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I’m on my 10th year of service to this medium-size corporation, my first employer since college graduation. My classmates in other firms have already become managers, if not junior supervisors. But here I am – still stuck in an apparent dead-end non-managerial job. I’m not too keen on moving to another company as we’re given the usual modest annual salary increase, plus the fact that I also enjoy the friendship of my colleagues. How do I convince my bosses that I’m ready to hold a managerial assignment? – Long Overdue.
A golden anniversary party was thrown for an elderly couple. The husband was moved by the occasion and wanted to tell his wife how he felt about her. She was hard of hearing, however, and often misunderstood what he had to say. With many family members and friends gathered around, he toasted her:
“My dear wife, after 50 years I’ve found you tried and true!” Everyone smiled with approval, but his wife said, “Eh?” He repeated in a louder voice, “AFTER 50 YEARS I’VE FOUND YOU TRIED AND TRUE!” His wife harrumphed and shot back, “Well, let me tell you something – after 50 years I’m tired of you, too!”
Marriage between a man and a woman is just like employment that binds an employee and their boss. Staying married to the same woman and engaged to work for the same boss are reflections that everyone is happy despite certain, occasional challenges that are expected in any relationship. After 10 years, are you tried and true to the expectations of your current employer?
Really, you’ve to recognize your limitations and compare them with management expectations. Sure, different organizations have different expectations. You only have to look back and search for patterns. One way to do this is to answer the following questions by Marcus Bickingham and Curt Coffman in their bestselling book “First, Break All the Rules” (2005).
Bickingham’s “measuring stick” was originally designed to measure the core elements needed to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees. Personally, I consider them as appropriate questions for you. Take the following for size: “Do I know what is expected of me at work? Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
“In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? Is there someone at work who encourages my development? At work, do my opinions seem to count? Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
“Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? Do I have a best friend at work? In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress? At work, have I had the opportunity to learn and grow?”
These 12 questions are the simplest, easiest to understand, and the most accurate way to measure the strength of a workplace. Also, I find it applicable to an individual worker who is at a loss on what to do to fast-track their career. However, there’s one intriguing question that you may find here: “Do I have a best friend at work?”
This could be your boss or colleague who is one probable reason why you stayed longer in that organization.
In general, however, I can calculate off the back of my head that 4 out of 10 ordinary workers are promoted from within to perform supervisory, if not managerial functions. Typically, they got their promotion as supervisors because of the following:
- They possess job-related technical competence. The supervisor’s job is so demanding that top management tends to rely on those with super skills to fill the role. The most sought-after set of skills include the following: job knowledge, analytical attitude, and bias for results.
- They have held different jobs within the organization. Employees who have been assigned and cross-trained in different functions are the best candidates for a supervisory position. This proves that a multi-talented individual worker with solid experience in many areas is preferred by many employers.
- They have consistent, above-average work performance. Experience is better but having a consistent, unblemished performance record is everything. By having a steady performance, a worker has shown reliability compared to one with an erratic history.
- They have higher educational attainment than the people they supervise. With higher education, supervisors can make a lot of difference because they know how to solve problems, they possess excellent communication skills, and influence others with their charismatic leadership style.
Candidates for supervisory and managerial positions compete based on the degree and depth of their qualifications. If you don’t have it, then your length of experience in that organization would not be able to help you, because meritocracy is superior to seniority.
DO YOU WANT TO CHALLENGE THIS ADVICE? This piece is for non-managerial employees who can’t raise an issue against their bosses for fear of reprisal or job insecurity. Send your supporting or contrary view or any workplace questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Rey Elbo on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS