Promotions/Career Tracks

Dear Management Doctor:

I have been working as a planner for a county in the southeast U.S. for two years (I am a Planner I). There is a Planner II position available at my county that I feel I qualify for in terms of education and experience. However, I'm being passed over for consideration. I know that there are variables to consider that you do not know, i.e., my work history, relationship to supervisor, etc. However, for the sake of discussion, let's say they are acceptable or better. Should I dig in or simply move on? I have made my decision to move on but welcome an expert opinion from someone like yourself.

From,
A planner looking for a government career track

Dear Career Track,

It is difficult to give you advice on this without more information. However, here are a few thoughts.

  1. Good organizations have career tracks, train their people and often then promote from within. Is the person promoted from inside or outside the organization?
  2. Ask your organization what you would need to do to qualify for the Planner II slot.
  3. Unfortunately, it is often easier to move up by changing organizations.
  4. Education and experience are only two of many variables that can be considered in a promotion. For planners it is often interpersonal skills, writing skills, being a member of the team, political sensitivity, productivity, etc.

If the person promoted were someone from the outside, I'd move on. If from the inside, I'd try to get more information and compare myself to the person who was appointed.

Happy job hunting!

The Management Doctor

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