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Is It Possible to Get Promoted at Your Company?

For decades, the prevailing wisdom in the corporate world has been that the best talent for moving a company forward comes from the outside. No more. Companies are starting to recognize the value of a “promote from within” approach.

An intriguing 2012 study looked at the cost of hiring employees from the outside, versus promoting from within. The study, cited in Forbes, by a researcher from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business found that not only do external hires get paid more, but for their first two years on the job, they receive “significantly lower marks in performance reviews. External hires are also much more likely to get laid off than are those promoted from within.”

The study also showed that companies paid new external hires 18 percent more than their internally promoted counterparts. In addition to scoring worse on performance reviews, external hires were 61 percent more likely to be fired from their new jobs than those who had been promoted from within. The external hires tended to have more education and experience than the internal hires, but the Wharton study found that employers do not appreciate how important it is for employees to know the ropes of an organization, such as the relationships, structures and routines that are critical in completing projects and improving efficiency.

The study found that new employees need more time to get up to speed than employers think they will. After the first two years on the job, external hires scored just as highly on their performance reviews as employees who had been internally promoted. But some new employees had already left the company before that point. Armed with this perspective, employers are taking a fresh look at how to successfully promote from within.

Implications for Employees

Some career experts say as soon as you start a new job, you should begin planning for your next one. However, the key is to make sure that you stay focused enough on your current job to succeed and excel in that position before looking for the next one.

Promotions are not a given. It used to be that workers progressed along specific career paths during their careers; however, a variety of factors have changed this. Technological advances, globalization, flatter organizational structures, and the global recession are just a few of the contributing factors. These changes now put the workers in charge of their own careers and professional development. Workers must be prepared to increase their marketability. One way to do this is to acquire new knowledge and skills, such as those learned through an online MBA program.

Here are some other strategies to consider:

  • Develop mentoring relationships
  • Quantify results
  • Practice self-promotion
  • Establish a bond with your boss
  • Build your network
  • Ask for more responsibilities
  • Act professionally at all times
  • Be a team player

With the right approach, there may be ample opportunities to get promoted in your current company.

Learn more about the Florida International University online MBA program.


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