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Your Employment Matters Are Solely Your Responsibility

It’s time for individuals to be more proactive about employment. It was (and still is) common for employees to rely on employers’ career-development initiatives, and to wait, sometimes for years, to be anointed by management to move up through the company’s hierarchy.

Promotions and length of service were and sometimes still are inextricably linked in some companies often resulting in a sense of entitlement. In a large company, a person may be promoted from analyst to senior analyst two, three, or four years after joining the company and then not receive another promotion for five or six years, if ever.

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A Few Inconvenient Truths:

The power to promote rests with employers. Absent some legal grounds like breach of contract or discrimination, employees can’t force employers to promote them.

If you’ve waited for a promotion and it hasn’t materialized, you may want to confirm that your supervisor’s opinion of your performance and contribution are consistent with your belief. Whatever you’re doing may not be enough to make your employer promote you.

Employees should question whether they can afford to remain on the same job and be a loyal employee if they feel unappreciated and undervalued, especially when there is no indication that they will be promoted again.

Given the impact of technological advances, and the power that employers have to send jobs elsewhere and to reorganize their businesses, there is no guarantee as to how long positions will exist or remain where they are currently located. Thus, employees don’t know whether they’ll be retained in their present positions. Their wishing and hoping won’t change that reality.

Don’t get it twisted: Don’t quit your job unless and until you have a written offer for another position. Quitting your job (especially during a recession) because the promotion or recognition you think you deserve hasn’t materialized isn’t the move to make.

Take time to research the industry you’re interested in and determine whether it makes sense to begin a job search.  Additionally, maintain your network of contacts and keep in touch with individuals in your network.

If nothing else, reach out to contacts to begin a dialogue about the job market and possible job openings and new contacts. There is no need to share that you’re looking for a new opportunity unless your research supports a decision to step out into the job market.

Prepare a marketing pitch a.k.a. elevator speech and practice it so that when you speak to your contacts your delivery is fluid and relaxed. Quite simply, get ready for your close-up. It’s time to impress people with your authenticity, resume and that you will add value to any opportunity.

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multifaceted employment professional, author and lecturer

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