Jump Ship When You Don’t Get Promoted
Question from SH: I have been with REDACTED for 18 years and have started at the bottom and worked my way up. I have been a manager for about 14 years and essentially in the same role since then. I have celebrated many accomplishments. However, I have not been promoted beyond this role.
I don’t have any research to point at for the following but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. Picture it, a decade ago, I’m taking to a fancy friend. We shall call him FF. FF was telling me about the diversity of his staff. He hires everyone, no biases. He purposely hires people who would get shytted on otherwise. None of them stay in the same position for more than two years. FF is something of a hard ass. I probed.
“Do they run from you?”
“No! I don’t believe people should stay in the same position for more than two years because they become less invested. I want the people who work for me to be learning things. At the end of two years, they can stay at the company, may even have the same title, but they should be doing something new.”
So, if FF’s administrative assistant had been filing widgets, he expects that his administrative assistant has created a more efficient widget filing system, and taught others in the company the new system, wrote documentation for it, and added it to his resume. Now, they have training experience. Next time there is an opportunity for training, he couples his assistant with the official trainer. As the trainer moves on to his/her role (in the company or otherwise), the administrative assistance can move into that role.
FF also said he likes to have a plan in place from the moment someone starts. They need to tell him where they want to go, he tells them where he wants them to go and they develop a plan they can live with, with measurable benchmarks. Further, he likes to make his employees feel valued and trusted. If he didn’t trust them, he wouldn’t expect them to be capable of leaving new things and moving into other roles.
Another example happened for me. I was working at Funky Brand Stuff and Things (FBST). I left. I spent a year doing two other jobs. I was exposed to new ways of doing things, new technology, and how the rest of the world does stuff and things. I returned to (FBST), as a change agent. I am introducing people to methodologies they would never know because they have been at FBST for a long long time. FBST doesn’t exactly embrace changing methodology on any large scale.
Moral of the story, don’t stay anywhere forever. We can get comfortable. This ain’t the 60’s. But every two years, assess whether you are learning things, doing the same thing you were doing two years ago, etc. Don’t feel bad about it. Your company isn’t loyal to you. Don’t make the mistake of being too loyal to them if you don’t have to.
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