James, has opening a dialog ever helped me... in a word: No.
It will, of course, depend highly on your management, but the higher up management you go the more likely I've found this to be true: Any squeeky wheel that needs grease is making too much noise and should be replaced.
The cogs are purchased to fulfill a task. We are the cogs. This is simple business, like it or not, even if it's personally aggravating. Let's take the scenario of taking over the job of manager in your own company. Now, they're interviewing twice for two positions instead of once. You're competent in what you're doing already, they like it being done that way. Now, they have to interview/process you to the new, higher position, AND then go through a full process for the one you are leaving.
Instead, leave the cog where it's working, if squeeking a bit, and do the process once for the management position.
Opening a dialogue has rarely worked for me and has backfired more often than it has been helpful. If you are not confident in your higher leadership (remember, immediate leadership is not necessarily as important when you're dealing with this...), open up MS Word with your resume... and then decide if you want to open a dialogue as well.
I normally wouldn't advocate NOT working with your employer, but this has attempt has been met with everything from ambivalence to me, to outright hostility. If you're opening the dialogue, expect to open the now hiring section of the newspaper as well. It rarely works well. "We have an open door policy" is usually corporate lingo for "We really want to know when you're going to start goldbricking because you don't like your job anymore."
- Craig Farrell
Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.
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