While reading the Financial Samurai‘s post: “Overcoming The Wall“, I felt the need to cover an aspect the might be darkly invisible to Sam, since his path to promotions has beamed so brightly (nice job Sam, We believe you’ll keep moving, albeit more slowly). Get promoted depends on a lot of factors, some not so obvious, especially if you are promoted quickly!
Less Than Obvious Factors For Getting Quick Promotions:
- Managers that don’t fear their employees. My 2nd manager (my first manager that hired me moved out of state to for a promotion), wasn’t as qualified as I was in our area of employment. So much so that VPs even asked me if I thought my manager at that time was a hindrance to the department. Back then, I protected my manager because it’s what I believed was the proper thing to do. That and the fact that she wasn’t a bad person overall, even though she wasn’t that good at her job.
- Managers that promote their teams. In our company, only our segment was and is very slow to promote. My manager demeans her group, even when compared to other in different states that do similar work. I think this is related to the point identified above.
- Proper recognition. Just this past weekend, I work 11 hours on a Saturday task to help with a major problem. I was a very important factor in getting our customer facing systems in place and working as expected (with just 2 days of prep time) not to mention helping troubleshoot other problems. Even though such a feat was accomplished, I’m sure I won’t be part of the team that gets recognized for my efforts.
- Accepting Management positions when they arise. I was offered a managerial position in a group that I didn’t want to manage. I was also offered a higher position that I am currently in a development role that I turned down for the next reason that I will talk about below. This is my own folly that I regret. Now my less qualified buddy is the a manager in the group I could have had and obviously more happy than I.
- False promises. My 3rd manager has made promises about promotions that he didn’t keep. He made promises to me and others, but later we found out that he flat out lied. This manager also had a tendency to tell his employees to do one thing, then at a future time, come back and complain about what he told them to do. This guy was obviously an idiot. Ironically he’ll probably be promoted in a few years because he has been kissing up to a VP these past few years.
- Getting along or making friends with the right group. It’s hard to predict who will be the stars of tomorrow. Their brightness in the company is based on much more than skills, even in the technology field (this surprised me). Kissing up really does pay off, don’t believe those that say otherwise. ;) If I had to do it over again, I would definitely be more aware of this!
So while I’ve been promoted three times at my current place of employment, I could have moved up much further than I am today. But I don’t beat myself up too badly! Sometimes if the combination of factors don’t line up or if you get unlucky and have an incorrect combination of friends when you pull the company friendship slot machine, you might not get the promotions or recognition that you deserve.
So what’s a good/great person to do in a situation that I describe above?
- Look for a better job when the market is ripe for it.
- Start some side jobs
- Look for a new job cautiously when the job market is sour or immature…
Anyway, that’s my take on the matter, keep believing and try to look out for those hidden holes.
Do you have any additional suggestions?