks nice on paper, but realistically speaking it's going to be very difficult to apply my experience. I'd be heavily reliant on soft skills. Plus there's the pesky salary issue... nobody wants a pay cut, which I'm virtually guaranteed by switching away from finance.
6. Turn my back on all of that and do something completely unrelated. Some of these options are more realistic than others: starting a pineapple farm, bartending, teaching English, starting a business, taking a white-privilege gap year to travel, volunteering

Combination of #4 and #5 seems like the best. I need to dust off that GMAT textbook.
MBA-By-Default is kind of where I'm at right now, also. It's probably why all their essay questions are "What, specifically, do you want to do with this?" It's a hard question. What's an entry-level MBA job that you couldn't get with your current credentials?

You're in a good spot, being in the financial industry, since banking/finance has broad applicability to every industry. Not sure what IB operations entails, but you've probably picked up some skills at least evaluating the general business environment.

Shadowhand00 posted:

One of the VPs in my company sat down with me for a skip-level meeting. He told me he looks for 3 things when he promotes someone:

1. The smarts to deal with the new position as well as deal with unexpected situations
2. The humility to learn to deal with the new position, as well as the ability to learn.
3. The hunger and desire to work for the new position, as well as the passion to excel at the position.

He told me he really sees me as strong in #1 and #2, but he definitely wants to see me get better at #3 before he would consider promoting me. It wasn't disheartening to hear as much as inspirational in this case.
Just an opinion, but unless you *really* love your company, I'm not a big fan of waiting around to be promoted internally (Edit: Unless your company is growing really fast and you're in at the ground level). It's a good way to wind up in middle management, but does anyone really have a burning desire for a middle management career?

Especially when you're younger, it's hard to shake the image of your previous positions when you move up internally. When you go to a new company, it's more of a clean slate and people see you as what you are, not what you used to be. A new company is also not going to lowball you on salary when moving up to a new position, while an internal promotion may be seen as a "gift" to you.

ProFootballGuy fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2013 around 01:02

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!


ProFootballGuy posted:

Just an opinion, but unless you *really* love your company, I'm not a big fan of waiting around to be promoted internally (Edit: Unless your company is growing really fast and you're in at the ground level).

Quoting this because it can absolutely be true. Incoming anecdote! When I finished my master's degree 3 years ago I had a serious sit down with my group leader about my future in the company. His boss, the Regional Manager, was close to retirement and as things stood at that time, when he retired one of the two Group Leaders would be promoted opening up a position I would have a good shot at. What ended up happening was the Regional Manager was forced into retirement early and our region was merged with another. There has since been 2 more reorganizations that have resulted in additional merging and the number of Group Leader positions has gotten smaller.

As much as I enjoy what I do, the people I work with and the freedom this job has granted me it's become clear that if I want to move up I have to move out. Because I waited, I've lost 3 years that I should have spent looking, polishing my resume, networking, etc.

In other words, if you're looking for a promotion start looking outside your organization while you're waiting for something to open up in yours. There's a good chance you'll find something externally before something opens up internally.

ProFootballGuy
Nov 6, 2012

by angerbot


TouchyMcFeely posted:

Quoting this because it can absolutely be true. Incoming anecdote! When I finished my master's degree 3 years ago I had a serious sit down with my group leader about my future in the company. His boss, the Regional Manager, was close to retirement and as things stood at that time, when he retired one of the two Group Leaders would be promoted opening up a position I would have a good shot at. What ended up happening was the Regional Manager was forced into retirement early and our region was merged with another. There has since been 2 more reorganizations that have resulted in additional merging and the number of Group Leader positions has gotten smaller.

As much as I enjoy what I do, the people I work with and the freedom this job has granted me it's become clear that if I want to move up I have to move out. Because I waited, I've lost 3 years that I should have spent looking, polishing my resume, networking, etc.

In other words, if you're looking for a promotion start looking outside your organization while you're waiting for something to open up in yours. There's a good chance you'll find something externally before something opens up internally.
Agreed. As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, it can sometimes be easier to get a bigger/better position at a smaller company, which you can then parlay into bigger/better positions elsewhere. It can seem a bit mercenary and job-hopperish, but if you're competent, network well, and never burn bridges you won't piss anyone off. I'm big on the "progression" in my resume; I always want to look upwardly-mobile and dynamic.

Xguard86
Nov 22, 2004

"You don't understand his pain. Everywhere he goes he sees women working, wearing pants, speaking in gatherings, voting. Surely they will burn in the white hot flames of Hell"

Depending on the company, VP, number 3 could also just be blowing smoke up his rear end to get more work for a reward that may/may not come at some point in the indeterminate future. I hate to be so cynical but I've seen people take stuff like that to heart and work double for half their value for years waiting to be "good enough" for the next level.

