I often quietly giggle when a coaching client tells me that they are thinking of leaving their current position because “there is no scope for advancement”.

This such an outrageously limited view of reality.

My experience has shown me many, many times how suddenly things change. Just out of the blue the person who was ‘in the way’, ups and leaves! And then the vacated position is up for grabs. That is when you should have been ready to step up and take the job.

You can be sure that if you are thinking that there is no scope for advancement there is a good chance you will not get the appointment.

The golden rule to follow in any employment position is to be ready to take your boss’ job.

The interesting thing is that what is being asked of you is not necessary a developed skill.

It’s about your character development.

A big word with a big meaning.

The character traits have you developed will take you to next level.

So what is the boss probably thinking?

It could be about which staff members fit in where. Succession planning is a daily exercise. The boss knows from experience that people come and go and it is always better to promote someone from within than bring in a person from the outside.

So why is succession planning such a priority?

Because if there is no-one to do the job, life becomes hell.  The job has to be done and if there is no-one there to do it this makes the boss’ life seriously uncomfortable.

Of course, there is the other side of the coin which is a little more subtle.

Your boss cannot be promoted unless there is a competent person to take the job. How many times have I sat in meetings discussing promotions where colleagues have said “No, we can’t move them out – who will do that job? The department will fall over!’.

Always get yourself ready – nothing is cast in stone!

So what can you do right now to develop the necessary traits to take that job when (not if) it becomes available?


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