Moving up the career ladder doesn't have to mean changing employers

The days of holding on to the same job for life may be almost gone, but, a lot can be said for staying within the one organisation and growing within a company long-term, if you feel it's the right fit for you.

Danielle McFadyen, Team Leader and HR Recruitment Consultant at Madison Recruitment says it's often millennials who think of moving on after only two years, but they needn't have to. Companies now recognise the importance of offering professional development to all employees in an attempt to make them stay.

"Professional development doesn't always have to mean moving up the ladder, though," says McFadyen. "It can also mean moving sideways into a different department or team and/or further expanding on current skill-sets with further internal or external training. This tends to help retain employees longer and motivate them more in their roles."

To create an environment where you'll be spotted for internal opportunities, it's a matter of communicating openly with your direct manager and thinking of them more as a coach than a boss - someone who offers mentorship, not just direction. That kind of approach will help to make voicing your career ambitions easier.

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"Never underestimate the power of a sincere 'thank you' and showing appreciation to your current manager and team," advises McFadyen.

"Communicating a bit of gratitude never hurt anyone and you are guaranteed to receive a more positive response from your manager - after all, you want them to be your biggest advocate."

She says you can't underestimate the power of your 'personal brand', and instead of feeling begrudged that you're not yet in the role you want, show initiatives that prove you should be in the role by being proactive to find ways to get noticed.

"You don't need to be in a leadership role to show leadership and initiative within a company," says McFadyen. "Taking on extra responsibility or challenge within your role, team, department or business is a sure way to be noticed, as is assisting with training staff members, being proactive in your own role, participating in work events, engaging in conversations with employees from other teams and celebrating other employees' success."

Madison Recruitment's Accounting and Finance Recruitment Consultant, Pia Cruz, also agrees communication is key and suggests performance reviews are a good time to be open with your manager about your intentions to move up the ladder.

"There are many factors to consider when having these conversations, such as your performance, accomplishments and contributions," says Cruz. "Other things people forget to consider, but that are equally important, are the tenure served in your role and even how your peers view you."

One employee who has benefited from the great communication she has developed with her managers is Priyanka (Payal) Sharma, CityLife Auckland's receptionist, who was recently awarded the title of AICR New Zealand 2016 Receptionist of the Year and will compete for the international title in Paris in February next year.

She took her first job with City Life at just 19, while studying to be an early childhood educator. However, hospitality became more attractive as she got to know the industry.

"I started as a food and beverage attendant in the bar and restaurant," says Sharma, now 24.

"I communicated with my manager about my desire to move into other roles within the company and she put my name down to become a receptionist. I moved into that role and then got promoted to senior receptionist."

Sharma says if you find an organisation you truly like to work for and it matches your personal philosophy, it's good to stay within that company and climb the ladder, rather than change organisations.

"I'm lucky to have found my perfect organisation to work for at just 19, and I can see myself within the company longterm," says Sharma.

"But don't be sad to move on if you don't feel where you are employed is the right place for you. Stay true to what you believe in."

Communication skills have seen her progress quickly - from explaining her future career goals to her original manager, who put her forward for the receptionist job, to building up a strong relationship with her current manager, who put her forward for the competition and will accompany her to Paris.

"Since day one, my manager Neil has been my number one support," says Sharma.

"He's attended every course and competition with me and even plans to do my hair in Paris, because he's really good at it. He has helped me so much."

Making others feel a part of her career success is a natural skill for Sharma, one that others can foster at work to aid their own career journey.

"The hotel has always had faith in me, even when I didn't have faith in myself," admits Sharma. "Our mission is that everyone leaves our hotel with a smile and we try to meet their individual needs and wants and that's really all you can do."

While the next generations are being prepared to have multiple professions during their career, it's worth considering the stability that comes from changing your career, while staying with one company. In the ever-changing world, it may just provide the security previous generations enjoyed in their "job for life".