No upward mobility, now what?

posted in: Job Doc Blog | 0

Q: I hope to secure a new role in a new company.  I have tried to job post internally but my competition has been fierce. Usually at least six or more candidates post for a single role, at the level one up from me.  I also think I am worth more money, after being with my company for six plus years.  As I talk to recruiters and other companies within my industry, they are always talking about compensation levels at least 10% or more above what I am at.  I am reluctant to approach my manager, because we always seem to get a 3% to 5% increase every year at our performance review.  Our performance doesn’t seem to matter a great deal.  What steps should I take?

A: It sounds like you have thought this through and this is not just a knee-jerk reaction to a recent event.  There is always a risk approaching your manager about a compensation increase or a promotion.  Different companies have different posting policies, so I am not sure whether you were required to notify your current manager.  If your manager was aware of your desire to move up, then your manager, if possible, should have taken a greater interest in your career path.  In reality, some times this is not possible.  Some times there is no upward step or there are concerns about your performance in your current role.

One job seeker many years ago taught me a valuable lesson.  His company ran out of funds and he was nervous about their future.  Then one day, I saw an update on LinkedIn; he had landed a new position with a new company.  I called him and congratulated him.  I asked him how he found a new role so quickly, after he and I had talked just a few weeks before.  He shared that he never stops looking for a new job.  He feels like the world is uncertain and he always has an updated resume and networking, either live or virtually.  Is he actively looking and interviewing all the time?  No, but he is open to talking to recruiters, hiring manager and other employers if they reach out to him.

If a recruiter or company contacts you about a new opportunity, listen.  It may not be the right role, but it is another contact for you.  A recruiter may also keep you in mind for other opportunities in the future.

Here is what I would do –

  1. Dust off and update your resume and update your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Begin networking.  Zoom or Teams makes networking easy.
  3. Develop a list of professional references, ideally one supervisor.
  4. Never say no to a Zoom or a phone call that could lead to a new opportunity.
  5. Continue to work hard in your current role.  Don’t be a slacker or have a disgruntled attitude.

Good luck in your search.  It is a candidate’s world right now.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.