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Episode #308 – Questions to Ask Yourself Before Asking for a Promotion

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #308 - Questions to Ask Yourself Before Asking for a Promotion

Caleb: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

Today, we’ll be talking about questions to ask yourself before asking for a promotion with your current employer. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Caleb. As always, I’m glad to be here with you.

Caleb: Stacy, can you talk a little about the catalyst for today’s podcast episode?

Stacy: Certainly. The job market is positive for Animal Health and Veterinary professionals, especially those who work in the Veterinary profession. The unemployment rate is extraordinarily low, even lower than the National Unemployment Rate. Not only that, but there is also a shortage of veterinarians, which means that the veterinarians in the market have leverage.

Caleb: Tell us more about the leverage veterinarians have Stacy.

Stacy: They have leverage in a couple of different ways. They have leverage in hiring situations, when they’re exploring other employment opportunities. And they also have leverage in terms of their employment situation with their current employer.

Caleb: And that includes asking for a promotion, is that right?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct, which leads us to the topic of today’s podcast episode. Even if Veterinary professionals have leverage in such a situation, there are some questions they should ask themselves before asking for a promotion or other form of career advancement.

The first question a person should ask is, “What are my motivations?”

Caleb: Why that question?

Stacy: First, you should consider whether your motivations for seeking a promotion go beyond external factors like prestige or financial gain. Instead, reflect on the broader definition of success that includes personal growth, job satisfaction, and a sense of purpose.

Caleb: Because a promotion often comes with a raise or a bump in compensation, so you want to make sure that you’re not too focused on the financial aspect of the situation, correct?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. Reflect on whether the promotion aligns with your passions, interests, and areas of expertise. When your motivations are authentic, you’re more likely to find fulfillment and satisfaction in your new role, leading to a higher level of engagement and productivity.

Caleb: Okay, let’s say that a person is satisfied with their motivation for asking for a promotion. What’s the next question they should ask themselves?

Stacy: The next question a person should ask is, “What have I accomplished so far?”

Caleb: Why should a person ask that question?

Stacy: Before asking for a promotion, it’s important to take stock of your accomplishments thus far. What have you achieved in your current role? What projects have you worked on, and what results have you achieved? What skills have you developed and improved? It’s important to have a clear understanding of what you’ve accomplished so far, as this will help make a case for why you deserve a promotion.

Caleb: Does this have to do with the amount of value that a person provides for an organization?

Stacy: Yes, it does, and in the employment marketplace, everything comes down to value. And that starts with the value that a person can provide or offer to their current employer.

Caleb: Or to a potential new employer.

Stacy: Yes, that’s right, or to a potential new employer.

Caleb: What’s another question that a person should ask themselves before they ask for a promotion?

Stacy: Another question would be, “What are my strengths and weaknesses?”

Caleb: This is also about value, correct?

Stacy: Correct. Understanding your strengths helps you identify what sets you apart and how you can contribute in the new role. By recognizing your key skills, knowledge, and abilities, you can align them with the requirements and expectations of the desired promotion.

On the other hand, acknowledging your weaknesses enables you to address any skill gaps or areas that need improvement. Identifying areas for growth allows you to develop a plan for enhancing your capabilities and acquiring new skills.

Caleb: Won’t this also help a person assess whether or not they would be able to handle new duties and responsibilities if they’re promoted?

Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly the case. Understanding both your strengths and weaknesses helps you to assess the fit between your current skill set and the responsibilities of the desired position. It provides insights into potential challenges and areas where you may need additional support or training.

Also, reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses demonstrates your self-awareness and commitment to personal and professional growth. Self-awareness is an important attribute, and unfortunately, it’s one that’s relatively rare in the employment marketplace.

Caleb: What’s the next question a person should ask themselves?

Stacy: They should ask, “What is my employer’s culture regarding promotions?”

Caleb: And why should they ask that question?

