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Thread: Being looked over for a promotion

  1. #1

    Default Being looked over for a promotion

    Hey guys,

    Just posting this up here for a bit of a vent, rant and hopefully some advice.

    Anyway I have been working in a job in retail for the last 20 months, it was a job with a new company so I thought their would be good opportunity to progress, while also being in retail would mean I could give enough time to my studies.

    So I have just finished college and pending my final results I should have a BA in Business studies under my belt.

    SO since I have started working their I have been looked over for promotion 3 times. And the person who got the jobs over me happens to be the same person.

    So the first time was just after I started and I had finished being a temp one of the women who started with me, lets call her Ms X got kept on and was given a full time position while I was given a part time position even though I had done a better job than her, I had hit my KPI's and had much better sales figures.

    Then about a month later she was made a marketing executive whilst I didnt even get a look in. I have a bit of experience in marketing and have a diploma in it while she was doing a diploma in digital marketing and had no experience.

    It's actually a good thing I did not get that one though because it imploded on her within six months and she was back on the shop floor.

    The latest one just happened. All the store managers left last month so the company was scrambling to hire some. Both myself and Ms X went for the position. Again I didn't get it while she did.

    The interview went really well even though the MD didnt expect much from me. She wore jeans and a tshirt to the interview and her hair was all greasy so I knew that yeah they didnt think i was a serious candidate in the interview. However I am great at interviews, I know my stuff, I have experience and education to back up anything I say in an interview and also I know where the company is weak and how I can fix it. SO I nailed the interview.

    A week later I call the MD looking for an update and she informs me that MS X has got the job. We discussed as to why and she said that while I was good in sales I didnt have the experience necesarry. I have 5 years management experience under my belt, I am the unoficial leader of the store and I have strong leadership traits. MS X on the other hand has no experience and is a follower. So that stung a lot to be lied to to my face when I had been so open with the MD.

    Now this is the pickle, I am good friends with Ms X and I am super happy she got the job, it sucks because I didnt get it but I am happy for her. However since she has gotten the job I have been doing a lot of it for her. She hasnt been asking me to I just naturally take on a leadership role in the absence of a leader. For example next tuesday I have to sort out pay role for our new employees, make sure one of our staff is going to get holiday pay, sort out holiday pay for the staff, crack some skulls to make sure we get our stationary and cleaning supplies in quickly and do the roster for the next month. ontop of running the shop as i am the most senior person in that day. Now she has asked me to do none of that but it is all stuff that needs to be done and sooner rather than later, it will really annoy me if it doesnt get done so i'm just going to do it.

    The option which I am looking at right now is finding a new job, its clear that the company dont take me serious so I will never be able to grow, like I am essentially the assistant manager judging by my duties yet in the companies eyes i am a zero hour flexitime employee as they wont change my contract.

    The only problem with finding a new job is that I am so shattered from work that I don't have time to do up my cv. And i cant afford to just walk out to give me the time to work on the cv and find a new job.

    Anyway I am feeling super disgruntled right now and I know i should just let it wash over me and find a new job but that is proving easier said than done. I am a helpful person, especially when it comes to my friends so I don't want to see her fail but I am so tired of not being taken seriously and being taken for granted in the company.

    With all that said Ms X is really appreciative of me and she and isnt expecting me to go to the lengths i am, like I could stop doing all the stuff i am doing and she would be fine with that, its an internal thing of mine which is making me do all this so seriously I have no ill will towards her at all.

    Thanks for listening

  2. #2

    Default

    Make yourself heard. Go out and look for better opportunities. They obviously have something against you. Don't be the one that does all of the work that you don't get paid for. Done sit back and take it. Go above those people if you want to stay there, otherwise you are wasting your time. You aren't getting the money deserved. Step up for yourself, because no one will do it for you. It's a dog eat dog world.

  3. #3

    Default

    Dunno about retail specifically, but these days you often have to switch jobs every so often to really advance and certainly to see any serious income jumps.

