My boss is relocating and I’d like to step up into his role. How do I persuade management to view me as a potential candidate? I’ve been through the hard times and put in the time already. And in the worst case, if I’m passed over for the position, should I look elsewhere to get ahead?
Andrew Oliver - Career Doctor
Posted Tuesday 9th July 2013 08:31:00 PM
The question you've asked is a common one; however it is quite difficult to answer completely now, as we don't know details about your experience at the company or the responsibilities of the roles in question. However, below are things to consider and keep in mind. My recommendation would be to speak to your boss about this matter directly. Your boss can give you feedback on what the senior management team is seeking to do with the position when he moves on. It may change, or the responsibilities may stay the same, however right now you simply do not know this information. As it is, senior management will probably approach him to get his input on the skill set and achievements required of the person who is to fill his position. Tell your boss you would like to be considered for the role, and ask him what the process will be, as well as whether or not you should apply. Most importantly, listen to his feedback. If you have worked with him directly, he probably has a good understanding of your capabilities, and may have insight on whether this is the right time for you to take this step. Although nobody likes to hear that they should not progress upwards, it may be that your boss thinks you are not ready--and he could in fact be helping you avoid a career mistake. If you step into a role you are unprepared for and do not succeed at it, it could mean a step backward for your career. If you are passed over for the position, find out what is required of you in order to reach the next level, and get some feedback on how you might get to that stage eventually. I would recommend you wait for the arrival of your new boss before seeking a position elsewhere. He or she may be a good mentor for you, in which case you'll benefit from staying on in your current role. In the short term the best person to speak to first is your current boss. However, it is also beneficial to seek the advice of a mentor. This person may be an old boss or colleague who is senior to you and whose opinion you respect and value. And remember, be patient. Listen to the comments and digest them before making any decisions. A decision made in haste with emotions at play is usually the wrong one!