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Fight or Flight?

When it comes to your career, we often invoke the fight or flight response. At some stage in most people’s careers, we need to fight for a promotion or look for other opportunities outside of the business in order to seek the progression we desire.

There’s an anxiousness that is often built up when people have been in the same role within an organisation for a prolonged period of time with little or no progression. This can be made even more difficult if that individual has close relationships with those they work with and feels as though it may be difficult to walk away from “what they know”. Whether to stay and put your case forward for progression with senior management or to leave for potentially greener pastures really does depend on each individual’s situation.

It’s always advisable to at least discuss this with your reporting manager and be as upfront as possible with how you are feeling about your place in the business and desire to progress. You can’t expect progression simply for time served, so it’s important to outline your contributions to the business and the areas in which you have improved since gaining your current position.

If there is just no room for progression due to the organisational structure or the attitude of your line manager, you need to be prepared to look externally. This is an incredibly daunting task at times, especially if you have been with the business for a considerable amount of time and are very much socially involved with your colleagues. They say moving job is just behind moving house in terms of stress levels and I would well believe it. The first step is the hardest but most importantly, just talk to someone. That may be a family member, a trusted colleague, a friend who is in a similar industry or a professional in the recruitment industry. Do your research on the roles, salary levels, locations and employer reviews.

No one gets lucky in their career, creating luck is about being prepared to take advantage when an opportunity presents itself. So whether you stay and progress or seek to leave the business, be prepared to grab any opportunities with both hands.

Articles by Lorraine Bolger