Mutar
Sep 10, 2003
His name is Robert Paulson. His name is Robert Paulson. His name is...

Mutar posted:

I've been thinking of making this post for a while, but never figured out where to put it.

Iím in a rather niche role at the moment within IT, and Iím trying to figure out what I should be doing to keep myself in demand. I currently working in Executive IT support - I am the IT guy for the C-Level execs at a largeish financial services company, and have performed the same job for a Fortune 50 retail business as well. I basically keep any bit of technology these C levels touch working; their office needs, as well as their home networks/devices and their half dozen iPads. Iíve been doing this gig for close to four years now, and it seems to work fairly well for me. I was recruited away from my current employer to go to the big retail gig, and headhunted back a year later. What I am trying to figure out is what to do now. I donít have a college degree, and my only certifications are pretty old/outdated. My position seems stable, and provides a good income for the amount of effort I put in, but it is a very niche role - Most companies have maybe 4 guys doing this total. That leads to openings being a bit more uncommon than your usual desktop support role. It also leads to a lack of a simple advancement path for me. I essentially report to a guy who reports to the CIO, so not a whole lot of room opening up there any time soon either. This also leaves me without a lot of opportunity to lead a team and get some managment experience.


This job is really not as much of an IT job as you might think, its just the biggest Customer Service job youíll have - my job is to keep them happy with their technology, explain issues to them in a manner that they understand, and help them use their equipment to the best of their ability. The thing of it is that now I am a bit nervous that my technical skills are going to atrophy away to nothing. From a purely technical perspective, I do the same thing that Geek Squad does, just for more demanding clients and for a lot more money. I work on desktops, laptops, iOS devices, and home networks.

So Iím trying to figure out whatís next - as far as I have figured I may have two options: Specialization or Management. Specialization would be tough to while I am in this role, as I donít touch enough of the systems that could be potential career paths. Management might suit my soft skills better than specialization, but itíd pretty much require me to get more hands off on the actual technology, which is where Iím hanging my hat now.

I apologize if this is a bit of a stream of consciousness style writing, but Iíve had trouble organizing my thoughts on this of late. What do you say? What's next?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Fraternite
Dec 24, 2001

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Shadowhand00 posted:

One of the VPs in my company sat down with me for a skip-level meeting. He told me he looks for 3 things when he promotes someone:

1. The smarts to deal with the new position as well as deal with unexpected situations
2. The humility to learn to deal with the new position, as well as the ability to learn.
3. The hunger and desire to work for the new position, as well as the passion to excel at the position.

He told me he really sees me as strong in #1 and #2, but he definitely wants to see me get better at #3 before he would consider promoting me. It wasn't disheartening to hear as much as inspirational in this case.

So what's the plan he's signed off on where you can get the opportunity to measure your development over time at #3? And what's the VP's timeline for you if/when you show success by meeting his expectations by that date?

If you don't have answers to these questions there's a good chance you're getting smoke blown up your rear end. Written critiques with mutually-agreed on goals and terms of success is how serious career development happens. Vague verbal promises about the future is how people get indefinitely strung along.

econdroidbot
Mar 1, 2008

AS USELESS AS A HAT FULL OF BUSTED ASSHOLES


TouchyMcFeely posted:

Quoting this because it can absolutely be true. Incoming anecdote! When I finished my master's degree 3 years ago I had a serious sit down with my group leader about my future in the company. His boss, the Regional Manager, was close to retirement and as things stood at that time, when he retired one of the two Group Leaders would be promoted opening up a position I would have a good shot at. What ended up happening was the Regional Manager was forced into retirement early and our region was merged with another. There has since been 2 more reorganizations that have resulted in additional merging and the number of Group Leader positions has gotten smaller.

As much as I enjoy what I do, the people I work with and the freedom this job has granted me it's become clear that if I want to move up I have to move out. Because I waited, I've lost 3 years that I should have spent looking, polishing my resume, networking, etc.

In other words, if you're looking for a promotion start looking outside your organization while you're waiting for something to open up in yours. There's a good chance you'll find something externally before something opens up internally.

Uh oh, I see a lot of myself in this post! I'm approaching a similar crossroads at my current company. I've been successful as a senior analyst, but in my opinion it's time to jump to some sort of manager position. They keep telling me about what a good job I've been doing and maybe they will send me to Colombia or China, but then nothing happens. So, I'm coming to the conclusion that I need to leave in order to move up.

Mentally I'm a little stuck on the management experience aspect. To some extent it seems like a chicken/egg scenario, in which you need manager experience to be a manager. What's the mentality of outside companies when it comes to hiring for a manager position? How much of a strike against me will it be that I don't currently have any managerial experience? Should I focus solely on external analyst positions, or are managerial roles at least plausible?

