I have gotten a lot of inquiries about career development when the company doesn't seem to be interested in you. I am preparing an article for IW on the topic but it is a few weeks away. So I wanted to sketch the main points here for those seeking advice.
All of the inquiries I have received have been from managers wondering how to get a promotion to director so I target my comments to them.
First, you must have a realistic view of your potential and a solid reason for wanting a promotion. I have interviewed so many managers over the years who absolutely were not going to get a director promotion and no amount of coaching was going to over come their talent gaps.
And then there were their reasons for wanting the promotion--like "I have been a successful manager, it is time...", "I can do the job", and "I deserve a promotion and more money." All terribly weak reasons.
But if you really feel you are talented enough to be a director and have a great reason then you have a hard decision to make. You have to decide whether you can over come the reasons you have not gotten that promotion in your current company or whether you have to seek that promotion outside the company.
Both have risks and at the manager level the risks might be the most acute. It is very hard to distinguish yourself as a manager from all the other managers out there. And once you start looking for a job outside the company it is likely that that will get back to your director. So unless your situation is particularly desperate only consider changing companies for a promotion.
Just because you get an offer of a promotion doesn't mean you should take it. Here is where my 4-C framework comes to play.
Company. Is this really a company you want to work for? Is it in an industry with potential. Are its products something you really want to be associated with?
Career. If you have a career plan does this fit. If your career plan is just to get promotions then rethink your career plan. But if you have a solid idea of where you want to go and what you want to do, does this job move you in that direction.
Chemistry. Even if you have the right company and right career move, you have to be successful. And a lot of being successful is having an environment and people with which you can work. There are lots of reasons why new hires fail most of them can be lumped into "didn't fit in".
Compensation. I add this to the list because it should have nothing to do with your decision. If compensation is a major reason for changing jobs or you want this job because of the compensation then you are likely making a huge career blunder.
If you are a manager today then you likely have 30 to 40 years to work. A bad decision now can cost you for the rest of your career. Make wise and informed choices.