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Is it easier to move up at your job or find a new job in the next step up?


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Searching for some thoughts around this.

 

I was recently talking to someone about them trying to move up at their current employer vs searching for a that step up elsewhere. In my experience, there are times when a person is already doing the responsibilities of the next role, but face office politics, favoritism, unfair challenges, etc within their company. But it seems to work better, when they simply just go and search for that next challenge elsewhere. I've been trying to find some data around this but I've been failing. I might be wording my search wrong.

 

Anyway, thoughts against or for this?

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Well if they find better success somewhere else, then that means there are management issues in the company they were at. Other companies that are run properly will seek out those within the company who have potential to do well in higher positions and offer promotions/raises. Those companies are the most productive, and value their employees. If people are leaving in droves, and I'm talking long time dedicated employees, that's a pretty good indicator it's a crap company to work for.

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Searching for some thoughts around this.

 

I was recently talking to someone about them trying to move up at their current employer vs searching for a that step up elsewhere. In my experience, there are times when a person is already doing the responsibilities of the next role, but face office politics, favoritism, unfair challenges, etc within their company. But it seems to work better, when they simply just go and search for that next challenge elsewhere. I've been trying to find some data around this but I've been failing. I might be wording my search wrong.

 

Anyway, thoughts against or for this?

 

It depends. Like the others mentioned, there are a lot of factors.

 

What's going on with this person you're talking with? Issues with promotion?

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Yes if you are very good in your field, you will be in demand, and other companies will offer you more because it is so difficult to find quality in the workforce. When you give notice, there can be some negotiation, and you end up staying with an even better deal.

 

BUT there is the chance when the pastures seem greener receiving more money, etc, you end up where the atmosphere/work environment is terrible and the move wasn't worth it.....it's a crapshoot

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Personally, for me, it was easier to move up the ranks within my company than jump ship and start all over again reestablishing contacts. At my company, I've attained plum positions by word of mouth connections and personal referrals. I found out which positions were available, who was leaving and retiring before this info ever made it to job boards and requisitions on the Internet. I snatched up jobs before this information went public. Inside information is invaluable. My in person networking and work friendships were worth more than gold.

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Early in my career I moved up quickly in a phone company. They transferred me from LA to Dallas. I thought I was a high flyer. Two years later? GTE outsourced our whole department. The move was to get to a state with less regulation when dumping employees.

 

They offered me the same position with 2/3rds pay and no benefits with the outsourcing company. No thanks.

 

I moved back to California and hit Silicon Valley at the right time.

 

Software companies pay well and had good benefits. Since I learned there is no corporate loyalty I jumped when I thought I could do better. Probably a dozen times in 20 years.

 

The Silicon Valley culture accepts this as normal. It may not be elsewhere.

 

I no longer do this as I approach the end of my career.

 

If I hadn't during my prime working years? I would never have afforded a house in California.

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My experience is that it’s best to look elsewhere. But I live in a small town where Karen is going to hire her cousin who has 0 experience and a bachelors degree before she’s going to promote Sally who has 20 years of experience and a doctorate degree. But that’s small town politics for you.

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If you have voiced your desire to grow with the company many times and even given them years and sweat without complaints, and you aren't getting your needs met, you need to look elsewhere because the company is showing you: Sorry ...we will not go to bat for you. They might tell you otherwise, but pay attention to the actions or inactions.

 

This happened to me not long ago. For four months, no matter how many times I voiced wanting new challenges, management was not proactive about it and I was good at my job.

 

I wanted my colleagues to train me and no matter how many times I asked, I kept hearing them train other people instead of me. The work place was nothing but bunch of people who played favoritism and politics. Well ...I endured it and I left in March (COVID timing too)... Now I am getting paid more and at a way fancier office. I still get my old coworkers checking in on me but its more of them ranting about the old work place and the politics behind it.

 

I tell them, if you don't seek new pastures, you are never going to know if it is greener on the other side!

