Careers Blog

How can I ensure that my assistance to the CEO counts towards a possible promotion?

How can I ensure that my assistance to the CEO counts towards a possible promotion?Q: I am a long-term general manager at a relatively small food-production company that recently appointed a new CEO. I have been tasked with familiarising her with certain company strategies. While I am happy to do this, I am worried that I won’t get the recognition I deserve. I would love for this to contribute to a chance for promotion. However, as I have been passed over a couple of times for promotion, I fear it won’t. Should I bring this up now before applying for the promotion? A: The quick answer is: Yes. This is the ideal time to bring it up, as generally, a new CEO can mean a fresh start and new opportunities. Don’t assume just because you have previously shown interest in promotions, that the business is aware you are still interested. It is up to you to make your employers aware of your aspirations. Key questions to ask yourself From your question, it appears you have quite an in-depth knowledge of the business, and this is very likely the reason why you have been given the responsibility to bring the new CEO up to speed. You need to ask yourself why you have not been successful in getting promoted. Have you received feedback on past interviews? If so, have you understood the reasoning behind this? Have you discussed professional career training and a development plan? Who has tasked you with the role of familiarisation of the CEO – is it the business owner? Do they make, and will they continue to make, the decision about your career opportunities over and above the CEO? Planning Take some time to analyse your own strengths and areas of development. You need to be very critical of your capabilities, as self-awareness is a key skill for any business leader. If possible, complete a 360 review. This is confidential feedback from direct-line reports which will also highlight key strengths and areas for development. Start the planning – begin with the end in mind: where do you want to be in the short to medium term? It is important to make this career-specific, not business-specific. A tip for planning is to make ‘Smart’ goals. Specific: Ensure that your goals are clear, concise and focused on what you wish to achieve; Measurable: Ensure you can track your progress throughout the plan; Achievable: Your goals should be realistic and attainable; Relevant: Align your own personal goals with the goals of the business; Time: The key here is to set target dates and stick to those. Meet and present The first thing to do is to ensure the right people and key decision makers are at the meeting – ideally, this should include the new CEO. Be conscious that the CEO may only just be in the door and, while it is an opportunity to align your aspirations with that of the CEO, they may not be able to make commitments or put plans in place at this stage. If this is the case, you need to ensure you confirm a time to follow up and stick to it. When you do meet, discuss your career goals and how you plan to achieve these in line with benefiting the business overall. It is important that when you present your goals, you align these with the goals of the business and ensure your employers are aware of how developing and promoting you as a key employee will benefit the organisation overall. Set out a plan that is agreeable to both yourself and the CEO, and as noted, make sure the goals are ‘Smart’. The key is to ensure that you set timelines and stick to these. Finally, you appear to be driven in progressing your career. However, if you come to believe that the opportunity that you are looking for in the development of your career is not with your employer, you may need to start assessing external opportunities. It is important that you make an educated decision on this move, and investigate all opportunities within your organisation before looking for opportunities elsewhere.           David Fitzgibbon Mid-West Regional Manager Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR Services Group This article was originally published in the business section of The Sunday Independent on Sunday, July 9th, 2018, and can be viewed...

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Emilio Moya Rosa, “I play corner back for Melleray/Glen Rovers GAA club.”

Emilio relocated from Spain and is now Senior OQ Co-Ordinator at GSK, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford When I first moved to Waterford, I knew nothing about the area and didn’t know anyone here. Now, the people I work with have become my family and I love it here. I grew up in a small village in the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain and studied in Madrid before moving to Brussels for work. I moved to Ireland three years ago, first to work with a company in Lismore and then to my current job at GSK. I knew nothing about Waterford before I moved here. It was scary. I thought that I would move home after a week, but I quickly grew to love it. Irish people are very nice, and my colleagues are helpful and always make sure to include me in any plans they have outside of work. The weather may be a little wet, but I am happy. One of the best things about living in Waterford is hurling. I play corner back for Melleray/Glen Rovers GAA club. My friends back in Spain are very intrigued by this, and when they come to visit me, they often buy hurleys as souvenirs! I also coach spin classes and I found a studio nearby to pursue my love of painting. Professionally, I am very happy. I like working for a big company as I encounter new problems to solve every day. It’s never boring. I only live three minutes from work, and last January I was able to buy my own car and who knows, maybe I’ll buy my own house...

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I know I am being managed out of my HR job by firm’s new owners – what should I do?

