Are You Ready For a Promotion?
It’s not unusual to think about some of your long-term career goals at the beginning of a new year. While some people consider undertaking study or searching for a new job, others might consider asking their boss for a promotion. If you’re thinking about doing the latter, there are a few things you should consider before marching into your principal’s office and asking to be promoted.
The REIQ sat down with Property Management Chapter Member, Caroline Duxfield, who was recently promoted to Division Manager at Solutions Property Management to see what property managers should do before seeking a promotion. We also consulted her boss – REIQ Board Director, Laura Valenti – to gain a director’s perspective on what it takes to make an impression within the workplace.
Mentally Prepare for More Responsibility
Before considering asking for a promotion, it’s important to ask yourself: am I ready for more responsibility and a higher workload? For Duxfield, she firmly positioned herself as “the go-to person whenever anyone had a query”, which made her irreplaceable in the eyes of her employer. Taking on a level of responsibility and seniority without being formally asked is just one reason Valenti chose Duxfield for the newly-created role. She’d also earned a level of respect from her peers that made her the perfect candidate for the position. “It would’ve been really hard to hire someone external for that position as it’s basically replacing me as a manager,” reflects Valenti. “I think the person in that position needs to know our company inside and out, have ‘runs on the board’, and be credible to our other staff. We identified Caroline early on as perfect for that role, and we knew she really wanted it, so it was an easy decision.”
Communicate Your Career Goals Clearly
If upon reflection you’ve decided that yes, you’re ready for more responsibility within your agency, it’s best to communicate that as clearly and quickly as possible. “If you feel you are ready to take on more responsibility and like where you work, you should discuss this with your employer, so when a position becomes available, you can be considered,” says Duxfield. Opening up this conversation can help guide you on any skills you’re missing, and what you might need to do to bridge them. “Your employer can guide you if they feel you are not quite ready, and advise on any professional development you may be able to undertake to assist you to reach your goal,” adds Duxfield. Most workplaces will conduct regular performance appraisals, which is the perfect opportunity for you to voice your career ambitions and see if there’s any availability within the organisation, and whether they’d consider promoting you in the future.
Continue to Upskill and Learn from Senior Team Members
One way to demonstrate enthusiasm and leadership within the business is to upskill and diversify your skillset continuously. “If you want to be a business development manager (BDM) for example, find out about what the job entails, ask to go out with the BDM and learn from them,” says Valenti. She also suggests that instead of waiting for your employer to send you to training, ask if you can go – or better yet, take the initiative and do some self-study in your own time. “Read the RTRA Act or property management articles and watch webinars. The REIQ also puts out so much training. Doing this means that if you decide to change jobs one day, you will be so much more valuable as an employee and will have your choice of companies to work for and probably the salary to go with it.”
Act As If You’ve Already Got The Job You Want!
Property managers that think they’re entitled to a promotion solely based on their tenure with a company are making a career faux pas. Duxfield explains that being considered for a promotion is less about how much experience you have, and more about how much value you can offer. “Show your value to the company by your work ethics and willingness to take on responsibility,” says Duxfield. “Actively seek to upskill for your own benefit. I personally read everything I can to keep up with legislation and changes in the industry.” Valenti agrees, adding: “I look for someone who is already working like they have the promotion. The right person will already be doing all the right things.”