Stepping Back Or Stepping Up

November 12, 2018

Dear J.T. & Dale: I have worked for my current company as a financial analyst for seven years. I am trying to transfer to my parent company. They have an open role, but it’s for a more junior role, as an associate analyst. My next career level should be into management. Without sounding ungrateful, how do I communicate to the parent company that that open role is a bit junior and so is the pay? How do I request a more senior title/pay when the job itself is a good fit? — ADAM J.T.: I would email the person you are speaking with at the parent company and ask if you can schedule a quick call. Then I would say: “I wanted to talk to you directly to seek your advice. I have been with the company for seven years, and my next logical career step is into management. I am concerned that the job that’s open is essentially moving me backward instead of forward. Do you think it would be possible to find me a role that is at least the same as the one I am in now?” This way you are letting them know the situation but not demanding anything. DALE: Ask, don’t tell. You aren’t being pushy; you are merely seeking advice, and everyone loves giving advice. At the same time, you are being politically shrewd. You’re letting management know that you’re thinking of your career, long-term, and eyeing a management position. Then, going forward, you can’t just merely drop that notion and hope; no, you have to work at promoting yourself. You do that by studying what the folks in management are doing that you are not. What type of projects are they involved in? What professional associations do they belong to? What conferences do they attend? You need to volunteer for assignments that have manager-level tasks. Dear J.T. & Dale: Where do you feel is the best place to search for new companies to work for? I’ve used Glassdoor, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn, and have had little to no success. — JEN DALE: The sources you’ve been using require little effort — just some clicking around — and that’s why so many people turn to them. So it’s time to get out of line and find some new sources, perhaps even offline. J.T.: One of my favorite suggestions is to think about the physical location of where you’d like to work. Go to the places and then check out the names of the companies with offices there. Take a picture with your phone, then go home and research them online. There are a lot of amazing companies we don’t know about in our backyards; it just takes a little detective work. JEANINE “J.T.” TANNER O’DONNELL is a career coach and the founder of the career site www.workitdaily.com. DALE DAUTEN is founder of The Innovators’ Lab Visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Fl, New York, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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