There are many reasons why people consider leaving their current employer and begin looking at other opportunities. One of the biggest motivators for candidates to seek alternatives is the apparent lack of career progression in their current position. There are many senior job seekers who have been with their employer for a number of years and have worked through the ranks into a senior position. After reaching their potential in terms of position, salary and responsibilities, they are left sitting stagnant in their roles feeling unmotivated and restless. If you are reading this and nodding your head in agreement, read on.
Consider the familiar scenario – “I love the company and people that I work with, but there is no room for advancement in my role”. What are your options? Whilst there seems to be no career progression available in your current position, are there positions across another department in your organisation that you could move into? Larger companies may be willing to cross-train you into another area of the business where you can learn new skills and take on additional responsibilities which will ultimately add depth and variety to your career.
If transferring to a different department is not an option, it might be beneficial to investigate your company’s competitors to see if your skills and experience would be of interest to them. Relevant industry knowledge and experience is one of the top selling points a job seeker can offer to hiring personnel.
Alternatively, another way to re-fresh your career is to challenge yourself in a new or related industry with different products or services. It can be more challenging to get your foot in the door so ensure that your application highlights areas of experience that are related and transferable to the new industry focus.
When considering the next step in your career, I am often weary of candidates who place an overemphasis on obtaining a higher salary in their next role. It’s true that people have a tendency to expect a higher wage if they are moving into a more senior role and in many cases this will be the result. However, if you are genuinely interested in expanding your experience, you need to consider the fact that salaries vary across organisations and industries and that an immediate pay increase may not be an option. I have seen many people miss out on the opportunity for career advancement purely because they don’t want to remain on the same salary as their previous role (not taking into account the high potential for salary increases, additional benefits, professional development and role progression). Take this into consideration when considering new opportunities.
A challenge facing senior candidates is that the next logical step in their career would involve managing a team. The issue is that whilst they have become an expert in their field of work, they may not have a background in managing and mentoring staff. Unfortunately, many organisations won’t consider applicants for these roles unless they have prior people management experience. So the question is – how do you progress to the next level if you aren’t securing interviews for management positions because you lack direct experience? It may be worth undertaking professional courses aimed at developing leaders and managers. There are plenty of registered training providers (such as the Australian Institute of Management and NSW TAFEs) which offer management courses. If you have had any experience training or supervising junior staff, even if they aren’t direct reports, ensure that you mention this in your application. Also, when preparing your resume for Management roles, it is also useful to highlight any experience outside of work where you may have had coaching/mentoring responsibilities (e.g. Soccer Coach, Volunteers Coordinator etc).
There are many opportunities for senior candidates looking for a new challenge – you just need to know where to look! Keep an open mind and be flexible in your approach and you might just find that your next dream job is just around the corner.