    I'd say definitely time to start looking. Stay professional, don't burn bridges, don't write a scathing letter of resignation when you find something (no matter how good it would feel), etc... you're just hurting yourself in the long run. Opinions differ, but I'm a fan of including some wording that the resignation is irrevocable to make it clear that you arn't trying to strong arm them into a promotion/raise and to prevent the kind of retention bidding war that imo never ends well in the long run. The message you are politely saying is they had their chance, you've found something better, you'll be gone in 2 weeks.

  4. #4

  5. #5

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    You're friends with Ms X - that hopefully can work to your advantage. My advice would be to perhaps ask her, in a nice general conversational way, why she thinks she got the position over you. Tell her you are so glad she got the job and you're pleased for her, just out of curiosity did management give any indication to her why she got the job over you? And does she have any hints that may help you in the future? You may not feel like you need any hints, you may feel like you know the job like the back of your hand - but in asking such a question, you may get an insight into something you didn't know. After all, how we see ourselves and how others see us are often two different things.

    From personal experience, the people who I see go into management are often NOT the people who know the job/department the best and who could do it blindfolded, but delegators. People who delegate tasks onto other people, who can get the best out of other people, are the ones who are usually promoted to management. Managers can't take everything on and do everything themselves, they need to know when to delegate and to whom. (That's my polite way of saying in my experience, managers put their feet up and make everybody else do their work!)

    But in addition, sometimes it's just a case of 'if your face fits'. Sometimes it's not who is best for the job, not who is best at delegating, but it's who the interviewer prefers. If the interviewer/interviewee are friends, or more, or just get on better with each other during the interview, they may be the one who gets the job. I've unfortunately heard of people not getting a job because the interviewer just didn't like they way they looked.

    I'd say that when you do these managerial tasks, make sure people know. Don't complain about it or talk about it in a negative way, but be positive and just make sure people are aware of all you do - because sometimes the tasks you do aside from your contracted role can go unnoticed.

  6. #6

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    There are often so many factors that are involved when filling a position. They can say it is "equal employment opportunity" and that they select the most qualified or best candidate for the position, but that is nonsense. I don't care whether it is private, corporate, or government. There are certainly many biases that come into play whether the person doing the hiring realizes it or not.

    After a decade of having yearly performance reviews of outstanding and getting multiple awards for my demonstrated success, I still have seen my own share of being overlooked for positions with someone with less experience and obviously less qualified for the position getting the position. At times it can make you downright spiteful to say the least. Especially when then the company expects you to train the new person on how to do the job that you applied for because they aren't as able to do it as you.

    Why does this happen? Maybe the person they hire is someone they can relate to more than you. Maybe it is that they already know you and the new person coming in is new and they have a case of "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome. Maybe there is something that you have said or done that is contrary to how the boss or hiring person sees things. It is really hard to say.

    Never-the-less, it really can piss you off (sorry for being slightly vulgar).

    My advice is that if you really like the company, continue to look for ways to advance and other opportunities. If you aren't sold that this is where you really care about staying, then look elsewhere. You never know, perhaps the next position you might get, you may be in the same position as Ms X and be the one getting a job somewhere where there actually is another person who has been there longer or more qualified than you.

    Its a hard fact of life that life simply isn't fair. What I believe, but I still have to work on myself, is making lemonade out of the lemons that life sometimes throws you. Ultimately I believe you will find that things do happen for a purpose and what lies ahead for you is better than the wished for things that didn't happen.

  7. #7

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    I would also say it depends on the culture of the company. They may say they are looking for a leader, but they don't want a leader they want a follower. I have found this at my company, those who become Assistant Managers and Store Managers are not the leaders of the store, they are the ones the big bosses can walk all over, the ones who will get crapped on and take it. The leaders in our company, the ones who will stick up for their staff, have the respect and loyalty of their staff are usually capped at Shift Supervisor, for multiple reasons, 1, our company does not want anything other than Yes Men, 2, We won't touch the job with a ten foot pole, the pay they get is garbage, heck we can earn more as Shift Supervisors than the Store Managers does, which leads me to having conversations with other shift supervisors and exclude management because it's above their pay grade.

