A colleague is leaving at the end of the month. He is a Senior Technical Consultant, whereas I and 3 others are Technical Consultants. I am the most senior of us, and feel that I would be the best option to fill the position.

He's not really anyone's boss in this position, it just shows that he's the most....seasoned of us.

Is it bad practice to tell my boss that I'd like the position?

I'm not really concerned with a huge pay raise or getting my own office or anything like that. The reason I want the position is that it would look better on a resume to have the 'Senior' in front of my current title.

If I do tell him, I'm planning on doing it a day or two after this guy leaves.

2 Answers 2


Here are the rules of engagement:

  1. If you don't ask, you don't get. The only way they are going to know that you want the position is when you ask for it.

  2. If you don't say anything, nobody knows. Nobody is going to read your mind and deduce that you are interested. If you are interested, say so.

  3. Worst-case scenario is that your management turns you down. You can't go forward in your career if you are not willing to take a rejection. A rejection in this case means that you are no worse off than before you showed interest in the position. In other words, you lose nothing by asking and getting turned down. While you reduce the chance that you'll be turned down by phrasing your request in a way that aligns with the needs of the firm, the probability that you'll be turned for whatever reason still exists and some people are emotionally unwilling to take that risk of being turned down.

The management will most likely look for a senior consultant to replace your departing colleague. "I understand that so-and-so is leaving. If you are looking for a replacement, I hope that you consider me because I am available. I know the processes around here, I know you the management, the colleagues and the culture of this firm and the clients' expectations - no learning curve, no delay in getting up to speed, no translation issues when we talk to each other about what needs to be done and by when. And you know I do a pretty good job of managing my strengths and weaknesses to get it done"

Basically, you tell your management face to face that you are interested and you give them your value proposition, which a set of reasons for them to give you what you want. Don't freaking merely say that you are interested. Simply saying that you are interested closes the conversation and turns it into a trip into a dead end street - you are one of many candidates and there is no reason to prefer you over anyone else. Saying that you are interested, what you like about the position and what's in it for them if they give you the position - that opens up the conversation because you just perked their interest.

  • I talked to him this morning, he told me it's not entirely up to him but it's good to know and he'll pass it along. Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 13:47
  • @Ryan J - I suggest that you take your departing senior consultant to lunch and have an extended discussion as to what it takes to be successful in the position. Have him, if it's okay with him, put in a good word for you with management before he leaves - assuming that he's got pretty good credibility with the management, that is. The name of this particular exercise is "stack the odds in your favor" Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 14:17

There's nothing at all wrong with talking with your boss about your desire. However, I'd do it sooner, rather than later.

  • So you think I should do it before the colleague leaves? Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 0:02
  • 3
    I think you should have done it already. As soon as the other employee's announcement was made public, you should've been in there. Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 0:03
  • My boss has been out of the office all week, couldn't exactly do it. Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 0:03
  • 1
    You've got email, right? Seriously - your boss is looking for what to do next. He's not waiting. You shouldn't either. Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 0:04
  • 1
    Do the email first. Then he will have time to dwell on it and you get to take your time writing a well worded outline of why you would be good for it. Give him food for thought.
    – PaulD
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 8:50

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