Ask Liz: Are my career development opportunities being affected?

Ask Liz: Are my career development opportunities being affected?
A role has come up in another department which I am very interested in applying for, but when I mentioned it to my Line Manager, he made it very clear that my departure would significantly impact the performance of the team. While I can understand that he doesn't want to be left without resources, I feel like my career development opportunities are being affected.

Well done you for speaking up with your manager about your career aspirations. Unfortunately, this still appears to be a difficult conversation to have as managers fear losing their talent rather than finding ways to make sure that talent stays within the business. This is always a difficult conversation to call as declaring your interest to move too soon in the game, when you may not get the new job, may make things awkward between you and your current line manager.  If you leave it too late in the process, telling your manager once you have already been offered the job, may start an unexpected agency talent hostage battle. As folk are going  to find out anyway, I would suggest that you speak with the hiring manager first to find out more about the role. If you like the sound of the role, and both you and the hiring manager express an interest in progressing your interest , at this point you need to let your current line manager know how your career plans are shaping up. In my experience transparency is key.

There are many interested parties in such a career conversation; the hiring manager, the current line manager and the HR Team. And may be others depending on how all this works in your agency. So plot a path through it all. The first experience of managing multiple stakeholders!

HR teams are also well aware of the need to engage and retain people. A focus on career development is also key for the millennial folk as they seek a career and not just a job. Increasingly the larger networks are creating ways to open up opportunities across their groups to encourage the free flow of talent. So I suggest that you check out if any centralized talent opportunities exist and what the agency process is for folk who may wish to change teams. Given that you have already told your manager of your interest in moving roles I would suggest that you get some HR advice as to how to best manage the situation. Perhaps your manager needs reassurance that your role can be replaced and HR can help with the finance conversation. Perhaps your manager is concerned about handover and timings. This can also be planed for and managed properly for everyone. The downside of not helping facilitate such a move is that people like you will vote with their feet and leave. This really is not the desired outcome. The costs of losing talent is high and the cost of replacing talent is an unnecessary expense.

If you have an HR-related issue that you need answering by our expert Liz Nottingham, Regional HR Director, Western Europe at Starcom MediaVest, please contact us at social@ipa.co.ukAny questions published will appear anonymously.

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