By Lilian Wamaitha
When you were starting out your career, you had dreams and hopes of where you wanted to be 10 years from then. Most of us are lucky to have career plans drafted for us early on but for others, it’s a constant struggle to be recognized and help realize those dreams.
For Peter, it seems like his career has taken a drastic turn. No matter how hard he works, he keeps being passed over for every promotion. With an ailing wife and kids who depend on him, he is lost at what to do. This is his story;
“When I got a job I had my career path already lined up for me. I have always been a hard worker and do my job to the best of my abilities. By 30, I knew that I would be somewhere in the company. Probably a senior accountant role but now I will be turning 38 next month and I am still holding the same position.
I am a trained and certified accountant working for a manufacturing company here in Nairobi. While other people excel in their careers, mine seems to have stalled. I have worked for the same company for 14 years now but have nothing to show for it. I was among the first employees for the company and have been there through thick and thin.
When I started out, I knew that it was just a matter of time before I was holding that senior position. My boss then, liked me and was already grooming me to take on a leadership position. I was 27 years old then and was looking forward to that promotion. However in 2006, my then boss and mentor passed on and the company went to his only son. Soon the whole structure changed, a new board was appointed to replace the other one and I can say from then on, thing started going downhill.
When I was 28, a position came up for a senior accountant and confident that I was the best person to handle the position, I applied but then I was not picked. The position went to a new hire instead. I was devastated but still I hoped that I would soon be promoted.
After a few years, the company merged with another one and they needed a group accountant. This was a big opportunity and I was not going to let it pass. This time, I went straight to my boss to tell him that I was interested in the position. Courteously, he told me to apply for a promotion which I did. However, after months of waiting I would later on learn that the position was given to a daughter of one of the board members.
I was determined to quit at that time, whether I had a job or not because it was clear that I was not going to grow no matter how hard I worked. I was a nobody and as long as I was there, all the promotions would keep going to the who is who in the company. However, my wife got diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and I had to put the plans on hold. We needed the money and all my salary was being channeled to offset her medical bills.
Since then I have been applying for jobs but can’t seem to get any. It seems employers are reluctant to hire a 38 year old who has held the same position in a company that seems to hold so much growth.
I can’t quit right now because my wife and kids need me. My salary is all we have to go on and I know that no matter what happens I should be there for her.
I seem to have reached a dead end and no longer know what to do. There is senior accountant position currently open and I am scared to apply for it. After all, I have been passed over for a number of promotions long enough to hold any hopes of every getting any. What should I do? Is it right to be passed over for promotions for so many years? I work hard and nobody has ever complained about my quality of work. If anybody should be promoted, I choose to believe that it’s me. Are there legal actions I can take against the company for such treatment?”
What would you advice Peter? If you were in his situation, what would you do? Share your opinion below.