The Uptick in Upskilling: Positioning Yourself for a Promotion

By The Intersect Group

Who gets promotions?

Those who go above and beyond what their boss asks of them and what their job description says.

People who make a point of learning new skills also tend to get the nod to step up a rung or two on the career ladder

In fact, more and more promotions are being given because of skills upgrades. The reasoning behind it: promotions made “merely” because of the length of tenure could mean that employees can “glide” from pay level to pay level without really making an effort…or providing real value to an employer.

On the other hand, skill-based promotions are better for the company as well as its employees because team members are “encouraged” to learn new skills/hone existing ones. Skills-based promotions also improve transparency. It also takes care of the danger of unconscious bias becoming part of the mix.

Skills-based promotions also keep non-managerial hopefuls excited to come to work

Not everyone wants to manage. Many engineers love creating things. Some coders love to code. Many accountants may want to earn a CPA certificate but would rather work with numbers than manage people.

Giving people raises or even promotions that don’t involve moving into management positions (sometimes known as “dual-career track” promotions) can be a great way to keep folks whose positions are heavily skills based and/or who have no interest in moving into management.

In short, this entails giving someone a new title with, perhaps, “Expert” within it rather than “Manager.” Thus, they receive kudos from peers and more money in their paychecks.

(So, if your employer is all about moving into management or there’s no promotion, it could be a good idea to mention this alternative to them.)

Upskilling makes you more valuable to your employer

The more skills you bring to an employer – the more you can help meet goals and solve problems – the harder it will be to let you go. The more skills we have in our arsenal make us all, the more valuable.

For example, let’s say you decide to earn the CPA designation but are happy with “just” your pay increase (because your boss wanted to reward you for your increased skills) and have no desire to move into management. But then your manager – who also is a CPA – goes on vacation, and you fill in when a CPA-level accounting crisis hits while she’s gone. See what we mean? VALUABLE!

Never shy away from announcing new skills

You should always let your manager know you’ve earned the college degree, the CPA certification, the Salesforce Admin designation, and so on.

We don’t recommend always asking for a raise right away: it may be best to prove first how valuable your new skills are, which probably won’t take long.

But definitely speak up and ask if a raise isn’t offered.

And if you ask but are turned down?

Understand that other employers DO want to give you a raise!

They’re beating down The Intersect Group’s doors right now, looking for outstanding IT and finance/accounting professionals.

Send us your resume today!