Job Tenure and Its Impact on Career Advancement

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Are you using your time on the job to demonstrate your readiness for advancement at work?

Job Tenure and career advancement

Job tenure is not automatically a determining factor in management’s career advancement decisions. However, it can tip the scales in your favor under the right circumstances.

What are the right circumstances? Consider the following story about two employees competing for an Account Manager’s position.

The promotion: Who was selected and why?

Tammy and Gina proved themselves to be reliable, trustworthy, and well-respected Account Representatives. They also demonstrated an ability to get along well with co-workers and built client relationships effectively.

Despite these similarities, Tammy felt she deserved the promotion because of her job tenure. She had six years of experience in her position while Gina had worked in her role for a little more than four years.

The unit manager chose to promote Gina. Tammy sat down with her boss later that day to discuss why she was not selected.

It was a shorter conversation than Tammy expected. Her manager explained that Gina had spent the last two years learning many of the skills essential to her new role. She had also taken on more projects and responsibilities to apply these skills and gained the needed experience.

Tammy knew she had not taken the same initiative. So, it stung when her unit manager finally said:

“It came down to a choice between a good employee with four years of progressive experience and another who had the same year of experience six times.” 

Job tenure counts when it proves readiness

Job tenure does not guarantee a promotion. However, how you use your time on the job—the skills you develop, your accomplishments and contributions to the organization, and a willingness to accept new challenges—is more likely to be a determining factor in your advancement.

Therefore, always remember, what you do with your time on the job counts. Management is watching and your job is an opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities. The time to start your career advancement is now!

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About the Author: David Cox

David Cox is a Co-owner of TPB Business Copyediting. He writes to encourage us to apply our multidisciplinary training and experiences to develop our current career role further.