My boss is planning to retire next year, and I know that several of us in the department will apply for his position. We all have about the same qualifications and experience. What can I do to make myself stand out from the pack?
Don’t assume that everyone knows you are interested in the position. Have a discussion with your boss and ask for his insight about being considered or recommended. Depending on the grade level of his position, there may be a formal succession plan in place, or at least some criteria that has been established, for selecting his replacement. If there is, you need this information so that you aren’t sitting on the sidelines assuming that it’s an even playing field when it may not be.
You also need to talk with your peers and other associates to evaluate the level of support you have for the position and what their thoughts are about his replacement. This may give you some information about what you may need to do in order to compete once the time comes.
In the meantime, work to stand out by going above and beyond in your regular duties and by accepting extra assignments, if possible. Volunteer to work on committees, task forces and community projects. Make sure that you are seen as someone who seeks solutions and consensus, and as someone who has strong leadership abilities.