You may have joined a new organization or you have been in a job for a while and you are curious about what kind of career progression your company offers you. How do you find out about it?
There are a number of people in your organization that can help you answer that question and who those people are will depend on the size of your organization or company. The larger the company, the more specialized the roles in the human resources department and that will decide who you should be approaching.
Who Knows About Career Progression?
The Human Resources department keeps information about career progression especially in large companies because it is a central point of contact. They conduct the research about positions and how salaries tie to the different levels within an organization. Here is a list of Human Resources people who may have knowledge about career progression:
HR Generalist – often the person who supports the business group or function. They have general information about career progression especially if they support functions across different divisions. This is a good person to talk to first. Bounce off questions that you have about how to advance yourself in the organization. If they need more detail about your specific situation, they will consult with the specialists in their department or refer you directly to them.
Compensation Specialists map out the functional pathways of career progression within organizations so that can benchmark those jobs for compensation purposes. This is good place to see how a functional organization’s career progression is mapped out to help you plan on different roles to consider for development. Absent having this information, an organizational chart would be helpful.
Organization Development Specialists help lead the succession planning efforts in organizations. Succession planning is the process where leaders identify and slot people for future promotional opportunities and create definitive development plans to aid in propelling their career progression.
Other Career Progression Sources
Let’s not forget that talking to your manager or the head of your department is also a great resource. They have may have come up the ranks and will offer personal insight into what kinds of skills or assignments will be beneficial as you move up the career ladder.
Finally, if there are people in the organization who have a role you aspire to, then do some research to see how they progressed either inside or outside the organization. Check to see if they have a LinkedIn profile – that may give you a good starting point. Once you have some specific questions outlined, ask for a meeting and find out their story. Most people love to talk about their career progression with others.