From Junior to Senior


Little people grow up and that also applies to the working person. A starter doesn't remain a starter, and if you have a few years of experience, you'll become an old hand in the profession. Can you steer this development? Or is it just a matter of perfecting years?

What do the terms junior and senior mean?

In vacancy texts you'll often find the concepts of junior and senior. Sometimes even the term medior is used. What do these terms say?

Junior: a junior function is a starter function. Instead of 'junior', the prefix 'upcoming', 'starting', 'assistant' or ' trainee ' is also used.

Senior: a senior has a lot of experience in a certain field and is considered an expert. Often a senior has extra tasks that aren't performed by people with a junior or medior function, such as acquisition tasks or guidance tasks.

What distinguishes junior and senior employees in practice?

The designations junior and senior often occur in advisory functions. But also with trainers , software engineers , project leaders , sellers , account managers and policy officers you often see these terms reflected in the vacancy text.

The course remains the same, but the more you move towards senior status, you get more and different responsibilities. Overall, you can assume that you'll be confronted with the following differences:

As a junior you're often guided more or less intensively , for example by a senior employee. You do smaller projects and assignments and receive regular feedback . You start building a network .

As a senior you're an expert. You often have a role in supporting junior and medior employees. Many senior employees are responsible for part of the acquisition of new assignments for a company. To do this, they must have an extensive network. Certain targets are often set that a senior employee must meet. A performance wage is sometimes linked to this. Depending on the size of the company, senior employees help determine the course of the company.

How do you make a career along this line?

When you start a company as a junior, it's important to make agreements with your employer about how long you'll keep the status of junior and what you need to do to grow. There is a risk that you'll remain in a junior position for too long and that you'll not be paid for the work you do over time. A personal tool for the agreements is a Personal Development Plan (PDP). In it you determine the achievements you have to achieve in order to lose the designation junior.

The same also applies if you have a medior function. Also in that position it's wise to make agreements with your employer about the intended career path. You discuss your progress annually during a performance or appraisal interview. Use this conversation to start negotiations about a promotion.

Anyone who wants to continue growing must deliver demonstrable performance. How do you do that?

Make sure you get bigger and more complex jobs and finish them well. Make sure that the results aren't only visible to you, but also to your boss.

Invest in knowledge in your field . Take courses. View the areas in which you must specialize to progress.

Seniority often goes hand in hand with more overview and general skills . So not only specialist skills are important, but also skills that suit a generalist .

Make sure you stand out from those who have to decide on your promotion. You do that by taking responsibility, by being flexible, and by investing in working relationships .

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