Stacy: There are multiple reasons. First of all, every organization has its unique approach to promotions. By understanding the company’s culture around promotions, you gain insights into the criteria, processes, and expectations for advancement.

Second, being aware of the company’s promotion culture allows you to set realistic expectations. Some companies prioritize tenure and experience, while others focus on performance and results.

In addition, understanding the company’s promotion culture enables you to assess the opportunities for growth and advancement within the organization. It helps you evaluate whether the company’s values and priorities align with the aspirations that you have for your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Caleb: That all makes sense. So it’s a good idea to know as much about yourself and your employer as possible before asking for a promotion.

Stacy: Yes, that’s right.

Caleb: Is there anything else about the organization itself that a person should consider?

Stacy: Yes, you could also ask the question, “Who can I talk to about my desire for a promotion?”

Discussing your desire for a promotion with the appropriate individuals can provide valuable insights and advice. Identifying mentors, supervisors, or trusted colleagues who have knowledge of the promotion process or experience in the organization can help you gain a better understanding of the expectations, requirements, and potential opportunities for advancement.

Caleb: Would some of those same people also be able to provide support?

Stacy: Yes, talking to the right people provides a support system during the promotion process. They can offer encouragement, advice, and even advocate on your behalf. Their support and guidance can boost your confidence, provide a sounding board for your ideas, and help you navigate any challenges or obstacles that may arise.

Caleb: What other questions should a person ask themselves before asking for a promotion?

Stacy: Another question that you should ask yourself is, “Am I ready for the additional responsibilities?”

Caleb: That seems like a fair question.

Stacy: Exactly. After all, taking on a promotion means assuming more significant responsibilities and challenges. By assessing your readiness, you can determine if you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to excel in the new role. It allows you to evaluate if you are equipped to handle the increased expectations and demands that come with the promotion.

Caleb: I imagine that the person’s current workload also plays a role in this assessment. Is that the case?

Stacy: Yes, that is the case. Asking yourself if you’re ready for additional responsibilities helps you determine if you can effectively balance the added responsibilities of the new role with your existing workload. This assessment helps you avoid being overwhelmed and ensures that you can perform at your best in the promoted position.

Caleb: Is this another opportunity to evaluate the skills gap in terms of a promotion?

Stacy: Yes, that is also the case. Considering your readiness helps you identify any skill gaps or areas for development. It allows you to assess if you have the capacity to learn and grow in order to fulfill the requirements of the new position. Being aware of your development needs empowers you to create a plan for acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge, making you better prepared for a promotion.

Caleb: Stacy, is work-life balance a consideration when a person asks themselves this question, about whether or not they’re ready for additional responsibilities?

Stacy: Yes, and I’m glad you mentioned that. There are a few reasons why work-life balance should be part of the equation, both when answering this question and as an overall consideration.

First, you want to avoid burnout. Promotions often come with increased responsibilities and longer working hours. Failing to assess the potential impact on work-life balance can lead to burnout.

Second, you must prioritize personal relationships. Work-life balance extends beyond professional commitments. Neglecting personal relationships can strain personal and family dynamics.

Third is your well-being.  Neglecting personal time, hobbies, and self-care can lead to increased stress, decreased productivity, and diminished job satisfaction. And as we’ve discussed multiple times on the podcast, burnout and stress are major issues within the Veterinary profession.

And the final reason is long-term satisfaction. While promotions can bring prestige and financial benefits, true satisfaction in your Animal Health or Veterinary career involves finding a balance between professional growth and personal fulfillment. Reflecting on work-life balance before pursuing a promotion allows you to assess if the increased responsibilities align with your values, goals, and desired lifestyle.

Caleb: Wow, there are certainly a lot of factors and considerations. What should a person ask themselves next?

Stacy: Piggy-backing off what we just discussed, the next thing that you should ask yourself is, “What exactly are my long-term career goals?”

Caleb: Why is this an important question to ask?

