“When to say when”

At the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals National Leadership forum in May of this year, one of the speakers gave guidance to someone in a break out session that as an employee of an organization, you have to know “when to say when” when considering a move out of an organization.  Specifically, this individual had said that she went above and beyond the call of duty in her current role, volunteered to take on extra tasks, and continually exceeded all expectations. She was with her company for 3 years, and felt that she was continually offered the carrot of a promotion, and then when the time came, she was not awarded the promotion.  As Simon Cowell said in his last American Idol show, “you have to know when the party is over”.

Questions to consider:

Have you been with your employer for 3+ years?

Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty, and asked what it takes to earn a promotion to the next level in your organization?

And when you have done those things (you have to be true to yourself – did you really do them, and do them well), what happened?

The lesson: Ask your employer what it takes to earn a promotion to the next level.  Know the career path available to you as an individual contributor or as a manager.  Work hard.  Not just some of the time, but all of the time.  Make it absolutely obvious that your company should promote you.  Leave no doubt in anyone’s mind.  Once you have done that, and then volunteered to take on more than your role calls for, if your current employer doesn’t promote you, you will have the skills necessary to take your career to the next level at another company.

As a country singer used to say, “you’ve got to know when to hold, and know when to fold em”.