You have heard if from companies time and time again; “we promote from within.” Some companies almost exclusively promote from within, like Enterprise Rent-A-Car while others would rather bring in outside talent. Just because a company promotes from within it does not mean that YOU are going to be moving up, nor should it.
First of all, there are a lot of caveats. Many times you need to be in a position for a certain amount of time before you are allowed to apply for another position within the company. I know that at first this does not make sense. Most companies either have a formal or an informal rule for how long you need to be in a position before throwing you name in the hat for another position. One company I was at had a pretty hard 2-year rule. Part of the reason was that if an employee is really good at what they do then different areas of the country would want that employee to work for them. This sounds easy until you realize that one district may have just paid out over $30,000.00 to relocate the employee and their family only to have them move to another district. The big exception to this is if the company comes to you with an opportunity.
How do you know all of this about a company you are applying with? Ask their employees stupid! Remember that thing called networking that we have been talking about? How about when you learn that the retailer you just started with LOVES to promote from within but guess what? They TELL you where you will be working and they do not compensate for relocation. Not kidding, it happens.
So be sure to do your homework and learn about the company and it’s culture. No, asking “what is your culture like?” in an interview does not count. If you are on a date with someone and you ask them “so, are you one of those clingy people who wants to spend every minute of every day with me?” do you really think you will get the truth?
Culture is the process by which a person becomes all that they were created capable of being.