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!


econdroidbot posted:

Uh oh, I see a lot of myself in this post! I'm approaching a similar crossroads at my current company. I've been successful as a senior analyst, but in my opinion it's time to jump to some sort of manager position. They keep telling me about what a good job I've been doing and maybe they will send me to Colombia or China, but then nothing happens. So, I'm coming to the conclusion that I need to leave in order to move up.

Mentally I'm a little stuck on the management experience aspect. To some extent it seems like a chicken/egg scenario, in which you need manager experience to be a manager. What's the mentality of outside companies when it comes to hiring for a manager position? How much of a strike against me will it be that I don't currently have any managerial experience? Should I focus solely on external analyst positions, or are managerial roles at least plausible?

It's the same problem people fresh out of college run into - everyone wants experience but you can't get experience until you have the job.

What I've been doing in my own case is get into as many leadership and management roles outside of my job as possible. I maintain a subscription to Harvard Business Review to educate myself on business trends and techniques, I'm an officer with my local Toastmasters Club, I went back to school and earned an advanced degree and I'm in the process of putting together a Net Promoter system at the local level for my employer (by the way, if anyone has experience with NPS I'd love to pick your brain).

I'm hoping that by doing all these extra things I can paint a picture for potential employers that while I may not be a manager at my current position I have demonstrated managerial talent and competency regardless. I don't know if all of these extra things will help at all but if nothing else I find them interesting distractions that help keep my brain working.

edit: If you know anyone who has a subscription to HBR, ask them if they get offers for gifting a free year. I get them pretty regularly when my subscription is coming up. Don't have any to give at the moment unfortunately.

econdroidbot
Mar 1, 2008

AS USELESS AS A HAT FULL OF BUSTED ASSHOLES


TouchyMcFeely posted:

Good advice.

Thanks for the thoughtful response! I've got a couple of those same things going for me (i.e. advanced degree, visible roles on big projects) but there are always ways I can improve. I'll need to put some serious thought into finding a "manager" role in a non-work capacity.

Also, HBR is a good read.

Xguard86
Nov 22, 2004

"You don't understand his pain. Everywhere he goes he sees women working, wearing pants, speaking in gatherings, voting. Surely they will burn in the white hot flames of Hell"

i read the HBR feed on google reader every morning because its really interesting. Maybe I'll go ahead and subscribe and leave issues laying around my desk "strategically".

Ultimate Mango
Jan 18, 2005

She's a sharkmouth clam
beware
she is

Great idea for a thread. I definitely fit the mould of this thread (mid 30s, always working on career progression), but I also am in a position in my career where I hire, develop, and promote the type of people posting in this thread.

Incoming wall of text and responses:

I am a frontline manager in a large-ish IT focused company with an incredible focus on management, leadership, and development. My career trajectory started with a help desk job in school and I have help various IT roles (including exec support), consulting (IT technology and processes), services, presales, and now leadership. I have worked for companies as small as seven people into the hundred-thousand-personnel-plus size.

I am happy to provide both generic advice as well as specific thoughts for those in my area of expertise.

Development Plans
Do those of you who want to move up have a development plan to get you there? Sure, it is nice when your company does a development plan, but most just 'check the box' and don't really do anything of use to you as an employee. If there is interest, a development planning post or even thread might be useful to some of you. Take control of your own development and have a plan that gets you where you want to go.

ProFootballGuy posted:

Agreed on all counts. When I was a sales engineer it took me a year to figure out that my technology improved X, Y, and Z numbers and why wouldn't the customer buy? Once I learned how to translate those figures into actual, business value everything fell into place.

Business Value is key. I don't care what your job is, if you understand the business value you provide you have a leg up on most of your peers. When I was a consultant I knew exactly how much money my employer made off my bookings. Software sales is all about business value, and it is the only lever to prevent sales at maximum discount every time.

Wagoneer posted:

I'm looking to get into management.

You and most everybody else, and nearly everyone is wrong. Why do you want to get into Management? Most people I speak with on the topic say 'money,' which in my mind is an instant DQ. 'Career growth,' is the other common answer and mostly shows that the individual isn't really thinking about all of the career options and opportunities that might be more in line with their skills and needs. Lots of interesting discussion to be had on this topic.

Shadowhand00 posted:

One of the VPs in my company sat down with me for a skip-level meeting. He told me he looks for 3 things when he promotes someone:

1. The smarts to deal with the new position as well as deal with unexpected situations
2. The humility to learn to deal with the new position, as well as the ability to learn.
3. The hunger and desire to work for the new position, as well as the passion to excel at the position.

