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Stepping up or stepping out - When to ask for a promotion

The beginning of the new financial year brings fresh company budgets, and with that comes promotion season. A promotion is a great way to be rewarded for your effort and contribution from the previous year, as well as a step forward in your career. However, accepting a role one rung higher than your current job may not always be the best move. So when is it the time to step up, and when is it the time to move on?

Is it Time?

Promotions deserve to go to those who work above and beyond their official remit. If it becomes apparent that your tasks can be completed with ease, you are trusted within the business, your opinion is sought on decisions, and you cover managers in their absence, then your contribution is clearly valued and deserves to be recognised. It is important to remember though, that a promotion does come with extra responsibility. You need to actually be willing to do the extra work, stay those extra hours, and make the bigger decisions. If you aren’t able to commit to that, then maybe what you deserve is a salary increase, rather than a promotion. 

Preparing for a Promotion

If you are ready to step up and believe you deserve a promotion the first thing you need to do is make your manager aware of this. Really make your intention clear from the outset; just doing a good job often isn’t enough to get the tap on the shoulder. Once you have the promotion conversation, it makes it easier to seek feedback on your performance. Try to sit and with your manager and establish specific goals and timelines that you can work towards. 

Preparing to Leave

If you have outgrown your role and a promotion is on the cards, simply taking it isn’t always the best choice. Your career may not be a straight ladder to climb, but more of a climbing wall, with sideways and less obvious steps to reach the top.

The most important thing to consider when at a career crossroads is what is the end goal? Will moving into your manager’s role help you get closer to your dream job? If you want to improve your technical skills, taking a promotion which is a step up in responsibility and more money, but leaves you in a more hands off, managerial role doesn’t make sense. The same goes when considering job satisfaction. Think about why you want a promotion. If you need more of a challenge, a promotion could be the answer. If you are unhappy with things such as company culture or management style, then moving a step up probably won’t fix the problem or change how you feel. It may be time to consider other options out there that aren’t the quick win of your upcoming promotion, but more of a side step leading to where you want to be. 

If you are unsure about what your next move should be, Freshminds is hosting a Career Crossroads event at the Clerkenwell. Click the image below to find out more and register. This is a free event but spaces are limited so don't miss out!