By Melisa Marzett
Teens have the option of pursuing many different kinds of jobs, either part-time or full-time. A job provides an excellent way to gain skills and learn responsibility while earning some spending money, or bringing in extra income for the household. The minimum wage may be decent for now, but it won’t always be enough to pay the bills if you want to live on your own. Not all entry-level jobs will give a boost to your career as a young adult, but some of these jobs do allow for promotions that will help with future careers.
Career growth or promotion up the career ladder is usually considered a natural process, in which positions are replaced according to certain rules (like heirs to the royal throne). For example, you probably believe that promotion is given for excellent work and these awards are given in accordance with the merits of each employee. Despite the prevalence, this assumption is not entirely true. In addition to your daily tasks to perform well, there may be specific tasks or skills required to be promoted.
Due to our belief in justice, we tend to think that a good job is always rewarded and a diligent employee cannot remain without encouragement. In other words, the boss will not forget his loyal subordinates. In addition, we think it is in the interest of the organization to give everyone equal chances to get a new position. Unfortunately, in practice, everything is far from being so absolute. Appointments are usually conducted on the basis of other considerations.
Now I do not want to say that everyone is ruled by arbitrariness or that only flatterers get promoted. A new appointment cannot be predicted, because there are underlying reasons in each case. It’s just that the widespread myths and misconceptions associated with official movements can deceive people in their expectations.
First Misconception: You should automatically move up to the position.
In the recent past, it really was so: the position was occupied by the most competent employee. In the turbulent third millennium, the laws have changed. Now, not finding the right candidate, the post is often simply liquidated. Today, completely different logic defines new assignments. A person is not selected for a particular post, but the post is created for a particular employee.
It can be difficult to imagine that a person with the same qualities as his predecessor will not be appointed to the vacated position. (The exception is only the lowest positions, assuming an unchanged set of skills.) As a rule, there is no predecessor, no dismissal, no vacancy. It’s basically a whole new position. A new appointment is made due to the following reasons:
- the company is developing;
- an employee appears in the field of view of the management who is able to perform more complex tasks;
- a new post is created, involving an expansion of the range of responsibilities.
Second Misconception: The post always goes to the most worthy.
Companies like to publicly emphasize the equality of all applicants for a new position. But in reality, behind each personnel decision is personal sympathy. This is human nature.
The family business will always be headed by a son, daughter, nephew or cousin. The boss will promote his protégé; the mentor will remember the ward. Even in the absence of close personal relationships, the leader still has favorites. The chief will favor those with whom he used to work, or who is patronized by senior management.
With personnel movements, someone will always have an advantage. If you are not sure of your superiority, then do not count on it.
Third Misconception: Leaders sympathize with those who are like them.
There are grounds for such a statement. Leaders do tend to hire, and then promote, those people who are similar to them. Similarity concerns not only education or professional interests. It also involves character traits, the manner of dressing and talking.
Nevertheless, visionary leaders are aware that for the good of the cause, the staff should be diversified; thus, the professional qualities of employees must be different. If all departments are filled with clones, the company will have quite predictable problems in the future.
Expecting to get a higher position solely due to the similarity with the boss, you can fail; and colleagues marching to other music will leave you behind. So just be yourself; don’t try to be a copy.
Fourth Misconception: Good workers will be encouraged.
No doubt, excellent work should be rewarded; but unfortunately, reality shows us otherwise. It is unlikely that incompetence or prejudice of leadership is the reason. Because by not encouraging highly professional employees, the companies harm themselves.
However, not everything is that simple, and often the personnel decisions are affected by a variety of circumstances. Some companies have to postpone appointments because it’s too difficult to find an equivalent replacement. Sometimes the appointment can be carried out because someone who’s suitable happens to be at hand.
Each case is unique. Subjective factors must always be taken into account. Relying solely on professional qualities, one can overestimate one’s potentialities and make mistakes in career forecasts.
Fifth Misconception: Any position is good.
Yes, but working in the quiet back room of the office is unlikely to be considered a successful career advancement, if you actively communicated with customers and competitors before. Now you are sure to lose business acumen.
After all, a position that does not meet the qualities of a person will have a detrimental effect on their career. There is also a danger to taking over someone else’s position. You may find yourself in the very situation in which your predecessor was defeated. Why are you sure that you will be more fortunate? What measures will be taken to avoid failure?
The disadvantages can be listed further. But I think the essence is clear. Don’t be too quick to take a new position if it isn’t a right fit for you. Receiving a promotion might actually be a punishment. So be careful what you wish for. You may be better off staying where you are.