Question: I’ve enjoyed my role as Head of Human Resources with a large tech company for five years. A year ago, the company was taken over and the new owners brought in their own executives. Since then I’ve been moved to a smaller office and excluded from important meetings. I’ve been in the industry long enough to know that I am being ‘managed out’. Should I stay and fight or accept the inevitable payout? Answer: The turbulent times brought about by a company takeover can be challenging and unsettling in the immediate aftermath and the initial transition phase. Adapting to new approaches, while struggling to establish yourself in a changed environment, can become a negative cycle if not managed carefully. I suggest these steps: 1.Investigate the situation objectively It seems that the transition period has been particularly difficult for you and has left you feeling unappreciated and disengaged. It is important, however, to take time to assess the situation objectively before making any firm decisions. Coaching sessions can provide a safe space to consider the reality of the situation and assist you in separating your emotional response to the changes from the business reality. Work with a coach who is appropriately trained, experienced and understands your needs. Questions you may consider include: How has your role changed? How has the organisation changed? How have my feelings towards the organisation changed? Is the situation short-term or long-term? 2.Explore your options Having established a strong relationship with a coach, you can now explore all options in a safe space. This will help you to plan potential conversations with management, discuss your...

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Why do I feel like my role hasn’t changed since my promotion to a management position?

Question: I was recently promoted to marketing manager within my organisation. During my interview, I was told that I would have more responsibility over certain project duties. But six months on I am still doing the same work. While my pay has increased, I feel like I’m not being challenged. I would like to take on more responsibility and progress my career. How can I address this situation with my boss? Answer: Firstly, congratulations on your promotion. In many cases, internal promotions do not get the same level of credence as moving to another business does. Selling your capabilities to your existing organisation can be more difficult, as they are acutely aware of you before the interview even happens. There isn’t always a job spec with internal promotions, so if you do not have one, your first step is to request one from your manager. A suggestion would be to create a draft job spec, based on your knowledge and expectations of the role, and send this to your manager to review and confirm. Your manager may not be fully aware of what you do on a day-to-day basis, and this is an ideal opportunity to further highlight your value to the organisation. It is important that you structure your approach to ensure that all parties are on the same wavelength. Start by setting up a meeting between you and your manager. While you have been promoted, it appears that you have only received a pay rise – and no extra responsibilities. This may be enough for some, but you want to progress your career so it is important...

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My manager is being cold with me since I got my promotion. What should I do?

Question: I was offered a promotion recently and I am now working equally alongside a manager who trained me when I moved to the company five years ago. Since I was promoted, she has become cold and distant towards me. I’ve always respected this manager and I was looking forward to working with her on a team. How can I address her attitude without undermining her?   Answer: Congratulations on getting your promotion to manager. It’s always a wonderful feeling to be recognised for your contribution to the company. However, it can be tarnished if you are not feeling the shared excitement from your co-workers or members of the management team. So, it can be a testing time to ensure you get all relationships back on track. I’ve got bad news and good news – the bad news is that you can’t control how others are going to react to your promotion. You may be surprised as to how some of the team react, but you need to be ready for this. The good news is that you can reach out to them to see what concerns they have regarding your promotion in order to build a better working relationship together. Resentment can creep in from other employees, almost unavoidably, be they direct reports or even current managers whom you may be working alongside. If they were already a manager based within the company, they may feel you did not deserve the promotion and perhaps that someone else should have got it over you. Walking in their shoes is a good place to start as they probably have mixed emotions right...

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How do I encourage a quiet staff member to speak up and take credit for their work?

Question: I am responsible for managing two junior staff members at an advertising firm. They work on projects together but have their own specific tasks to carry out. When it comes to presenting their work to myself and my superiors, one of the members has a habit of hogging the limelight and claiming credit for all the ideas. How can I encourage the other team member to speak up more in meetings and inspire some confidence in them? Answer: This is a very common issue in almost every organisation. It is not always noticed or addressed so you have already taken the first positive step in acknowledging the need to address it. It is very important that an employee is getting the full credit for the hard work that they are putting into these projects and it can lead to issues down the road if they don’t feel as if they are getting the credit. If this continues to happen, the individual may feel they are not being valued. This can lead to a drop in their engagement, which will inevitably have a significant impact on their productivity. It is also important that the employee is getting the exposure to management that can be critical to their future career progression opportunities within an organisation. From an organisation’s point of view, it is crucial to know who is responsible for these ideas to ensure they manage and nurture this talent going forward. There are a number of ways in which you can address this issue in a structured way, which will benefit both the individual and the organisation: Investigate: You...

