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When is the right time to go for a promotion?

17 May 2021

When is the right time to go for a promotion?

By Mark Richards, 


Deciding to go for a teaching promotion is a big step. Of course, you never know for sure when it is the right time to take the plunge. However, the following are pretty good indicators that the time is right.


You’re already preparing for a promotion

You might call them ‘baby steps’ but often we find ourselves preparing for the next stage, without consciously thinking about it too much. This can manifest itself in several ways. You might find yourself taking on more responsibilities in your current role because you’re happy to take on more challenges. You might have signed up for Professional Development and training about how to move up to the next level because it seemed like the natural thing to do. Maybe you’ve found yourself scouring the job ads?

All of these signs show that you are ready to go for the next step.


You feel restless or lacking challenge

Teaching is not a profession that ever really gets ‘easy’. It’s not the kind of job where you can take your foot off the pedal and relax. However, it is possible to become a little too comfortable and to begin to feel that everything is all a bit too familiar. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but sometimes it can lead to restlessness and a feeling that somehow you are unfulfilled in your current role. This often happens when you have been at the same school for a while. It can feel that you are unchallenged. If you find yourself wondering if there is ‘something else’ out there, that’s a sure sign that the time is right to go for a promotion.

Sometimes it can feel like you have lost your mojo or the spark appears to have gone from the job. This doesn’t mean you have fallen out of love with teaching. It could simply be a sign that you have outgrown your current role.

Colleagues keep mentioning going for promotion

If colleagues in your department, or members of the senior leadership team, keep suggesting that you look for promotion, it’s not that they are trying to get rid of you – take it as a massive vote of confidence! Respect and praise from your peers and the people that know you well in your school should never be underestimated. Experienced professionals will recognise your potential before you start to feel it yourself. A good leader will always be encouraging their team to take on things that will help them to progress.


You begin to feel that you would do things differently to your manager

When you begin to question how your manager – or another leader – is running things, or you find yourself disagreeing with their approach, you should not be too alarmed. It’s a natural development. Of course, it’s always easy to criticise from the outside looking in. Any position is harder than it looks. Having said that, it you are beginning to feel you could a particular job that’s your mind trying to tell you something.



1. Why seeking promotion is not always the right thing to do in teaching

2. Tips for surviving as a supply teacher

3. Teachers need to be trained in digital learning

4. Are You Good Enough to Be a Teacher?

5. How to put teacher wellbeing at the top of a school’s agenda


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