Many women focus on performance, thinking that good work garners promotion. Too often, they’re left outside the circles of power and influence where decisions are made that affect their careers.
This week I am excited to participate in the launch of The Politics of Promotion by Bonnie Marcus. The Politics of Promotion provides a framework for breaking into those circles, and taking control of one’s own career path. Bonnie Marcus shows how to navigate office politics successfully, build and nurture key relationships, get comfortable with self-promotion, and avoid potentially disastrous blindsides.
The Politics of Promotion is for anyone who wants to take the next step in advancing their career. The following is a guest post from Bonnie Marcus.
If you are currently dissatisfied with your job and your company, it is probably time to look for another position with a new organization. But what is the best way to assess if another company will offer you the resources, and support for future career opportunities?
Here are 7 questions you should answer before accepting a job at a new company:
- Are there women in senior executive roles?
If there is some representation of women at a high level, where did these women come from? Were they promoted from within or recruited from the outside? The answer to this question is important in order to determine if the company is invested in building a pipeline of women and committed to nurturing that pipeline to leadership roles.
- Do senior women have P&L responsibility?
Many companies will boast that they have promoted women to assume leadership roles, but when you take a good look at the organizational chart you may discover that these positions do not come with any fiscal responsibility. In other words, the company may have gendered roles even at the senior level.
- Do women have power and influence?
What role do women play in the overall operations and strategy of the company? Do they have any involvement in setting the direction of the company? Are there women on the Board of Directors? Do women at all levels sit on committees that have a voice with senior management?
- Does the company invest in developing women leaders?
Is there a women’s network? If so, is it supported by senior management? Does the initiative have a reasonable budget? Many of these programs lack any financial support which most likely indicates the company is paying lip service to supporting the advancement of women.
- Does the company have a program for high potentials?
If so, what is the representation of women in this program? Are the criteria for inclusion in the program clearly defined? Are women moving to leadership positions once enrolled in this initiative?
- Does the company have a formal sponsorship program?
Once again, it’s important to determine if women are included in sponsorship programs because these programs provide the type of advocacy and support that leads to promotions. What is the result of their sponsorship?
- Does the culture of the company align with your values?
This question is perhaps the most important one of all. Does the overall culture of the organization align with your core values and your ambition? The culture can support you or stifle you and unless you take the time to meet with people and ask questions, it is extremely difficult to see what’s happening behind the scenes.
Every company has its unique culture and it’s dangerous to stereotype based on the industry; all the more reason to take the time to figure out if the organization aligns with who you are, how you like to work, and where you want to go with your career.
A longer version of this post went live on 10/6/14 at forbes.com.
Download a sample chapter of The Politics Of Promotion here.
Bonnie Marcus is the author of The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead (Wiley, March 2015). Learn more by visiting politicsofpromotionbook.com, or pick up a copy on Amazon.
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