Stacy: A couple of reasons. First, considering your long-term career goals helps you evaluate if the promotion aligns with your aspirations. It allows you to assess if the new role or responsibilities will contribute to the overall growth of your Animal Health or Veterinary career. This assessment ensures that the promotion is not merely a short-term gain but a strategic move towards your long-term objectives.

And second, understanding your long-term career goals helps you approach the promotion process with intention and confidence. It allows you to articulate how the promotion aligns with your aspirations and how it will contribute to your professional growth. This clarity enhances your chances of effectively communicating your value and fit for the promotion.

Caleb: What’s the next question on our list?

Stacy: The next question is, “How have I demonstrated leadership abilities?”

Caleb: Because a promotion might require you to manage another person or a group of people.

Stacy: Yes, that’s right, and there are a few reasons why asking this question is important.

First, demonstrating leadership abilities in your current role is an indication of your potential for success in a higher-level position. Reflect on instances where you have taken initiative, motivated others, or facilitated collaboration.

Second, leadership involves building trust and fostering positive relationships with colleagues, superiors, and subordinates. Assessing your leadership abilities helps you understand how well you have built relationships and garnered respect within your current work environment.

And third, assessing your leadership abilities enhances your confidence when approaching a promotion. Recognizing your strengths and areas for improvement enables you to project credibility and competence during the promotion process. It allows you to articulate how your leadership skills can contribute to the organization’s goals and drive positive change.

Caleb: All of that makes sense, and we’re coming down to the wire once again! We have time for one more question, and what might that be?

Stacy: The final question that a person should ask themselves before asking for a promotion is, “What will I do if I don’t get the promotion?” Acknowledging the possibility of not getting the promotion helps you manage your expectations. It allows you to be realistic and mentally prepared for different outcomes.

In addition, having a backup plan provides a sense of security and reduces the fear of failure. It reassures you that not getting the promotion doesn’t mean that your Animal Health or Veterinary career is going to stall.

And not only that, but considering your backup plan also encourages resilience and adaptability. It prompts you to think about alternative paths and opportunities for growth. By exploring different options, you can identify alternative career moves, professional development avenues, or even lateral moves within the organization that can contribute to your long-term goals.

Caleb: Also, if you don’t get the promotion, then perhaps you don’t have a career path at the employer at all and maybe you should start looking for other opportunities.

Stacy: Yes, that could definitely be the case. If your request for a promotion is denied, it may indicate that there are limited opportunities for advancement in your current role or within the company. Seeking other employment opportunities allows you to explore positions that offer the growth and advancement you desire.

In addition, being passed over for a promotion can lead to feelings of stagnation and frustration. It may signal a lack of recognition for your abilities and potential. Exploring other job prospects gives you the chance to find new challenges, expand your skill set, and continue progressing in your Animal Health Career or Veterinary career.

Seeking new employment opportunities also empowers you to take control of your career trajectory. It demonstrates your proactive approach to professional growth and development. Rather than waiting for opportunities within your current organization, you are actively seeking out positions that align with your goals.

Caleb: And The VET Recruiter can help those in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession who are open to considering new employment opportunities, is that right?

Stacy: Yes, we’ve been doing that for more than two decades now. I encourage anyone in our listening audience who is considering a move in their Animal Health or Veterinary career or who is open to change to contact us. You can visit our website at www.TheVETRecruiter.com or you can give us a call at (918) 488-3901 or (800) 436-0490.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about questions you should ask yourself before asking for a promotion.

Stacy:. It’s been my pleasure Caleb, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!

Caleb: If you are an employer who needs to hire be sure to contact Stacy Pursell at The VET Recruiter. If you are in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession and are looking to make a job change, be sure to connect with Stacy.  The VET Recruiter places Animal Health professionals and Veterinarians and has 25 years of experience finding top talent for both Animal Health companies and Veterinary practices.  Thanks for listening and we will be back here next week.

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