So two weeks ago I was sitting around, grumbling about the upcoming review cycle and how long it had been since I had a promotion and how "deserving" I was of one and then I began thinking a bit about the promotions I have had since in the industry. It will be something like 18 years in January.
I counted. Discounting department changes, there were only 2.5. In 18 years, there were only 2.5.
Wait a darn minute, I thought to myself. That cannot possibly be right. Surely there have been more.
So I started doing the count. Associate I to Associate II, when I first entered. Different Department Associate to Manager in 2001. After The Firm and reentering the industry, I came in as an Associate Manager but got "promoted" back to Manager as part of a larger departmental move.
That is it. 2.5 times. Funny how your memory plays tricks on you.
Oh, that does not mean I did not feel that I was not entitled to them. No, not at all. It does not mean that I have not been constantly looking for and applying to jobs which are higher (in my industry, this is the standing joke for how one moves up in a company). But what it does mean is that, in practice, is that for whatever reason I am not seen in that role or position.
This made me think even more deeply about things then. Why am I not moving forward? What is preventing me? I can raise my fist at bad corporate policies and uncooperative bosses but the reality - as demonstrated by actual outcomes - is that I am not nearly the employee I think I am.
In my experience, people - especially people above you in the corporate food chain - are not terribly willing to stick their necks out for things like promotions unless others have already indicated they will support it or you are simply doing such a great job that they feel they have to do something or else they will lose you (which kind of ties back into the other item). Perhaps the more relevant question is this: why am I not seen that way? Figure that out, I trow, and the other will fall into place.