Vail Daily column: Consider your next promotion or raise |

Vail Daily column: Consider your next promotion or raise

The shoulder season offers a chance for Vail Valley professionals to reflect on career progress and roles within their organization. As the cost of living in Eagle County continues to pressure locals, there is not always a clear answer on how to adapt, maintain or grow your standard of living. This article provides one approach on how mid-career professionals can pursue promotions, grow income and maintain their lifestyle.

Regardless of organization size or type, your ability to translate education and experience into results will control long-term prosperity. U.S. News and World Report states, “those holding bachelor’s degrees earn about $2.27 million over their lifetime, while those with master’s, doctoral and professional degrees earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively.”

Many postgraduate programs are not easily accessible for professionals in the Vail Valley due to campus locations and tuition cost. Even with the rise of online programs during the past 15 years, interested students should be wary of statistics regarding effectiveness, dropout rates, and credibility. Most educators believe the learning continuum should consider discussed research, exposure to new methods, skills development, critical thinking exercises, and engaged experiences.

Next week, I am attending a five-day intensive certificate course on “board governance.” The course is taught by professors from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and a team from Ernst & Young. I expect to receive the most relevant research, analysis, subject matter expertise, and case study discussions while immersed with a cohort of my peers. The value of this professional development opportunity will directly translate into economic gains for the organization and our community.

If you are reflecting on your career journey, take time to assess your skills. Research educational opportunities that will help build new competencies and add value to your role. Committing to a full or part time MBA is not the only path to elevating skills. Universities are condensing specific knowledge into three- to five-day certificate programs to match the demands of the mid-career professional. Once you have achieved a new level of mastery, approach your leadership team and discuss how those skills will affect the organization.

As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, “a mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions.”

I have been a CEO for 15 years and can only remember six times when an employee approached me requesting a promotion or raise linked to ability, potential and value to the organization. Hundreds of people all wanted a promotion or raise, but they didn’t properly communicate a desire to build skills and translate them into a new role.

If you manage people or participate on a board, then remember that opportunity for growth and development are the two most powerful motivators. Harvard professor and distinguished author Dr. John P. Kotter recently reported, “organizations that invest in a culture of personal and professional development, among other factors, can outperform the competition by 500 percent or more. That’s a fairly comfortable ROI, no?”

Bottom line: If approaching your employer for a promotion or raise, then assess your current abilities, skills and potential. If considering an employee’s promotion or raise, then assess their current abilities, skills and potential.

Ross Iverson is CEO of the Vail Centre. For more information, go to or email

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User