I was recently promoted to marketing manager within my organisation. During my interview, I was told that I would have more responsibility for certain project duties. But six months on my role hasn’t changed and 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?


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 that your manager is fully aware of this. The best way to facilitate this is to arrange regular catch-up meetings to allow you to set your goals and agree on deliverables. Prior to the meeting, ensure that you send an itinerary of what you wish to cover to allow your manager to prepare for the meeting.

The key areas to be covered at the meeting are:

Role responsibilities: Seek clarification on what your new role entails and have this outlined in the job spec. This is hugely important, as without this you will not have a point of reference for your roles and responsibilities, which can prevent you from achieving and progressing further within your organisation.

Setting goals: This is a two-way process -what do you wish to achieve and what does your manager/business want you to achieve? Ensure these are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-limited). It is important to not only focus on business goals but also on personal goals. This can be in the areas of career development, professional development, salary reviews, bonus, team development, and promotion, for example.

Training: Career development can often be overlooked when a promotion occurs but is hugely important to overall development. Analyse your own requirements and request 360 feedback from your manager/team to ensure that you get upskilled in the right areas. Never underestimate the value of investing in training, not only for yourself but also for your team.

Agree on actions and arrange a follow-up meeting: Never leave the meeting without agreeing on deliverables, from both yourself and your manager, and arranging a follow-up date that works for both sides. Send an email summarising your meeting and detailing key areas covered, as well as the agreed deliverables for the next meeting. Finally, send an invite to the next meeting.

From your question, it appears you have a strong sense of self-awareness. This helps you to exploit your strengths and cope with your challenges. Your drive and ambition have allowed you to take the next step in your career and it is now up to you to make the most of the opportunity by ensuring you have a defined role and path to further progression in your career.


David Fitzgibbon

Mid-West Regional Manager

Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR Services

This article was originally published in the business section of The Sunday Independent on Sunday, April 9th, 2018, and can be viewed here.