Getting or Not Getting Promoted
“Wherever you work, work hard and educate yourself continuously. You must never forget social welfare, ethics and honesty. However, there is no guarantee for your career progression. Therefore, don’t expect that only the best people will be promoted.” ― Eraldo Banovac — Author
You are working hard. You put in the extra hours and are getting a lot of things accomplished. Your work record is impeccable.
And yet there is no promotion imminent in your future. You wonder whether you are truly appreciated for all that you do. You are ready to take that next step, but it seems that your employer is not on the same wavelength as you.
You have had a number of talks with your boss. He is sympathetic to you and assures you that your time will come. He gives you great praise and reviews with a decent raise (Based on whatever the HR guidelines are). But you really want a promotion. You know you are ready so what is the holdup?
On the other hand, you have just been told that you are getting a promotion. While that sounds great, you aren’t sure you are quite ready for it yet. It is great to be recognized, but you want to make sure that once you step into that new position with the added responsibilities, that you can hit the ground running and do well.
Plus, the spot the company is promoting you to has seen a lot of traffic in the last few years. Good people have occupied the chair and yet they haven’t lasted very long before they are either fired or decide to move on.
You really like your company and the work you are doing. You certainly appreciate the opportunity, but not if it means you will become another casualty. You know that turning down a promotion could potentially be fatal to your career, but you are not sure this is the right time and the right opportunity.
So, You lie awake at night thinking the worst. Is this really what I want now and am I ready for it? Will I succeed where others have failed or will I be another goner?
“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows” — Japanese Proverb
Neither of these situations is good for you.
On the one hand, you are ready to move ahead, but the company isn’t. On the other, you aren’t ready and the company seems to be putting you in a difficult spot, one that you may certainly fail at.
In my own case, I was always looking for the next opportunity. That did not mean that I was unhappy with where I was at and what I was doing. Rather I was looking to my future and where I wanted to be next and ultimately and I wanted to take on assignments and responsibilities that helped me to get to those places.
I had some bosses who understood that and helped me along the way. I also had some who could have cared less (Both about me and any of their other charges) and were very happy with the status quo. They had no interest in helping me and my career. And Human Resources was never a help. They had no development plan or advice on how to get to the next level.
So, I took it upon myself to forge my own career path.
My goal was to become the Operations Vice President at Crayola. I made it to Director level for Quality, Research and Development and Operations for three of the four operating divisions. I never made it to Vice President before departing from the company.
But, within five years I had started a prestigious regional consulting company and was the President of it for 17 years. Sometimes our goals are achieved in different ways than we hoped or planned.
The moral to this is “Do not let your aspirations be stopped by anyone”. If you want them badly enough, keep trying. It may take longer than you plan for, but then again they may happen sooner. Life is like that, you just never know. But giving up assures one thing; that they will not just happen.
You also need to decide what it is you really want in life and your career.
Sometimes things that we think are important and that we really want are not all they are cracked up to be. That new job and big promotion may come with a lot of strings and may upset the life balance you were trying to achieve. There is an old saying, “Be careful what you wish for. You may just get it.”
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” — Milton Berle — Comedian
Whatever your situation, there is always something you can do to change it. To not do anything and to wallow in where and what you are at is an excuse, something that will keep you from realizing your true dreams.
There are few things in life that could and should Keep You Awake at Night. Not getting or not wanting that next promotion should not be one of those things.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter H. Christian was a founding partner and president of espi, a business consulting firm in Northeastern PA. Previously he was an Executive at Crayola Corporation. He has worked with 300+ clients in business development, profit improvement, operations, IS selection and implementation, and Project Management. He has 40+ years of experience in strategic and facility planning, CI, lean, and supply chain. He has helped companies to realize millions of dollars in cost reductions and profit improvements adding and retaining thousands of jobs. He has authored the Amazon bestselling business books, “What About the Vermin Problem?” and “Influences and Influencers” (4 out of 4 star review on Online Bookclub) which are highlighted in his profile. He is also published in a variety of professional magazines. He is most appreciative of Dr. Rodney Ridley, Donald Schalk and Gaetan Gianinni of Alvernia University for their support in allowing him to teach Project Management at the University.