We asked our staff to share examples of the kinds of questions that clients sometimes ask, and the answers they offer. This question from a client came to Cindy Chen, an Employment Counsellor at JVS Toronto Employment Source Scarborough.
A client asked me how to get a promotion, even when the hiring personnel is not supportive of them moving up in the company.
Obviously, this is a very tricky situation: who would a job seeker go to, if the person that they are supposed to go to is blocking them?
Relationship building is such an important aspect of work and careers that many of us do not appreciate until we are boxed in. As the saying goes, “think outside the box”, if the box was the department or position that you are in and you feel stuck in it, there are creative ways that you could try to get out of the “box”.
Going back to relationship building, if you have been able to get along with mostly everyone at the office and were able to get to know other supervisors or managers, perhaps you could approach them and express your genuine interest to learn more about the roles in their department and maybe even help out with some of the tasks. If this is possible, approach your own supervisor and pitch the idea to them. It might be harder for them to say “no” when another supervisor has already said “yes”.
Some organizations have training or learning opportunities where you get to spend a day or so to learn more about other positions in the company. This might include informational interviewing or job shadowing. If this kind of opportunity exists, take advantage of it. The person that you spend that valuable time with might be able to advocate for you, once they see that you have the potential for the change.
If this is not an option, then perhaps suggest it to your supervisor. Pitch the idea as you wanting to broaden your knowledge and interest in the company, and perhaps your manager will see it as taking initiative and understand the beneficial aspects of it.
However, if all your attempts have still come to a dead end, then it might be time to reassess the situation and look for opportunities elsewhere. There is another saying, sometimes if you want to advance, “you have to move out if you want to move up.”
Cindy Chen is an Employment Counsellor at JVS Toronto Markham Employment Source. She is trained as a Registered Social Service Worker (RSSW), and describes herself as an advocate of inclusion who is passionate about helping others.