He told me he really sees me as strong in #1 and #2, but he definitely wants to see me get better at #3 before he would consider promoting me. It wasn't disheartening to hear as much as inspirational in this case.

We use 'iced': Intelligent, Character/Coachable, Education/Experience, Drive.

Showing drive and passion is one of the easier things to work on, but you have to work on it. Those without the drive tend to be the ones likely to leave because they want to do something 'different.'

TouchyMcFeely posted:

As much as I enjoy what I do, the people I work with and the freedom this job has granted me it's become clear that if I want to move up I have to move out. Because I waited, I've lost 3 years that I should have spent looking, polishing my resume, networking, etc.

Mr. McFeely, from everything you wrote it sounds like you need to pull the eject handle where you are soon, and then really work on moving up. You are likely stifled where you are.

Mutar posted:

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Mutar: Yes, many. I have been in your shoes. You likely have many more options than you realize. It will come down to your talents, abilities, and desires.

econdroidbot posted:

Uh oh, I see a lot of myself in this post! I'm approaching a similar crossroads at my current company. I've been successful as a senior analyst, but in my opinion it's time to jump to some sort of manager position. They keep telling me about what a good job I've been doing and maybe they will send me to Colombia or China, but then nothing happens. So, I'm coming to the conclusion that I need to leave in order to move up.

Mentally I'm a little stuck on the management experience aspect. To some extent it seems like a chicken/egg scenario, in which you need manager experience to be a manager. What's the mentality of outside companies when it comes to hiring for a manager position? How much of a strike against me will it be that I don't currently have any managerial experience? Should I focus solely on external analyst positions, or are managerial roles at least plausible?

Why do you want to be a manager? I agree that most companies do a poor job of succession planning and leadership development. Either your company doesn't do it or they are doing it with someone else. Does your leadership know that you want to move into management? Some industries will promote analysts to managers, but those tend to be ones where managers still do analysis and years of experience doing the analyst job are directly relevant (Accounting/Finance for one).

Shadowhand00
Jan 22, 2006

Golden Bear is ever watching; day by day he prowls, and when he hears the tread of lowly Stanfurd red,from his Lair he fiercely growls.

Fraternite posted:

So what's the plan he's signed off on where you can get the opportunity to measure your development over time at #3? And what's the VP's timeline for you if/when you show success by meeting his expectations by that date?

If you don't have answers to these questions there's a good chance you're getting smoke blown up your rear end. Written critiques with mutually-agreed on goals and terms of success is how serious career development happens. Vague verbal promises about the future is how people get indefinitely strung along.

Thanks for this. Its really putting things into perspective for me. I'm going to mention getting some goals and terms of success in place with my new manager to ensure that I am able to move forward with my career development. I honestly appreciate the other feedback on this as well.

Ultimate Mango
Jan 18, 2005

She's a sharkmouth clam
beware
she is

Shadowhand00 posted:

Thanks for this. Its really putting things into perspective for me. I'm going to mention getting some goals and terms of success in place with my new manager to ensure that I am able to move forward with my career development. I honestly appreciate the other feedback on this as well.

Be proactive with this. Have ideas of what you think would be really good goals and objectives, and have a clear development objective. Do you want to go up the next level? Have a plan that gets you there.

I know this will sound cheesy, but seriously, use the SMART concept when defining your goals. I usually have my people only take on a couple things at a time, but under the framework of some broader plan. You will look like a rockstar if come up with a plan and execute against it. Will also show the drive your VP is looking for.

This is all about what you do, how well you execute, and how well you communicate your success up the chain.

econdroidbot
Mar 1, 2008

AS USELESS AS A HAT FULL OF BUSTED ASSHOLES


Ultimate Mango posted:

Why do you want to be a manager? I agree that most companies do a poor job of succession planning and leadership development. Either your company doesn't do it or they are doing it with someone else. Does your leadership know that you want to move into management? Some industries will promote analysts to managers, but those tend to be ones where managers still do analysis and years of experience doing the analyst job are directly relevant (Accounting/Finance for one).

This is a very fair question. One of the reasons I want to be a manager is for career growth. I've been successful as an individual contributor, and to me the next challenge is to see if I can develop other talent. I innately like teaching/sharing knowledge, but I realize that doesn't mean I would be a good manager. Still, I'm not going to know unless I try! Also, if I do become a manager I would like to keep my hand in the analysis work, at least to some degree.

With all that being said, another motivating factor is money. Rightly or wrongly, my company (and most, I assume) value managerial experience more than individual contribution. I've helped drive incremental revenue by at least 3% every month since I started, but it hasn't gotten me an extra dime. I have an expensive graduate degree to pay off, so my options are to either go into the management realm or go into consulting.

