Boom and Out

Early in my career I was offered a bit of sage advice that at the time seemed all Obi-Wan like based on its content and who was offering it (someone in a senior HR leadership role in a multinational mega-conglomerate): "Give two years, and then look at what you're getting."

To clarify, I was being told that most any job/role is only worth two years of your very best efforts (unless that job is "the job") and after that period of time or better yet as you approach that magical 24 month on the calendar it becomes important to assess. It becomes time to ask questions like:

  • Am I up for or in line for a promotion in the next fiscal year? 
  • Have I been compensated adequately or am I coming up on a significant increase? 
  • Has my management been as loyal to me as I have been to them?
  • In short, what's your ROI for the time, effort, headaches, heartaches, and backaches?

These are questions that run a bit contrary to what one might read on other sites on the topic of "the time to move on," but the two-year rule has served me well.

I've gained an eclectic mix of experiences and KSAs across an array of industries. I've moved into management and leadership roles and I've found myself with opportunities to do more and be more and learn more... and guess what, it's been about two years since my last promotion? So a couple of months back the itch started developing in the back of my brain. I started thinking about my next steps, my current role, and how I saw the future playing out.

To be clear, I have a fair knowledge of my current employer's departmental succession plan and let's just say it benefited me well, but it was another five to seven years of what I was currently doing with an ever decreasing slate of new opportunities and challenges for me to sink my teeth into. But even with that in mind, I found myself unable to really put any effort into looking at what might be out there for a number of reasons, like:

  • I love my industry (higher education equals awesome). 
  • I really enjoy the idea of my role and the opportunities it's presented over the last seven years. 
  • I have a great team working for and with me. 
  • I have a strong connection to my organization (not just my campus, but the larger university system).

Then something amazing happened... I was presented with a new opportunity (a promotion) to lead one the HR specialty areas for the larger organization, moving from a campus role to a university system one. A move ripe with opportunities and challenges and chances to learn and broaden my HR toolbox. Needless to say, I jumped all over it and I look forward to the next couple of years and many more beyond that, as I see a great future full of amazing opportunities resulting from this leap into the new.

So, I leave my current role knowing I've done good work (which I'd like to think was a big factor in getting this new opportunity) and made an impact (which I know is true from the kind phone calls and emails I've been getting over the last couple of weeks as word has leaked out about departure) and can only hope to make the same kind of value-adding contributions as I embark on my latest HR adventure. Wish me luck as I go after the next prize in my never ending quest for awesome!

Header Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc

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2 Responses to “Boom and Out”

  1. For some reason, I like this article! You will be missed but I am so happy for you. You really deserve it!

  2. I would ask myself questions about my achievements, expectations, etc. after about a year of working for the company. It's important to look back and make a thorough analysis of what you've done, what were your biggest failures and achievements. It helps understand what you really want and need for your future career.