Is this the year that you’re going to go for the promotion of your dreams? If so, you need to be tactical about it. In many ways, the path to promotion begins long before you are ready to think about moving onwards and upwards in your job. These eight points may help!
1. Be strategic
Be completely honest with yourself about where you are in your career right now. Where do you want to be next? Are you happy to go with the flow and respond to any opportunities as and when they arise or do you have a plan about what you know you definitely want to achieve in your career?
2. Be prepared
You will need to have your CV up to date and if you have a professional learning portfolio make sure it accurately represents all the CPD you have done, complete with reflections if possible. It’s also worth drafting some key sentences for use in a personal statement, although it really is important that each statement you write is absolutely specific to the post you are applying for.
3. Build a network
On every course you attend, conference you go to or twitter chat you take part in, aim to make connections with colleagues in other schools in your locality and nationally. Your network may be useful for all kinds of aspects of the teaching role, but particularly when it comes to job seeking and hearing about opportunities that could really further your career.
4. Get a mentor
Having a mentor or critical friend is incredibly useful when applying for promotions. You can discuss your suitability for the role, run your application by them, perhaps even have a mock interview. Sometimes others can see our strengths more clearly that we can ourselves and they can often see our development needs! We can all have blind spots when it comes to being critically self-aware.
5. Step up when you can
Take any opportunities you have for stepping up into the role you want to have next. This kind of experience can be invaluable and can really help you to decide if this is the path for you or if a difference challenge would be more appropriate.
6. Job shadow
If there isn’t an opportunity to step up into a role temporarily then aim to job shadow as much as possible for a while. This can be difficult to do because your existing role will still need to be done but even building a stronger working relationship with the person in the role you would like to do when promoted can be incredibly fruitful.
7. Do your current job flawlessly
However frustrated you may feel in your current role, you need to execute it as perfectly as possible. If you want to go for promotions as and when the opportunities arise, appearing to be demotivated in your current post won’t help, however understandable that may be. Sounds obvious, but we’re all affected some time or another!
8. Know where to look for vacancies
If you’re not looking in the right place, you may miss the perfect job for you. Make sure you’re registered with Eteach and are regularly checking the latest relevant jobs to you, and make full use of the support offered here as well as any you may get from your school or local authority.
About the author
After graduating with a degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading, Elizabeth Holmes completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education, University of London. She then taught humanities and social sciences in schools in London, Oxfordshire and West Sussex, where she ran the history department in a challenging comprehensive. Elizabeth specialises in education but also writes on many other issues and themes. As well as her regular blogs for Eteach and FEjobs, her books have been published by a variety of publishers and translated around the world.