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Always 'acting' only

Question :

I have worked for more than a decade in banking and for the majority of time been at my present company. Over time, I have slowly moved up the ranks and I think I have proved my worth as I was even temporarily assigned as the acting head when our boss left and also when there was restructuring of the team. However, even though I was able to handle everything I was never officially promoted. I'm tired of being passed over for job and have them hire someone externally. Management tells me that next time it will be me, but I don't know if it's just a ploy to keep me onboard. Should I seek a position elsewhere to boost my bargaining power come performance review time? Although it seems I have look elsewhere to get ahead, I also feel it would be a shame to leave what I have worked so hard for over the past decade with nothing to show for it and I don't want to stay sitting on the bench.


Posted by Ken on Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013

Comments :

Fraser Douglas - Career Doctor

Posted Monday 25th November 2013 07:38:00 PM


Dear Ken, Thank you for your question. Without seeing a copy of your CV it is difficult to make a judgement on this as I don’t know what role you perform daily or what you were ‘acting head’ of. You mention having worked for a decade within banking and mainly within the one organisation. It is not unreasonable after such length of service to hope to be the head of a small team but it is unlikely by that stage that you will have sufficient experience to be managing a sizeable business unit. I think the first thing you need to do is make an honest appraisal of your skills and experience and those required to be the head of the team. You mention that you were able to handle things on a daily basis but that is only part of the requirement; do you have the strategic insight to manage the business over the longer term? Can you represent your team and its interests effectively across the wider business? How about managing the careers of your current peers? Acting as a stop gap manager and keeping the business ‘ticking over’ is a very different proposition to managing the business permanently. You need to be genuinely confident that you do have the skills and abilities before discussing this matter further with Management. Most companies would rather promote from within rather than go through the expense and risk or hiring externally, could it have been a fair appraisal by Management that you weren’t quite ready to take the role on a permanent basis? If you do feel you have the skills and experience, I would talk to Management and seek to understand their decision and also how they plan to support you in your career goals going forward. Going through an interview process to get another job is a line you should only cross if you have made a decision to leave. Seeking to use an offer to leverage your position internally is not fair on either your current or prospective employer. Explore your options with your current employer first, make sure they understand your career goals and try to get their commitment to help you reach those. If you don’t feel that they are genuinely willing to support you, then start to look elsewhere. Good luck!

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