A Reader Writes:
In my company, people managers like myself have the title of VP. I have been a VP for 6 years, yet some of my peers in other divisions have been promoted to Senior Vice President (SVP). I feel that I have been loyal to the company for these many years and deserve the title. My manager has been giving me good performance reviews and increasing responsibility, yet I don’t seem to be able get to the next level. He has told me that promotions are ‘out of his hands’ and that he does not know the criteria for promotions. What can I do to get a promotion?
All you need to do is push the “Promotion” button concealed under your desk. If you chose not to do so, you have joined with so many others who complain about not being sufficiently recognized at work, yet do little to help themselves.
If a manager is unable to articulate the criteria for promotion, and / or cannot provide feedback as to your career hindrances, then they do not have the capacity to promote you. The reasons for this may include 1) a lack of promotional slots 2) despite your hard work, the scope of your role has not increased and there is no business model to do so 3) your function is not valued because you can easily be replaced.
Instead of waiting to be discovered, simply push the “Promotion” button. Take stock of your accomplishments, update your resume, and go on interviews. Your next job will likely be an upgrade of title, salary, and LinkedIn stature. To help this process, ask your current employer if you can get a title change promotion such as “Senior Analyst”, or “Head of Intergalactic Relations”, or “Regional Project Lead”. Although they have not given you a traditional promotion in many years they may agree to the title change. Why? Many organizations are doing away with traditional titles to separate the expectation of compensation from the title. Instead of VP, they may use a prefix of “Lead”. Instead of SVP, they may use “Head of”. This title will make you even more attractive to your next employer.
After going on interviews, you may discover that you prefer to stay in your current company despite not getting a promotion. You might decide that you don’t like change, prefer your current office location, or enjoy the people you work with. A promotion isn’t a sole criteria of fulfillment. . Whatever you do, get out there and start doing it.