How often should you get a promotion?

How often do you think you should get a promotion?

According to Ian Siegel, CEO of ZipRecruiter, you should aim for a promotion about every three years. Do you agree?

Siegel thinks if you’re not moving up within three years, there might be an issue. Imagine you start working at 22, right out of college. Your first job could be an HR Generalist. By 25, you might move up to Senior HR Generalist, then HR Manager by 28, Senior HR Manager by 31, HR Director by 34, Senior HR Director by 37, and Vice President of HR by 41.

When I look back on my own career, I had a goal to become a Vice President by 35. I’ve mentioned this before. I achieved it at 38, but then I realized titles aren’t as important as I thought.

They vary a lot depending on the company size. Becoming a VP in a small company with 250 people is very different from becoming a VP in a big company with 25,000 employees.

Titles often don’t mean much outside your own company. For example, being a VP with just a couple of direct reports is not the same as managing a large team. So, focus more on your responsibilities and the impact you make rather than just the title.

For big companies, Siegel’s three-year promotion idea can work if you meet certain conditions. You need to be ambitious, willing to relocate, have special skills or education, be open to learning different parts of the business, and be good at workplace politics. Just showing up and doing your job isn’t enough for a promotion. You need to show your value and your desire to grow.

There are a few ways to move up faster. Make sure your boss knows you want to advance and are willing to help them succeed too. Create your own development plan and get your boss to support it. Remember, it’s your responsibility to follow through on this plan. Be patient and strategic; sometimes promotions come quickly, sometimes they take longer. Avoid jumping to a new company just for a title because that can (and usually will) backfire.

Promotions aren’t just about time in a role but about positioning yourself well. Focus on your growth, communicate your goals, and be patient. Sure job titles can open doors, but your skills and contributions are what really matter in the end.

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