Have you got a clear promotion plan for you and your team? If not, why not? Sarah advises PR Week

19 Jan 2016 by Sarah Leembruggen.

As an employer and executive search consultant there isn’t one easy straight forward solution when it comes to progressing your career.

The industry especially over the last few years has changed enormously. The landscape has changed taking a much more sophisticated and integrated approach to communications. Heads of Comms and agency heads have now become experts in digital communications, employee engagement and content creation. It will clearly be a challenge to offer a crystal clear career path when what you’re doing is changing and skill sets are changing. How do employers keep up or just catch up?

There really isn’t a standard across the industry as to what is expected of each role/level in the industry. A director in one corporate agency could have wildly different skills, experience, intelligence, motives and attitude to another. So how do you offer career progression as an employer?

No two directors are the same and this is where PR falls down, especially the PR agencies. There is a huge assumption across the industry that a director in one agency is the same as a director in another. Wrong.

As an employer enabling your team to progress, giving them ownership, ensuring they know their purpose is worthwhile and encouraging them at every turn are just fundamentals.

A clear career path is also essential for all those involved (employee and employer) for job satisfaction and better retention. Our in-house comms teams excel over agencies when it comes to supplying job specs. It’s quite shocking when employers don’t spend the time to think exactly what each role should achieve and what great looks like. If the employer doesn’t know then how will the employee?

If you don’t know exactly what it will take for you to move up to the next level, then my advice would be to ask. Get tangible specifics. Start managing your own career and get clarity, and I mean real clarity. Sit down with your boss and agree a list of outcomes, behaviours and all the evidence required. The person responsible for your career is you. If you don’t want to move up, but move out, then take action.

You may not know exactly what you want but if you don’t look, you’ll never know. As an employer, it is great to have a values and motives meeting with each of your team every six months as life changes so quickly and people’s needs and aspirations change before you realise. One question to ask is: “What is important to you in your role?”

Understanding them and ensuring you are meeting their needs is key to helping them progress. You may not be able to agree on everything, however meeting them half way goes a long way.

Also, a mentor comes highly recommended, someone horribly successful who has done what you want to achieve. Get clear on your goals and time frames and keep reading. Read life changing, inspiring books. Looking after the ‘golden goose’ (that’s you) and jumping on to training courses which will stretch you as continual learning is important.

You manage your learning to your skills, your experiences, your attitudes, your decisions and your career. It really is up to you.

If you want your career to be in a different place then it’s just a decision. What’s the one thing you could do today which will make a difference?

Start with the end in mind.

The original article “What’s the main driving force behind losing your key PR players?” was first published on PRWeek on 2nd November 2015. Read it here.

The Works specialise in placing high flyers in PR and corporate communications. We have a strong track record of placing with professional services and offer career-making advice. Do get in touch if you would like our support building your team.

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