Promote From Within

Last week I spent some time with a woman I met back in 1980.  We were both secretaries in mirror positions for 2 District Managers and we started on the same day.

My friend,  a recently married college grad and I, a single high school graduate – both the same age – became friends as well as coworkers.

A couple of years later, I applied for and transferred to an office in another city.   I then went on to be promoted and held 2 new positions well-suited to my skills.

My friend’s husband got promoted, they also moved and when she got pregnant with their first child, left the workforce to raise their family.

The twist of the story is that because I lack a college degree,  I would not have been eligible to even interview for 2 of the positions I held during my 10 years with this company. 

Do you require a degree as part of your posted job requirements?   I understand its often used as a screening technique but you have to wonder, are you screening out a lot of young “Sunny” types?

The company I worked for had a strong “promote from within ” policy so once I was hired in the only position I was eligible for in that office due to the education requirement, I was able to develop and advance in my career.

A Wall Street Journal article in October talked about businesses again  needing to provide training and promote from within, a practice which  fell out of favor in recent years.

The practice makes sense though and is obvious in my own example.   I spent 10 years with the company and made numerous enduring contributions over that time.  My college graduate friend was also a good hire but a few years later,  her life took a different path.

Someone took a chance on me without a college degree not once,  but several times over the decade I spent there.  While they didn’t have to invest in much formal training for me, they gave me opportunities to stretch and take on new responsibilities-a worthy investment in an employee who gave 10 years of service in return.

What are you missing – who are you missing – with YOUR hiring and/or promotion policies?   The best asset of your company may already the young person grateful for a job or the high-school graduate currently occupying an entry-level position.  Don’t overlook the “diamond in the rough” waiting to join – or already a part of your team.


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One Response to “Promote From Within”

  1. sunnykobecook Says:

    An article in last week’s Wall Street Journal adds more insights into the benefits of hiring/promoting from within.


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