Career & Education

Should I wait for a promotion, or just quit?

Sunday, December 02, 2018

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Dear Career Advisor:

Over the course of the last seven years in my present job, I have not got a promotion, although there has been an increase in my responsibilities and very meagre salary adjustments. I am beginning to feel as if I am in a dead-end situation as everything is now routine. Don't get me wrong; I love my job, as I primarily deal directly with clients, with most of whom I've developed an excellent professional relationship. But I feel as if I'm not progressing. What do you suggest I do? Ask for a promotion, or change jobs?

Yours truly,


Dear L J:

For some employees, remaining in the same job function and at the same organisation is no issue. For others, it can lead to levels of frustration, demotivation, and in extreme cases, decrease in productivity. It has been said that the average worker will change jobs five or more times during his working life. Often, a good way to increase your earning potential and increase responsibility, inclusive of promotion in rank, is to change jobs. This must, however, be done after careful consideration.

Opportunities for career advancement can often be found both within and outside of your organisation. Begin by finding out if your organisation has a promotion-from-within policy. Such a policy is often used as a means of rewarding loyal workers for service and for excellent performance.

For promotions and job advancement to be meaningful, they must be earned. Solicit feedback from your supervisors as to how they perceive the value you bring to the company. Assess the circumstances as to the scope or likelihood of you being promoted within your organisation.

Small organisations often do not have many opportunities for promotion and when opportunities do arise, there is often a very long waiting period. Bear in mind, too, that many technical and task-specific functions although allowing for higher earnings, often do not provide ready scope for promotion and may require you to seek further training to position yourself for promotion.

Indeed, it might be time to assess and plan your future career path. Consider avenues and strategies for promotion. Begin thinking about positions you would enjoy serving in and the things you enjoy doing.

Do a self-assessment in respect of the following issues:

i. Knowledge of job functions and requirements.

ii. Quality and quantity of your job performance

iii. People skills (interpersonal, leadership, motivational, etc.)

iv. Employability skills (teamwork, problem-solving, initiative, etc.)

v. Experience from related jobs or transferrable skills

vi. Education and training – relevant to the position you are seeking to fill.

Begin with analysing where you are in respect of each of the above. If your current performance has not positioned you for a promotion, you should consider retraining and retooling to enhance your chances for promotion or for new opportunities. Your reasons for changing job should always be from a positive outlook.

Remember, nothing is beyond your reach for achievement once you are willing to commit to further education and training. Always aim of excellence.


Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at

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