You’ve been in your current role for some time now, doing solid work and making things happen. But you can’t help but begin to think about your next career move, and you should be. An option that may come across your plate is applying for a promotion at your current employer. If you find yourself in this position, here are some questions to consider.
What are your long-term career goals?
A promotion is like any other milestone, part of the career development cycle. You should begin with self-discovery, thinking about how this position will advance your career goals. If you’re hoping to build your management skills, does this new position allow you to do that? Take some time to read the job description and get a sense of the responsibilities. Don’t just assume that a new job title means more responsibility. You want to make sure that this career move will allow you to grow and develop.
Where do you stand professionally?
Examine your relationship with your supervisor. Consider the many conversations you’ve had with them. Have they suggested you take on more responsibility? Do you feel that they trust you and provide you with autonomy? Do they ask you about your future goals? Take a look at your past evaluations and see what they’ve written about you. You’ll want to make sure that you have a good understanding of your performance level.
Now think about your relationships with colleagues. Are you able to get along with the folks you work with? Do they often come to you for advice or support? Your relationships with colleagues are just as important as the one with your manager, so make sure you examine this question on all levels. Taking a holistic look will provide you with a good indicator of where you stand overall.
Do you want to stay with your current employer?
Being promoted to a new role means staying with the organization you work for. Can you picture yourself staying there longer? Think about the current status of the organization. Are big changes coming down the road? Do you feel supported by those you work for? Consider your options at your current organization and at outside ones to see what might make the most sense for you right now.
Are you ready to take on a new job and more responsibility?
When you take on a promotion, you aren’t just starting a new position entirely—that new position likely comes with added responsibility that you haven’t had before. There will be a learning curve, and there will be moments where you aren’t quite sure what you are doing—and that’s okay. Ask questions all the time, be open to new ideas, and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. Being honest with yourself from the beginning will make the transition much smoother.
Thinking about going for a promotion is exciting and you should definitely consider it if it makes sense. It can be a wise career move to grow professionally. But you need to do your homework before diving in. Ask yourself the right questions, have conversations with your peers and manager about the opportunity, and stay humble during the process.