I work for an agency where promotion seems to be a question, at times. Promotion has always been straight forward to me however in working with this current company a paradigm shift happened somewhere along
the way. I am sure that we’ve been employed by a company where favoritism has run rampant, and we’ve witnessed individuals receive an employment positions that they were under qualified for, and were never quite able to catch on. Or you may have heard a person share how a friend or even a friend of a friend “pulled some strings” to bring them on with their company and it ended up being a blessing and a course – a blessing because they were employed; a course because they had no idea what to do, how or where to begin. I have worked for such companies a couple times during my career and heard the saying many times, “It is not what you know but who you know.” The saying around our offices has a different spin on it… “It’s not what or who you know but who knows you.” I wont go into great detail but I wouldn’t feel right, if I decided not to take some time to share their views regarding promotion. For those unaware of the term Paradigm Shift it is a Philosophy, a radical change in beliefs or theories. My best attempt at laymen terms to explain the part that best fits our company’s situation is telling someone something long until their views, ideas and /or their mindset changes to reflect what has been told to them. One example of an incredible paradigm shift was lived out in a 46 minute program orchestrated by Jane Elliot, a school teacher from Iowa who shared and aired her research on “Frontline a class divided” (view the link below for more details: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/etc/view.html.
I truly like words so I looked up a couple of definitions one being for the word Promotion and found that the Webster’s explanation to mean advancement; a higher rank, grade, position; growth; development of something; raising rank; the act of raising someone to the nobility; rise, upgrading, move up; elevation, exaltation, preferment, aggrandizement, and ennoblement. The second definition was demotion (the opposite of the first word) and it indicates that it is a lowering in rank: a reduction in the rank, status, or position of somebody or something. Some of the synonyms listed were relegation, downgrading, devaluation. There is a method to the madness – in my reasoning for researching these words. There are some people who actually receive a true promotion within the company as we supposedly have hiring guidelines in place to prevent unfair, impartial or preferred treatment – which is a story for another day. The majority of our people receive so-called promotions at lower position rankings and are told that they will maintain their pay. Ok, now… to break this down in terms that Timmy the Two Year Old can understand… not only will they receive a demotion in position / ranking / grade but also there while they are not going down (or being demoted) in pay – the very thing that higher-ups are calling a promotion, allows the employee to maintain (keep at same) the same pay (not a raise; not an elevation, not an increase) in an economy where food, gas, clothing and everything else is going in an upward motion. What about this says Promotion? So then what we have is the mass population now encouraging others to apply for Demoted Promotions while repeating what has been told to them, which is “You get to keep your pay” and get demoted in rank. Well yes, if you work they should pay you, otherwise you are considered a volunteer. My question is why not just list the position and determine the best candidate from those who apply. Why are you listing it as a promotion; why call it Specialist when there is nothing special or specialized about it? More work + same pay + demoted ranking = ?.
The reasoning behind the demotion we were told is to prevent employees from leaving the company prematurely. Brainstorming… If we lower their positions; they won’t want to go to another agency that will rank them the same. They will be with the company until they receive, at least, the position rank that they are demoting from, which gives us more time and hopefully less turnover. The majority of similar agencies (98%) researched, have shown to grant actual promotions to their staff. I am not attempting to fix, repair or change mindsets of others but only release the fact that my brain can’t wrap itself around these mind shifts that they have adapted. This is merely to say it out loud to unbiased parties who don’t know me or even know where I work. Some find it difficult to believe that, I will not apply for a Demoted promotion within the current agency that I work. I love my current job. I enjoy the people, but I am there to do exactly the mission that God has placed me there and then I will move forward. They have told each other their own truth versions for so long that they find it almost silly if someone else does not assimilate. I have to chuckle at this and shake my head at the insanity of it all. I guarantee you that I am not laughing at them. There are people who have told me that they have never been promoted and yet others who have indicated that it’s taken them anywhere from 13 years or longer to reach a couple of advancing steps. Let’s just put the career behind us and think about this… Could you imagine remaining in the same exact spot for 13 years, unable to walk, crawl or advance forward in anyway… just sit or lie in the same spot? If this is what they know and they are perfectly fine with it, then for them, I find their same peace. I am content with the work that I do and know for sure that if you asked anyone that has ever or who is currently working with me about my work ethics; I am willing to guarantee that they will tell you that I am a smart, hard worker. I give the best of myself everyday whether at work or play. I am not saying this to boast or exalt myself in anyway. I have learned to listen to the voice of those who have taken to time to teach me, I accept critiques and act on them, I do what is asked and then some, not just when someone is looking but every time, every day that I am granted another opportunity to give of myself. My intent is never to degrade, lower or cause others to feel disgruntled, but it is to continue moving forward; to evaluate my own work, efforts and make changes where needed. I don’t want to sit on my talent so that it can be taken and given away to someone else. My goals are to elevate to the plan and purpose that was created for me (not for someone else). If there are mindset and habits that change along the way, then I know that it was all in Gods plan. My own truth is the sky is various shades blue, I am not where I should be but I am on my way, I am not living my life looking through a rear view mirror – I know what my rear looks like and based on the bible “promotion (real promotion) is from the Lord”. It has a period not a question mark; which leads me to believe there should be no question about it. These are things that I know. With that said … to whom much is given, much is required. I choose to continue moving forward, upward, promoting.