Photo: Flickr/Craig Murphy
When someone you work with gets promoted, it can be easy to compare the advancement with what’s happening in your own professional life.In his advice column in the Billfold, Mike Dang says that it’s common “to get caught up with what’s happening to other people in the workplace.”
But what most of us need to keep in mind is that “unless you’re in a position of power, it’s good to remember that you have no control over what happens to other people’s careers.”
You can begrudgingly wonder why certain things happened, or why they didn’t occur the way you were expecting, but since you have no control over these things, and you actually don’t know the specific details that led to their promotion, the only thing you can do is focus on your own career.
“Your concerns about your own salary and title are perfectly valid. At my old job, I was asked to take on more responsibilities after my managing editor left to go work for another news organisation. Before she left, she asked me if I was getting a raise, and I told her, ‘yes,’ that was part of the deal, and she asked me what my title was going to be, and I told her I hadn’t actually thought about that, and that I didn’t really care about having a new title as much as I did about receiving a bigger salary.”
“We were walking to lunch, and she stopped and turned around and said, ‘Titles do matter, Mike, and if you’re doing more, your title should match your responsibilities. You are a young person with many years ahead of you, and you won’t have this job for the rest of your life. You will go on to work for other places, and you will tell future employers that you were paid X amount of dollars, and that your title was Y because you had Z responsibilities, and that will show other companies how valued you were by previous employers. If you are going to get something, make sure you’re getting something that you deserve.’ “
The bottom line is if you’re doing the job of someone with a different title, you should fight for your career and get that title.
“Set up a meeting, go in, and be prepared. Have a list of of all your responsibilities, and be prepared to defend yourself,” Dang advises.
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