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Read the tea leaves

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in Workplace Communication

Q: After three years as a supervisor, I want a promotion. But I keep getting new bosses, and each one seems to think I need more grooming. But I’m impatient; I’m now more well-rounded than my latest boss. What can I do?

A: Three things. First, set some goals in writing with your boss. If you acquire or polish certain skills within a set time frame, you may be ready for a promotion. Or not. Usually your boss is the best judge. Second, cultivate a relationship with your boss’s boss. It sounds like there’s a revolving door above you, so you need to learn why. If either the job or your boss’s boss is impossible, you may not want that position. Finally, explore the job market. Three years in one place shows you’re not bailing too soon, but it’s not so long that you’ll be perceived as over the hill.

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