Thursday, November 18, 2010

I can’t leave unless it’s for a Promotion…Really?

Last week toward the end of my blog I was commenting on how the most liked people, not always the most gifted people, receive promotions. I intimated that I was going to expand on that topic this week. That comment was in response to the number of candidates who have told me that they can’t make a move unless they get a promotion. I typically say something like, “OK, but I’m not sure I understand, can you explain what you mean?” They think I’m a bit off at this point though they still go on to tell me that since they’ve been there x number of years they are likely to get a promotion. Further, if they don’t receive that promotion, someone else is going to hire them at the next level because they deserve it.

While it may be true that you are qualified for a higher level position, many companies feel that if you truly deserved be at a higher level, then your own employer would have promoted you. In fact, as I read most resumes, the first time someone becomes a manager it is from a promotion in the vast majority of cases. This explains why companies feel as they do.

The candidate wouldn’t have to change jobs to become a Director if he/she were already believed to be deserving of the role. The reason why they aren’t going to a higher level with another company is that when companies hire an executive, they want someone who is going to hit the proverbial ground running. This person has a better chance of becoming a Director after making a lateral move, because most promotions happen internally. Also, if they aren’t getting promoted due to someone who dislikes him or her, they have a chance to start fresh with everyone.

Wait a minute; is this making business, and management in business, sound like politics? Clearly they have at least one thing in common, they are both popularity contests. Smile, someone’s paying attention!

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