    You would be best to see if your company actually wants leaders or want there leaders to be followers, look at those directly above you and see what kind of managers they are.

  8. #8

    Default

    These situations are always a bit difficult to decode. Having been a manager for many years, and having been a part of the promotion process for a large organization, I will chime in with some words of caution, which basically boil down to this: There is no more-certain barrier to receiving a promotion than appearing extremely interested in receiving a promotion. Inquiring about how to better oneself is one thing, but dissecting promotion decisions and trying to figure out why you were passed over is usually the path to the Dark Side, especially if done in front of your manager. It's how to get endlessly punted from one group to another within an organization, and to be branded as a "management challenge". You don't want that. Most of the time, the best way to get a promotion is to simply plow forward, do a great job, and be pleasantly surprised when you're offered more money and/or a better role. Because, let's be honest: Being agreeable and doing the job you're being paid to do are pretty much what the company wants from you. If you want to take the wheel a bit more firmly, study the role you hope to be promoted to and cleverly work out how to demonstrate your readiness for that role without hurting your ability to function in your current role.

    It's also easy to forget that promotions usually aren't simply a matter of performance, but are also a matter of business need. In my previous job, if I wanted to promote one of my employees, I had to write two separate essays to our vice president, one explaining why I believed the employee was ready to be promoted, and another explaining why I thought the business needed yet another "Senior _____" or "_____ Level 2" or whatever. And if either one of those essays was half-assed or lacked sufficient evidence, my request was denied. Happily, that never happened to me, but it did happen to some of my management peers. I guess what I'm really meaning to say is that there are usually processes in play as well as many conversations at your manager's level that you aren't a part of, and these things usually aren't a conspiracy, despite how jilted you may feel when the outcomes are revealed. Keep your cool, and decide how much longer you're willing to go in your present role if nothing better is offered to you. And if you get to that point, calmly move along, leaving all bridges intact.

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Cottontail View Post
    These situations are always a bit difficult to decode. Having been a manager for many years, and having been a part of the promotion process for a large organization, I will chime in with some words of caution, which basically boil down to this: There is no more-certain barrier to receiving a promotion than appearing extremely interested in receiving a promotion. Inquiring about how to better oneself is one thing, but dissecting promotion decisions and trying to figure out why you were passed over is usually the path to the Dark Side, especially if done in front of your manager. It's how to get endlessly punted from one group to another within an organization, and to be branded as a "management challenge". You don't want that. Most of the time, the best way to get a promotion is to simply plow forward, do a great job, and be pleasantly surprised when you're offered more money and/or a better role. Because, let's be honest: Being agreeable and doing the job you're being paid to do are pretty much what the company wants from you. If you want to take the wheel a bit more firmly, study the role you hope to be promoted to and cleverly work out how to demonstrate your readiness for that role without hurting your ability to function in your current role.

    It's also easy to forget that promotions usually aren't simply a matter of performance, but are also a matter of business need. In my previous job, if I wanted to promote one of my employees, I had to write two separate essays to our vice president, one explaining why I believed the employee was ready to be promoted, and another explaining why I thought the business needed yet another "Senior _____" or "_____ Level 2" or whatever. And if either one of those essays was half-assed or lacked sufficient evidence, my request was denied. Happily, that never happened to me, but it did happen to some of my management peers. I guess what I'm really meaning to say is that there are usually processes in play as well as many conversations at your manager's level that you aren't a part of, and these things usually aren't a conspiracy, despite how jilted you may feel when the outcomes are revealed. Keep your cool, and decide how much longer you're willing to go in your present role if nothing better is offered to you. And if you get to that point, calmly move along, leaving all bridges intact.
    I'm curious, since you were on the other end, how conscious were you of who was really doing what work? One of the common complaints I've seen in these kinds of discussions (not just on ADISC either, but several places) is "this other person is incompetent, and I end up doing half their job for them and then getting passed over because the higher ups don't pay any attention and think the other person is so good because of my hard work." I'm not quite sure how to respond to that. If it's true, I feel like they ought to quietly have a talk with their boss about their workload and distribution. But I'm also not really sure what a lot of jobs entail and I think it's very common for almost everyone to do random extra stuff as it comes up, so that it's not really doing others' work so much as just that everybody pitches in extra when needed. I dunno though. All the jobs I've been at either had clear chains of command that gave you more work than you could ever hope to finish, or had the work I needed to do directly coming in from some neutral source (like, here, you're responsible for everything that comes to this mailing address labeled "for Legal").