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How can I earn respect from older staff members in my first job as a senior manager?

  Question  I have just taken on my first senior management role, after moving to another engineering firm. I am really enjoying the role. However, I’m in my 30s and a lot of the staff that I manage are older and have been with the company for longer than I have. Some of these staff members don’t always follow my instructions. What is the best way to earn the respect of these more seasoned workers? Answer  This is an all-too-frequent issue that can arise when you join a new team where the members are older than the manager. But it also commonly occurs where a team member is promoted within their team to team leader. The key to becoming a successful leader is gaining trust and ensuring that you develop a leadership style that matches both you and your team. But the reality is that no one size fits all in these cases. The most common mistake someone can make when taking on a leadership role is trying to make too large an impact in too short a space of time. While this can bear some immediate results, these can be short-term gains and result in longer-term pain of disengaged employees and in turn reduced productivity. While there is no magic solution to change things overnight, there are some steps, below, which you can take to gain trust and buy-in from your team. But, don’t forget that it is important you start with your end goal in mind. You need to be clear and concise as to what you want your team to achieve, implement processes to facilitate this...

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How do I handle a bullying complaint when I have never witnessed any problems?

Question: A member of my team has come to me with an allegation of bullying about a colleague. I have never witnessed it, so I am unsure how to address the matter. I feel it is my responsibility to protect my staff, but I haven’t any evidence. Have you any advice on how to deal with this sensitive issue? Answer: Workplace bullying is a very real and common occurrence that can be incredibly difficult to deal with. It is a legal minefield and can also be difficult for a manager to prove. It can come in many forms, from a boss singling out an employee or a colleague playing repeated pranks to a peer choosing to ignore another individual’s contribution to a project. Bullying can be defined as “repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work”. In this ever-changing busy environment, managers can sometimes dismiss bullying accusations as personality or management-style clashes. Others may recognise the problem, but lack the confidence or skills to deal with it. Bullying is not in any job description so, as a manager, you need to be vigilant and ready to deal with a situation where someone comes to you in confidence about possible bullying. Bullying is likely to affect the employee’s self-esteem, not to mention productivity and then they can also bring this home to their personal lives. Trying to pass bullying off as management...

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How to Bounce Back After Making an Uncharacteristic and Costly Mistake at Work.

Question: I am a marketing manager of a pharmaceutical company and really enjoy my job. Normally I receive nothing but praise from the owners of the company and have always felt confident in my role. But a few weeks ago, I made a major mistake that cost our company an important client. My boss was clearly disappointed and he had to explain the situation to the owners. I feel that since it has happened, I have been sidelined and my confidence has been seriously knocked. How can I express my regret, earn respect and build my confidence again? Answer: It is almost inevitable that occasionally in our working lives mistakes occur. We have to own up to them, fix them if possible and then move on. Unfortunately, your mistake seems to be continuing to impact on how you feel about the organisation, your work and your relationship with your team. You have to take some action to ensure that it doesn’t continue to impact on your work. Here are some steps that might help to move forward. 1 Forgive yourself Although this sounds like a cliche, thinking through your error, accepting your mistake, and moving on personally will impact on how you can move on. It appears that your error in judgement has impacted your confidence negatively and this will affect your work. However, you have said that your record previously was exceptional, you were well received by your team and often acknowledged for this success. You need to try to focus on these positive reflections of yourself, rather than negatives. Take the time to consciously forgive yourself for...

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10 Tips for Landing Your Dream Job in 2018

It’s January and most people’s thoughts are on the things they want to change in their lives in the New Year. One of the biggest alterations a person can make is taking a new direction in their career so, every year, “finding the dream job” is usually high up on many people’s New Year’s resolutions list. However, by the end of January, many of the changes that were so urgent and important at the end of December, have gone by the wayside as we slip back into the comfort of our old workplace and familiar routine. Moving jobs or changing careers can be a scary prospect and sometimes people think that it is easier for them to stay where they are — even if they are unhappy — rather than make a fresh start. But there is no reason why landing your dream job cannot become a reality for you in 2018. What you need is a plan; a roadmap that will give you the structure you need to stay disciplined in pursuit of your goals. If your New Year’s resolution is to progress your career, you can’t afford to be casual in the way you pursue it. Most people think that all they have to do is update their CV, send it out to a few agencies, and sit back and wait for the job offers to come in. They are wrong. If you are serious about developing your career in 2018, here are 10 things you can do to make it a reality:   Set your goal. You can’t progress your career if you don’t know what you want to do....

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