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Promotions on the job

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Promotions on the job [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 03:17
This is something Im curious about and thought this group might be able to help since most have been working for a few years now. In your experience, how are promotions handed out? Do you need to ask for them like you would a raise? Some of the bigger companies I assume you need to wait for a position to open up and apply for it as an internal employee. What about with smaller companies?

Im curious about how this works in corporate america. I dont know how it is in India now but when I was growing up I saw that a promotion was pretty much guaranteed every 4 years, esp if you were in the govt. That obviously cant be the case in India or in the US now.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 03:34
I've been working for a little over 2 years now and have been promoted once. I missed out on a previous promotion because I switched companies just before the promotion.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 06:14
Let me talk about my experience in Corporate India.

I got promotion, when my boss thought that I would leave without one.

With my little understanding I can say that it usually depends on the perceptions of the immediate boss, and his boss.

Yes. We have to ask for promotion. But without tangible results or indispensability or strong support from boss we can't expect promotion. In my opinion, last two factors are more important.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 06:20
I have worked at 2 organizations in the US- one a relatively new financial services firm that has a very 'start-uppsih' feel to it. Promotions are strictly based on performance and were quite tough to get as most of the employees were entry level and the competition is quite severe.

The other is probably the biggest financial services firm in the world, and is very traditional. Rare to find associates getting promoted ahead of schedule. You can expect a promotion once in 2 yrs though.

aurobindo wrote:
Let me talk about my experience in Corporate India.

I got promotion, when my boss thought that I would leave without one.

With my little understanding I can say that it usually depends on the perceptions of the immediate boss, and his boss.

Yes. We have to ask for promotion. But without tangible results or indispensability or strong support from boss we can't expect promotion. In my opinion, last two factors are more important.
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Re: Promotions on the job [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 06:20
I have been working for a little less than 2.5 years, and a I got my first promotion about 18 months in. I requested my promotion, but my manager already started the paperwork for the promotion before I requested it.

I work with a Fortune 50 company, not representative of small businesses.

hsampath wrote:
This is something Im curious about and thought this group might be able to help since most have been working for a few years now. In your experience, how are promotions handed out? Do you need to ask for them like you would a raise? Some of the bigger companies I assume you need to wait for a position to open up and apply for it as an internal employee. What about with smaller companies?

Im curious about how this works in corporate america. I dont know how it is in India now but when I was growing up I saw that a promotion was pretty much guaranteed every 4 years, esp if you were in the govt. That obviously cant be the case in India or in the US now.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 08:07
I work for as a civilian for the military. Promotions are based on performance to a degree and also time. The initial promotions are based on time and passing qualifications. To make lead engineer a manager needs to select you based on completing even more quals, experience in specific evolutions, potential, and a very unfun oral board (an intense interview to test knowledge and leadership skills). I started in 2002 and of the 40 or so engineers that were brought into our department that year, I am one of the few to make lead engineer already, it ranges from 4 to 7 years and some people will never be promoted either by choice (dont want the extra responsibility) or because they were never selected.

My brother works for an ad agency (good sized not huge), it is totally based on performance. You make money for them, you move up. They will inflate titles and pay to keep a valuable person who may be leaving but you really need to earn it to move up in real positions. If they think you will leave they will promote you if you have earned it, if not they will let you go. My bro is 30 and is already pretty high in management and is the youngest person at his level. He was promoted last year got a big raise, then 6 months later he was promoted again and another big raise which was extremely unusual, he basically doubled his salary in a year. They tend to peg people for senior management and if you are one of the very select few they do everything to keep you from leaving. Another common practice is that they also try to steal people from other agencies that are pegged as stars.

My wife works for a very large company and its based almost all on seniority, though you can apply for open positions but that still is heavily influenced by years you have been working. You can plug along and continue to move up without being anyone amazing. They dont have the competition for the superstars like where my brother works so its a very linear path...no one makes huge jumps unless their dad runs the company.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 11:55
Thanks everyone. Thanks river, that's great info - comparison between the different types of companies. I asked for a raise and got one recently(a fairly big one) but wasnt sure about promotions.

I know my work has evolved over the years across my different jobs and projects as a consultant, but have never received a formal promotion in my career. My last review was excellent, but I tend not to believe reviews - maybe the raise is an indication that Im performing well, but on the other hand, it may just mean I was underpaid before and did not negotiate correctly when I joined.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 12:02
Judging from what I have been told by my brother and father, who do a lot of hiring, its easier to give someone a lot more money than a higher position a lot of times. Salaries are usually strictly confidential and its pretty much standard every where not to talk about them with anyone...so you can be paid 100K vs someone else making 70K and have the same title. Where if you get a title everyone knows it, though occasionaly titles are just fancy sounding and nothing different. A great example was when my wife left her last job she asked for a raise and she would stay for X dollars, they informed her that she was already making more than anyone else in her group, including her supervisor...so they couldnt give her anymore.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 12:08
Exactly. I cant talk abt my salary with my colleagues, and I feel that the raise is no indication if I am actually performing well - whereas recognition amongst peers at least boosts your confidence a bit. I should not complain - at the end of the day I guess money is more valuable than fluff like a fancy title - if I had to choose between the two.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 13:59
The fancier title does help when applying for new jobs or schools. Right now since I am applying to school, I would rather have an impressive title than 10K more in salary.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 17:31
which is why I have started thinking abt the title.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2007, 18:41
You can always plant seeds with your supervisors. I received my first promotion at my last job due to my expressed interest before the position came open...be subtle though.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 06:10
Yeah, good point. If I do get the promotion though, PT MBA makes far more sense for me than a FT MBA - I dont intend to change industries.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 06:10
Quote:
The fancier title does help when applying for new jobs or schools. Right now since I am applying to school, I would rather have an impressive title than 10K more in salary.


I work in an extremely small office (me and my boss) and I had this very discussion with her when I was thinking about applying to b-school. So, she gave me a fancier sounding job title! Unfortunately, one of the pitfalls of working for nonprofits is that money can be pretty limited, and so big raises are far and few between. However, this year my boss saw that I have taken on extra responsibilities and I got a larger raise than I normally do.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 06:24
Comparing job titles with my wife she is a senior engineer and I am a lead engineer (different type of engineers at very different jobs). Now honestly at this point I really prefer the lead engineer over senior. Senior sounds like you get it because you are old or have been there for a while. Lead sounds like you are in charge of things...

We basically are at the same level just with different titles. Though on paper one definitely seems more appealing to me.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 08:00
Yeah, I agree. My case is a bit different. If you look at the company org chart, my title is one level above senior consultant, but I wonder if outsiders will know/understand that.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 08:04
just my 2 cents on the title thing. Every industry has its own set of titles, some impressive, some not. I think the adcoms have seen enough titles from the industries to know that the VP of something at a bank might not have the leadership and responsibilities of a "senior engineer" at a big company.

In the similar defense industry, no matter how good you are, unless you have some VP who's pushing you through promotions personally, there are set years you have to work PLUS good performance before you get promoted. I believe even on the "fast track", it takes 4 years (from a bachelor's degree) to go from associate to senior engineer, then another 4 years from that to go to Staff. none of the titles really sound impressive until you get to Manager, and that takes 10 years or more.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2007, 03:41
Agree kryzak. My first job in India right out of college was at a huge company that was supposed to be like that. I asked specifically because I want to know how it is done in the US, so I can talk to my manager if need be. I knew I had to talk abt the raise and did, but wasnt sure abt a promotion. Mine is a very small company (30 people)

Thanks!
  [#permalink] 26 Oct 2007, 03:41
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