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchieRoni View Post
    I'm curious, since you were on the other end, how conscious were you of who was really doing what work? One of the common complaints I've seen in these kinds of discussions (not just on ADISC either, but several places) is "this other person is incompetent, and I end up doing half their job for them and then getting passed over because the higher ups don't pay any attention and think the other person is so good because of my hard work." I'm not quite sure how to respond to that. If it's true, I feel like they ought to quietly have a talk with their boss about their workload and distribution. But I'm also not really sure what a lot of jobs entail and I think it's very common for almost everyone to do random extra stuff as it comes up, so that it's not really doing others' work so much as just that everybody pitches in extra when needed. I dunno though. All the jobs I've been at either had clear chains of command that gave you more work than you could ever hope to finish, or had the work I needed to do directly coming in from some neutral source (like, here, you're responsible for everything that comes to this mailing address labeled "for Legal").
    Yeah, it certainly depends a lot on the organization and the type of work that it does. Some types of work really lend themselves to this sort of under-the-radar, doing-somebody-else's-job kind of thing, and in those cases I'd say its important for the higher-ups to institute some sort of feedback system that doesn't depend on exploited employees getting up the nerve to say something. I don't know how important that sort of thing would be to most retail jobs, for instance. Especially in the case of entry-level, hourly positions, it would probably be overkill. And then you also have to consider the fact that many people in those entry-level positions haven't matured in the way they handle conflict or manage their careers, so going out of the way to extract peer feedback in that situation could backfire a bit.

    But on how conscious I was of who was really doing the work: Very! We were an engineering organization, and if you've been around scientific/R&D-type stuff, you'll know that relatively few great ideas are sole-source. So much of it springs up out of ad-hoc hallway meetings and stuff, and there's an expectation that peers will work together to solve problems. Consequently, it's important to make sure you, as a manager, can see past the results to who actually accomplished them, as otherwise you'll often screw over the top-performing employees. So I would ask each employee to list at least five people they had worked closely with, ideally with a tilt toward people more senior than themselves. Often, I would be pretty certain that they'd left somebody out, and I would add that person to their list. And then I'd request feedback on my employee from all of those people, and that feedback would figure in their performance evaluation. If it figured very strongly, or became the basis for a promotion recommendation or something similar, I'd share it with my manager or VP to substantiate things. Otherwise, I would simply summarize it as peer feedback in my own evaluation comments and it would be mostly anonymous. That worked well. And, in fact, when it came to promotions, my organization strongly favored promoting people based on feedback from peers and others outside of their immediate workgroup, which helped level the playing field.

    And I also tried to just keep an eye on things. Not every organization can afford to have its managers meet one-on-one with their employees on a regular basis, but in competitive environments that's super important. I had one-on-one meetings with my employees each week, and the agendas usually came from them. Occasionally some interpersonal thing would come up, but that was rare. Again, the job sort of dictated collaboration, so most people figured out pretty quickly how to moderate that--help others while still getting their own work done. I used to joke with my manager that the performance review "score" ought to have been the effective number of people an employee represented: A -1, for instance, would mean that the employee's mere presence utterly consumed the time of another employee, canceling them both out. Of course we didn't do that, but we were very aware of that stuff. As a manager in a competitive-performance organization, there is no more-terrifying or humbling experience than having to review a person with insufficient evidence and then having them react with surprise and share evidence that you, as a manager, had no clue what they were up to.
    Last edited by Cottontail; 09-Jun-2016 at 04:05.

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