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Is “Opportunity for Advancement” a Myth?


Robby

Here’s something which appears on countless job descriptions. Or, it might be mentioned aloud in the interview. It’s the statement that there will be a chance to move up in the company.

It’s not even clear if you’re supposed to talk about this topic. One career expert, writing for Forbes, includes the following two bullets in their list of interview questions:

Never ask “If I’m hired, when can I start applying for other positions in the company?”
Never ask how quickly you can be promoted.

Promotion
© Flickr User University of Essex

Employment specialist J.T. O’Donnell warns that this is one of the top lies employers use to trick people into accepting offers. She even has a suggested question to use that will show if they are telling the truth:

Can you give me an example of someone who was hired in the last two years to a similar role who has already advanced in their career here? In particular, can you explain what they did to make that happen?

If companies are telling the truth about opportunities for advancement, it’s probably not the whole truth. In most organizations every boss has multiple direct reports. That means that only one of you is going to become the new boss, and only if the boss themselves moves up or leaves.

One more article points out that changing jobs is probably the biggest opportunity for advancement:

It’s important to understand what drives the difference in income. Basically, it comes down to the fact that the average move to a new company can be expected to net you a 10-20% pay rise, and gaining the same in internal raises and promotions usually takes much longer than two years. It’s a generalisation, but companies very rarely put the same sort of offers on the table in internal negotiations because they feel that retaining talent shouldn’t cost as much as attracting talent, whilst for the employee it is perceived as more difficult to negotiate aggressively with colleagues than with strangers.

So should you believe it when a company says “we have opportunities for advancement?” Maybe. It’s your career. Don’t be afraid to look elsewhere as your next step.

Good luck!

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Wed, February 6 2019 » Uncategorized

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