Managers Need To Learn How To Compete For Their Next Promotion

Managers need to deal with co-workers who are their top competition
Managers need to deal with co-workers who are their top competition
Image Credit: Wake Forest University School of Law

As a manager, it turns out that finding ways to get the most out of your team is not the only thing that you have to use your manager skills to do when you are at work. Every day when you go into work you are really riding off to battle. It turns out that your performance is always being measured against the people that you work with. Eventually somebody is going to get promoted, get a raise, or get a bonus. Will it be you or someone else? This is something that none of us have any manager training on how to deal with. Welcome to the real world: your co-worker is your top competitor.

It’s All About Who Gets The Job

So here’s the challenge that managers are now facing: more employers are sparking internal competitions by posting job openings online and encouraging interested employees to apply. This can be a great thing for a manager because it can open up career opportunities that were not originally three. However, the down side is that it risks leaving angry, dispirited runners-up in their wake. It’s possible to emerge a winner from one of these bake-offs even if you don’t get the job. But it requires some careful career planning and social skills.

Studies have shown that employers selected current employees to fill 21% of all 2017 job openings, up from 11% the previous year. Posting jobs internally attracts a larger pool of highly qualified applicants for hiring managers to choose from, compared with allowing managers to pick candidates on their own. Studies have revealed that employees who win the job are 17% more likely to stay with the company for at least two additional years, and 28% more likely to be promoted within three years, compared with managers’ picked candidates. Many employers also hope internal postings will attract a more diverse applicant pool and help address concerns over racial, ethnic or gender bias.

However, the challenge is that internal postings risk driving losers out the door. Managers who don’t get the job are 2½ times more likely than the average employee to quit the company in the ensuing six to 12 months. Everything is changing as employers replace old career ladders and predictable promotion schedules with more flexible internal postings, career-planning responsibility is falling to managers. And many of them aren’t ready. Many managers are simply not ready to build their careers within a company. They need career-planning help in order to understand what their opportunities are.

What’s The Best Way To Compete For Your Next Promotion

If we can all agree that the concept of competing for an internal job posting is something that, if not done correctly, can end up harming ones career, then we need to have a better plan. What we need is a way to go after that job when it is offered in a way that will allow us to avoid allowing a rivalry that will damage your relationships with co-workers. The first step is that you have to acknowledge your rivals’ will be going for the same job and you have to wish them well. Try to use this as a team building opportunity. Somebody is going to win and you want to make sure that everyone can still get along after the completion is done.

When we are involved in a competition, it can all too easy for our thoughts to start to drift to ways that we can get ahead at the expense of the people that we are competing with. You have to make sure that you avoid efforts to undermine or sabotage the other candidates for the open position. It can also be easy to get caught up in the efforts that you are putting into getting this one position right now. You need to make sure that you don’t let applying for this internal opening substitute for making your own long-term career plans.

You have to plan for how you are going to deal with the outcome of this completion. It should go without saying that you need to plan in advance what you will do if you lose. You’ll still be working with all of the people that you were competing with. On the other hand, if you win, don’t flaunt it. Respect others’ feelings and celebrate out of the office. You wouldn’t want them showing off if they had won and you had lost. Finally, be gracious if you lose. Congratulate the winner and talk about what you gained from the process. Treat this experience as an opportunity to learn and plan your next career steps.

What All Of This Means For You

Managers face a lot of different challenges in the workplace. On top of trying to get the most out of our teams, it turns out that we always have to be on the lookout for how we plan on getting promoted. As more and more companies start to post internal job opportunities online we may find ourselves competing with our co-workers for our next opportunity. How can we go about doing this without poisoning the workplace atmosphere?

Companies have started to post internal job openings so that anyone working for the company can apply for them. This can create a great deal of competition. However, the challenge is that if we apply for a job and then end up not getting it, we can walk away feeling sad and rejected. When employees apply for an internal position and get it, they tend to stay with the company longer. Likewise, employees who apply for an internal position and then don’t get it have a tendency to end up leaving the company. Managers who are going to compete for an internal position need to make sure that they have a plan. They have to acknowledge that they will be competing with their coworkers. They have to make sure that they don’t attempt to sabotage their rival’s job prospects and they have to keep planning how they want their career to turn out no matter if they get this position or not.

As managers we all have the additional responsibility of being responsible for planning our own careers. When a job posting opens up, we need to understand that if we apply for it, we will be competing with the people that we are currently working with. We need to take care to not burn any bridges during the competition and we need to have a plan for how we’re going to deal with both potential outcomes from this competition.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you don’t get the job that you applied for, do you think that you could work for the person who did get it?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As managers we all know that innovation is one of the keys to our team’s long term success. The ability of the members of our team to interact with each other, try out new ideas, refine those ideas and create solutions to complex problems is one of the things that can make a team great. Then the pandemic struck. The result of this is that everyone got sent home to work. All of a sudden the creative energy that your team may have been generating got turned off. As a manager, how can you turn it back on?

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