I've made it clear that I want to be in management, I have excellent performance reviews, and I have a solid rapport with people from the entry level all the way to a couple of VPs. I keep getting told that leadership views me as a high potential employee and they want me to have more opportunities (international assignments, special projects, management), but that inevitably ends up ringing hollow. Enough is enough. Two years on the same job, and I've learned it in and out. I'm stagnant, and I'm not going to play the "wait around until someone comes to you" game, which is what they want me to do.

For what it's worth, my direct manager is also stuck in the same quandary. Little to no career guidance, and pigeonholed into his current role because as long as he's there nothing gets screwed up. His boss (my director) was recently canned, so perhaps the whole mentality will change once there is someone with vision and leadership skills at the helm.

DukAmok
Sep 21, 2006

Using drugs will kill. So be for real.

econdroidbot posted:

This is a very fair question. One of the reasons I want to be a manager is for career growth. I've been successful as an individual contributor, and to me the next challenge is to see if I can develop other talent. I innately like teaching/sharing knowledge, but I realize that doesn't mean I would be a good manager. Still, I'm not going to know unless I try! Also, if I do become a manager I would like to keep my hand in the analysis work, at least to some degree.

With all that being said, another motivating factor is money. Rightly or wrongly, my company (and most, I assume) value managerial experience more than individual contribution. I've helped drive incremental revenue by at least 3% every month since I started, but it hasn't gotten me an extra dime. I have an expensive graduate degree to pay off, so my options are to either go into the management realm or go into consulting.

I've made it clear that I want to be in management, I have excellent performance reviews, and I have a solid rapport with people from the entry level all the way to a couple of VPs. I keep getting told that leadership views me as a high potential employee and they want me to have more opportunities (international assignments, special projects, management), but that inevitably ends up ringing hollow. Enough is enough. Two years on the same job, and I've learned it in and out. I'm stagnant, and I'm not going to play the "wait around until someone comes to you" game, which is what they want me to do.

For what it's worth, my direct manager is also stuck in the same quandary. Little to no career guidance, and pigeonholed into his current role because as long as he's there nothing gets screwed up. His boss (my director) was recently canned, so perhaps the whole mentality will change once there is someone with vision and leadership skills at the helm.

I really don't like this mindset from the perspective of a company. A smart company would recognize key contributors and provide them paths for advancement that don't involve management, but it looks all too common that the only way up is through the management ranks. I'm facing the same dilemma, I have no strong desire to manage people aside from the benefits it entails of increased responsibility and compensation, but if there was a parallel track that would allow me to keep doing what I'm doing but grow in that way (for me, maybe grow into a programmer analyst or something instead of an analyst) with commensurate wage growth, I'd take it in a heartbeat. I've seen plenty of blog posts recently talking about this, so maybe it's gaining some traction. For now though, manager path it is.

Shadowhand00
Jan 22, 2006

Golden Bear is ever watching; day by day he prowls, and when he hears the tread of lowly Stanfurd red,from his Lair he fiercely growls.

Ultimate Mango posted:

Be proactive with this. Have ideas of what you think would be really good goals and objectives, and have a clear development objective. Do you want to go up the next level? Have a plan that gets you there.

I know this will sound cheesy, but seriously, use the SMART concept when defining your goals. I usually have my people only take on a couple things at a time, but under the framework of some broader plan. You will look like a rockstar if come up with a plan and execute against it. Will also show the drive your VP is looking for.

This is all about what you do, how well you execute, and how well you communicate your success up the chain.

More good advice! I've set up a meeting for next week to go over these goals with my supervisor. I have a week to come up with these now and to really break down where I want to go within this company over the next year.

econdroidbot
Mar 1, 2008

AS USELESS AS A HAT FULL OF BUSTED ASSHOLES


DukAmok posted:

I really don't like this mindset from the perspective of a company. A smart company would recognize key contributors and provide them paths for advancement that don't involve management, but it looks all too common that the only way up is through the management ranks. I'm facing the same dilemma, I have no strong desire to manage people aside from the benefits it entails of increased responsibility and compensation, but if there was a parallel track that would allow me to keep doing what I'm doing but grow in that way (for me, maybe grow into a programmer analyst or something instead of an analyst) with commensurate wage growth, I'd take it in a heartbeat. I've seen plenty of blog posts recently talking about this, so maybe it's gaining some traction. For now though, manager path it is.

Dude, I hear ya. Sounds like you feel stuck. I'd like to expand my analytical skills, but that would be a lateral move at best.

Also, I hope everyone in this thread has looked at the LinkedIn networking thread!
http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3531540

Pretty good advice if you want to make a move.

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!


