Talent going to waste

I am qualified for the manager position that has now become vacant, but my company says I am not being considered for it.

Dear Laurence,I joined a multinational FMCG supplier seven months ago as an assistant manager to the local four-person recruitment team. I believe I have done some very good work and would be qualified for the manager position that has now become vacant, but the company says I am not being considered for it.

I know the team will likely unravel without my leadership – particularly over the next few months as they seek an external replacement – but am not sure how to leverage this to get the company to realise its mistake. Or should I look for a company that will realise my true value?

Unappreciated, Singapore

Do you have an understanding of why you are not being considered for the manager role? Or why the last person has left?

It could be that your company is enlarging the position, or is looking for a very different strategy moving forward.

It may be something about the role rather than something about you. In any case, it is likely there will be new or at least different responsibilities for you to tackle as the team adjusts.

Moving on after only seven months is not going to be a good strategy.

You will likely end up starting from a very similar position in a new organisation and, with such a short time in your previous role, it will have very little impact on any promotion decisions.

You will almost certainly be better placed to stick around and learn what you can from the new manager. 

But it is also a good time to ask what you would have to do to be considered for that particular management role – or something similar to it – in the future, and then to build a strategy around taking you to that level.

This will show your organisation that you have ambitions in that direction, and that you can adapt and develop yourself according to its changing business needs.

Of course, the assessment of your leadership abilities will start with immediate effect.

So definitely do work hard to manage the interim period between managers as effectively and as forward-thinking as possible.

That experience will stand you in a far better long-term position than any attempt to leverage the situation to your short-term advantage.

Laurence Smith is a board-level advisor to Smartup.io. With 25 years of working experience in consulting and HR, his career has spanned across different industries and countries, including stints and projects with LG Electronics, GE Capital, McKinsey, the World Bank, and as Managing Director of Learning and Development for DBS Bank.

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