Focussing on promotion

Want a great career move? Try standing still, says award-winning writer Adeline Iziren

Are you a young graduate with a good job? Have you found that you’re not really giving it your all because you’re too busy planning your next career move? If this sounds like you or someone you know read on……

While planning you’re career is important, it’s equally important to make sure you get the balance right.

As Carl Gilleard, Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters advises: ‘Be very focused and put everything you’ve got into what you are doing now, but do stand back and think about where you might be heading.

‘People do have expectations that they will move on quickly, but if it’s all about getting to the destination, rather than enjoying the journey, then you’re missing out. Moreover, if you channel much of your energies into planning you could be heading for a fall.’

Focusing on your current role could lead to internal promotion as your hard work gets noticed. Now imagine all the money you’d save on applying for external jobs if you did pay more attention to what you are doing now as opposed to what you could be doing in the future.

A focused approach paid off for Carol Malik who began her career as a graduate trainee in media sales, shortly after completing a politics degree.

‘Within a year of joining Dennis Publishing I was promoted to display sales executive,’ she recalls. ‘Then a year later I was appointed senior sales executive and eventually ended up as advertising manager.’

Carol’s ability to focus on the job while keeping an eye on the future virtually guaranteed promotion.

After four and a half years with Dennis Publishing, Carol 33, moved on to several different publishing companies before landing her current role as Group Advertising manager of a number of titles, which come under the Financial Times Business brand.

In her second role as staff recruiter, Carol gets applications from people who are clearly not focused on their present job. ‘One applicant had nine jobs in 10 years,’ she recalls. ‘That’s worrying. He seemed like someone who didn’t know what he wanted and didn’t get an interview.

‘As an employer, you don’t want somebody who is going to be around for three months.’

It’s easy to make these mistakes when you are young, Carol points out, adding:, ‘Young graduates who have been in companies for six months or less and want to know when they are going to get promoted really ought to focus on the fact that the way to get promoted is to keep your eye on the ball, as that shows consistency, which is also maturity.’

A sixty second guide to getting ahead

  • 1. Get noticed by performing tasks well and on time.
  • 2. Don’t put off tasks you hate, things will only get worse.
  • 3. If you work in a team, help weaker workers and gain a reputation as a leader.
  • 4. Motivate yourself by learning new skills during slow periods.
  • 5. Network the movers and shakers at industry functions and seek their input.
  • 6. Don’t be a prolific job hopper. It worries employers.


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