Ultimate Mango posted:

Development Plans
Do those of you who want to move up have a development plan to get you there? Sure, it is nice when your company does a development plan, but most just 'check the box' and don't really do anything of use to you as an employee. If there is interest, a development planning post or even thread might be useful to some of you. Take control of your own development and have a plan that gets you where you want to go.

I'd be interested in hearing more about this. My company's HR group sent out a packet a few years ago that I think was an attempt at this and like so many things it died almost immediately. If there is a way to put a map like that together on my own I would love to learn more about it.

quote:

Mr. McFeely, from everything you wrote it sounds like you need to pull the eject handle where you are soon, and then really work on moving up. You are likely stifled where you are.

I'm in the early process of doing just that. I've been following the discussion in the LinkedIn thread econdroidbot mentioned to help build a network and I purchased the services of one of the resume polishing goons from SA-Mart as well. I've also been thinking very seriously about a total change in career as opposed to just advancement. I've taken the FSOT to potentially get a job with the State Dept. and I've been toying with the idea of going into consulting. I like to think my advanced degree, extra curricular study and work history would help but I have no clue if that's actually the case or not.

Can't say anyone has called me Mr. McFeely before but I like it and I think I'm going to demand my GF start calling me that. I'll let you know how it works out.

DukAmok
Sep 21, 2006

Using drugs will kill. So be for real.

econdroidbot posted:

Dude, I hear ya. Sounds like you feel stuck. I'd like to expand my analytical skills, but that would be a lateral move at best.

Luckily enough I don't feel stuck, but that's because I get the distinct impression this company doesn't mind having managers that essentially do the same thing as their reports. Crossing my fingers for March, reviews are in for 2012 and manager is looking promising!

Oh and those SMART goals mentioned above are great. Just make sure you set achievable ones. No sense getting tied to something that you'll never complete. Currently working on setting my 2013 goals, definitely putting a lot of thought into that this year.

pancaek
Feb 6, 2004

sup fellaz

Mutar posted:

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

If you're in your late 20's/early 30's then you have plenty of time to gain management experience. What gets harder over time is playing catch-up with your skill set. If you let your technical skills lag, then you're going to have a hell of a time learning them all over again. If you feel comfortable that your job is still going to be around in the next year or two, start using your down time to brush up on your skills and get certified in new ones. Then, bounce to a company where you can see a more direct path to climb the management ladder.

NeekBerm
Jun 25, 2004

Who are you calling chicken?

I've found myself in the weird position of going from a minimum wage job (Security) to a rapidly growing management career at a grant-funded NPO. I went from Office Support to Project Specialist to Project Manager in the period of 5 months and while I'm excited/terrified of all the new responsibilities that have been given to me, I'm really new to this office politics thing and it shows.

What is the best way to leverage this fantastic opportunity. Do I tie myself to as many projects as possible for later resume fodder? How long do I stay at this organization until I start entertaining other offers?

Ultimate Mango posted:

Be proactive with this. Have ideas of what you think would be really good goals and objectives, and have a clear development objective.

I also love that whole SMART thing and wish I knew about it a couple months ago. It's a bit like SWOT but more project and goal oriented. What I honestly need is a solid, MBA-lingo-free resource so I don't feel like such a dunce during meetings and proposals.

Mutar
Sep 10, 2003
His name is Robert Paulson. His name is Robert Paulson. His name is...

pancaek posted:

If you're in your late 20's/early 30's then you have plenty of time to gain management experience. What gets harder over time is playing catch-up with your skill set. If you let your technical skills lag, then you're going to have a hell of a time learning them all over again. If you feel comfortable that your job is still going to be around in the next year or two, start using your down time to brush up on your skills and get certified in new ones. Then, bounce to a company where you can see a more direct path to climb the management ladder.

This is what worries me - I am more or less using the technical aptitude of a Geek Squad agent in this job, just CJing all day. Haven't touched a server OS in years, etc. So going down the road of, say VMware for example, is both starting from scratch and not at all applicable to my day to day work in this position, and I doubt that'd change any time soon. The tricky thing is that I rather like this kind of work, I'm paid plenty of money that assuming more or less regular CoL increases I really can't complain. The IT jobhopper in me is terrified of settling on anything for too long, but at the same time it's hard to argue with the idea of doing this for 30 years - the compensation/work ratio is by far the highest I've had so far. But at the same time there are so few of these positions around that its hard for me to have a backup plan if something were to happen with my employer. Thats whats worrisome to me, and one of the things I'd like to get a handle on.

Crazyweasel
Oct 29, 2006
lazy

I think its prudent for a company to be skeptical of people who want to get into management without clear reasons. They understand that people wanting to get into management for the money or advancement are a dime a dozen. You need to identify specific issues within the group you see going to manage and how you will fix them. That's what they want to hear. The bottom line of the company is to hire who is going to perform the best, and having ideas before even getting the job is a great way to show that you are the best.

As for the above poster, if there are a plethora of options get involved with the most visible ones. Its a nice intention to try and help everyone's project but at the end of the day you need to make sure you do quality work. Always take quality over quantity.

Saeku
Sep 22, 2010


I'm currently a manager at a local retail business. I advanced to manager quickly because I'm very good at customer service and at the organizational/logistic side of things, but there aren't any more advancement opportunities, and the maximum potential pay is low.

Where do I go from here? How long should I stick around to look reliable before I hop ship? I'm considering doing a part-time degree in business management but I don't know how important that'll be in hiring.

Ultimate Mango
Jan 18, 2005

She's a sharkmouth clam
beware
she is

^^^ Awesome post Crazyweasel

On Management as Career Path
-At your company or in your industry/job, what makes a good individual contributor? What makes a good manager?
I can answer for my narrow slice of careers, but these questions should be seriously considered if you want to make the move from IC to management. When you actually interview for a management job, especially for a promotion at your current company, that you can articulate the difference and transition path looks very, very good.

-In your line of work, is there a difference between leadership and management?
Are there roles at your company that have more of one or the other?
I have found that many people who think they want to go into management really want a leadership role as an individual contributor (think like a non-commissioned office in the military). Leadership is rarely in the job title, and every place is different, but those roles do exist and can have all of the pay and respect with none of the hiring, firing, and HR stuff.

-What can you do as an individual contributor to show that you have the management skills appropriate for your business?
Developing others is a common answer, and there may be others. If you have experience in your current job and there are newbies on the team, do you take an active role (even if unofficial) in developing and helping new people? I have been able to make strong cases for promotion based on this as the backbone.

-Focus on the fundamentals.
Special projects are good, but I have never seen them alone get someone promoted. Do you job well. Whatever metrics and measurements go along with your job should be squeaky clean. Here is an example that comes from a friend/mentor of mine: If you want to become a Navy SEAL, you have to go through some very difficult training, including something known as 'HellWeek.' If you wash out, can't get through training, you ring a bell (literally) and get put on some terrible assignment somewhere, usually scraping paint (literally) on a boat somewhere (so the anecdote says). It is possible at times to get a second chance to become a SEAL. Those second chances are hard to come by, and my mentor always gave some simple advice: go be the best paint scraper on the boat. Be the first to step up for the worst/hardest jobs and the last in line for chow or other rewards.

Those who took that advice to heart got their second chance and got them faster than those who sat around waiting for it to come to them.

Personally, I didn't get the first, or even second third 'management' job I interviewed for, but I got the absolute best and right job for me when it came up, and I never lost sight of the fundamentals of the job I had while working for a promotion.


econdroidbot: Sounds like the problem (director) was solved, and if new leadership doesn't cut it look to find a place to work with better management.

DukAmok If you have no desire to manage people, then look for the leadership career path over the management one. I have seen people go down your path and become terrible managers. Maybe one day you will want that, but find the other path for now. I guarantee that regardless of what you do there is leadership possible as an individual contributor.



Shadowhand00 posted:

More good advice! I've set up a meeting for next week to go over these goals with my supervisor. I have a week to come up with these now and to really break down where I want to go within this company over the next year.

Post ideas here and get feedback, or PM me and I will help you.

TouchyMcFeely posted:

I'd be interested in hearing more about this. My company's HR group sent out a packet a few years ago that I think was an attempt at this and like so many things it died almost immediately. If there is a way to put a map like that together on my own I would love to learn more about it.

Can't say anyone has called me Mr. McFeely before but I like it and I think I'm going to demand my GF start calling me that. I'll let you know how it works out.

PM me and I'll work with you on development planning. That open offer goes to anyone interested here.

You can and should be doing development planning for yourself, regardless of what you do. Don't wait for HR to do it where you work, it is exceedingly uncommon, and even more rare that it is done well.

NeekBerm posted:

What is the best way to leverage this fantastic opportunity. Do I tie myself to as many projects as possible for later resume fodder? How long do I stay at this organization until I start entertaining other offers?

I also love that whole SMART thing and wish I knew about it a couple months ago. It's a bit like SWOT but more project and goal oriented. What I honestly need is a solid, MBA-lingo-free resource so I don't feel like such a dunce during meetings and proposals.

Do you want to be a project manager? There is a way to move up in that field, but it may not really be what you want... That being said it is an entire career/industry.

As for SWOT, if you do a SWOT for yourself it can and should inform your development plan.
If you do SWOT and SMART well you can take the content from it, internalize it, and talk about it without using any lingo and sound amazing in meetings and proposals.