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It so depends on the particular company. The places I worked there typically were protocols and procedures in place for what was the next step and what was required to attain that. However going very high on the ladder could mean interviewing elsewhere for leverage and or leaving for a company that would give you that much higher step. It really depended.

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I agree with so many others... it just depends on many variables from: Industry, company size, companies norms, management philosophy, the employees etc, all bring different factors into the mix.

 

If I felt I was ready to be promoted or even change roles with my current employer, I would start with my manager.

 

Do some prep work: list out your contributions, key responsibilities, strengths etc.

 

Next write out what you would like to do next. If its a role you know is the next step,, analyze where you are. Are you ready? Are you doing the job or some of the job already? What do you still need to learn?

 

Then schedule time with your manager to talk these things over. Never let someone plan your career for you or expect your boss to be looking out for your career. They are busy focusing on their own.

 

When you go over your thoughts with your manager ask questions about what needs to happen in order for you to move up. Is it your performance? your seniority? your location?

 

Have a brainstorming session together... Make a plan with action steps, target dates and owners. Things like how can you prepare for the next step? What are some of your opportunities to work on? What will successfully completing these things look like?

 

Be sure to thank them for the talk and advice. Ask if you can come back after you've had a chance to think or if there were next steps can you continue to meet to work on/ accomplish the plan.

 

Use this conversation to determine if staying with the company works for you or if you need to look else where.

 

I did this with a boss of mine and he was honest with me... yes. I was doing next level work, but there were no openings for the next level.

 

ok. so I started looking around.... but still continued to do my best work...

 

Then one fine day, I got an offer for a new job and I got offered a promotion. That has happened to me twice. I had a choice: promotion within or leave for a new job. And both times, both hiring managers said the same thing... "It's good to be you"

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Depends on the industry. Every single medical supply company, medical nutrition, vitamin company I know, everyone starts at the bottom, and move up to the top over the years. 100s of Executives of Fortune 500 companies, CEOs, CIOs, COOs, VPs, that started at the bottom. And some I actually went to school with. Couldn't tell you why though. Standard pharmaceuticals, not the same. And some other industries, depends on the size, areas and available departments, if they are making money - it can be a toss up.

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It's really about timing. For someone to move up in their current situation, the readiness of the person to take on new responsibilities should coincide (more or less) with the company having a need for someone to fill that role. The day you are ready, the company probably already has someone doing that job, hopefully well. In an ideal world that person is also improving, the company is expanding and you are able to move up in a reasonable time frame.

 

From my experience, it just doesn't work out that often. Often an employee will have to look elsewhere to find the opportunity which matches their skills. If your company has forward momentum, it might be worthwhile to wait a bit. If people above you are long tenured and there is no movement, you will have to look elsewhere.

 

It's not a bad idea to always keep an eye on the job market anyway. For planning purposes, imagine that you will be ready for a new role in a year. It' a good idea to make a list of prospects of companies that might need you in a year, and start networking.

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  • 4 weeks later...

You need to look at what you want in a company and if you feel like you are getting or are likely to get it with the company you are at. Some companies are great at promoting from within and recognizing when they have a valuable employee. They will encourage you and help you in your career. Other companies provide little room for growth. Of course it's always easier to settle and stay where you are. But is that what you want? Ideally, you would want to find a place you are comfortable with, people you like, and where you can develop and grow personally and professionally. If you aren't getting that, it's best to move on. That's no guarantee another place will be better. I'm currently at a place that sounded great at first but has proven time and time again that it's not what was advertised. But I can say with firsthand experience, if you are not happy with you're current circumstance, don't stay any longer then you have to.

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Provided that you are suitable, if you have a solid relationship with whomever has the decision-making power, then there's potential for you to grow within that company. I remember reading once that likeability is a bigger influence than competence when selecting a candidate for a role, assuming both candidates are at a similar level. Of course, great connections always help.

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