Mutar: Where are you geographically speaking? There are likely IT career paths you aren't even thinking about, but where you are located and the types of companies where you are will dictate some of the possibilities.

Mutar
Sep 10, 2003
His name is Robert Paulson. His name is Robert Paulson. His name is...

Ultimate Mango posted:


Mutar: Where are you geographically speaking? There are likely IT career paths you aren't even thinking about, but where you are located and the types of companies where you are will dictate some of the possibilities.

Eh, this'll probably make me personally identifiable if anyone actually wanted to find out, but whatever. I'm in Minneapolis; big companies/players in town would be something like UnitedHealth, Target, Best Buy, Medtronic, GMills, St Jude, Ameriprise, etc.

Shadowhand00
Jan 22, 2006

Golden Bear is ever watching; day by day he prowls, and when he hears the tread of lowly Stanfurd red,from his Lair he fiercely growls.

Ultimate Mango posted:

Do you want to be a project manager? There is a way to move up in that field, but it may not really be what you want... That being said it is an entire career/industry.

What are some of these career paths that people may not want?

econdroidbot
Mar 1, 2008

AS USELESS AS A HAT FULL OF BUSTED ASSHOLES


Crazyweasel posted:

I think its prudent for a company to be skeptical of people who want to get into management without clear reasons. They understand that people wanting to get into management for the money or advancement are a dime a dozen. You need to identify specific issues within the group you see going to manage and how you will fix them. That's what they want to hear. The bottom line of the company is to hire who is going to perform the best, and having ideas before even getting the job is a great way to show that you are the best.

As for the above poster, if there are a plethora of options get involved with the most visible ones. Its a nice intention to try and help everyone's project but at the end of the day you need to make sure you do quality work. Always take quality over quantity.

I appreciate your opinion, but I'd like to play devil's advocate. Isn't it naive to think that individual contributors will have some sort of overwhelming intrinsic motivation beyond compensation? Rynes et al reported that candidates regularly under-report the importance of salary when queried, but monetary incentives produce the largest and most reliable increases in job performance. Put another way, the desire for more money (at the manager level) is going to produce the highest performing management candidates (on average).

Certainly it is a wonderful thing to want to move into management for the "right" reason such as personal growth or following a calling, but dismissing someone because they want more money strikes me as being insincere.

DukAmok
Sep 21, 2006

Using drugs will kill. So be for real.

Ultimate Mango posted:

DukAmok If you have no desire to manage people, then look for the leadership career path over the management one. I have seen people go down your path and become terrible managers. Maybe one day you will want that, but find the other path for now. I guarantee that regardless of what you do there is leadership possible as an individual contributor.

I would love to do that! I just don't know if it exists here. I started that conversation with my director when it came time for annual reviews, but she seemed to think that the only real advancement path was People Management. Given the big company HR, I'd believe it. Salary bands, maximum raises, these seem to be directly tied to job titles. I totally feel empowered and most definitely have a leadership role already, but it seems to me the only way to be compensated commensurately is through that title bump to Manager. If you can think of a better way to approach it I'm all ears, but so far my suggestions of creating new titles and such have been rebuffed by HR.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!

I'd like to add one quick "looking forward" suggestion:

Make sure to compare the numbers of promotions to external hirings at the rank you want to progress to in your company. Depending on your company, what you want may simply not happen. If your company institutes ratios at each level or mandatory years-in-position prior to promotions, you may very well lose ground by staying.

Examples of how this can happen:

#1 - "Market competitive" salaries to fresh hires, but annual raises / promotion raises that don't keep up with fresh market rate once you're there.
#2 - Staff 'pyramid' ratios mandating certain relative quantities at each rank, possibly blocking you from moving up. (You want to get to Rank 4 from Rank 2, but there are a glut of Rank 3 people already, so we have to not promote you until some of them retire / quit / move up themselves in order to keep from falling even further outside HR policy.)
#3 - Company mergers & acquisitions or general willingness to hire external experts to higher positions getting priority over promotions.
#4 - Rank 1 employee wants to get to Rank 4, but has a 5-years-in-rank requirement per promotion, minimum, for a position that requires 10 years experience. (15 years of service minimum versus an external hire needing only ten).
#5 - Glass ceilings by degree/promotion quantity that don't apply to external hires. (Never get there without a PhD internally, but we'll hire a M.S + 10 to do it externally, for example.)

I am not saying that the only way to move up ever is to jump ship, but sadly, in some companies this is true. Evaluate what your company actually does versus what it says it does to determine your chances of getting where you want to be.

If you've got a ton of new faces in your organization for mid-career ranks and very few promotions, your odds are not good. If, on the other hand, your company hates to hire externally and loves to promote from the base ranks, maybe you've got a shot. Just make sure you know where you stand.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«18 »