Why You May Not Want That Promotion

Everyone wants a promotion – we’re even sure that we deserve one! But that doesn’t mean that a promotion is the right thing for you. For a variety of reasons, you may not want that promotion at all! Here’s why…

Not everyone should accept a promotion...here's why.
Not everyone should accept a promotion.

You may not be the “boss type”

On the surface, moving from a staff position to a supervisory capacity may seem like a desirable move, but that’s not necessarily the case for everyone. Not everyone has the personality to be a boss, and you need to seriously consider if that may be the case with you.

If you have a strong desire to be liked by your coworkers — you just want to be one of the guys or girls – then being their boss may not set well with you. You will be in a situation where you will need to make unpleasant and unpopular decisions that may ruffle a few feathers. If you don’t think you’ll be comfortable with this arrangement, you may not be the right person for the job. Sure you can take it, but it could end up causing you all kinds of emotional distress later.

Too many hours

Sometimes you’ll be promoted as a way of getting you to work more hours without extra pay. This is one of the dirty little secrets of the promotion game. It could result in longer days, working over the weekends, and extensive travel.

If you are prepared and committed to the additional workload, then the promotion will not be a problem. But if you prefer a more restricted work schedule, it may not be a step forward in your life.

The pay may not be commensurate with the increase in responsibility

It’s not at all unusual for employers to offer promotions that significantly increase your responsibility without providing a matching increase in pay. For example, you could see your responsibilities increase by 50%, in exchange for a 10% increase in pay. Sure, the promotion would look good on your resume, but dealing with the extra stress might not be worth the relatively small increase in pay.

It might interfere with outside activities

Anytime you are offered a promotion you have to consider what the new position will do to your life overall. If the promotion will entail a great increase in both responsibilities and hours, that won’t be a problem if you are entirely committed to your career. But if you have significant outside activities, the promotion can result in life changes that you’re not prepared to accept.

The possibilities are almost endless, but here is a list of outside activities that a promotion might interfere with in a major way:

  • You’re newly married – will a promotion put unnecessary stress on your marriage?
  • You’re going through marital difficulties – will the promotion represent the last straw?
  • You have a young family, or you just had a baby – will the promotion mean that you will have to cut back on your family time?
  • You’re dealing with certain health issues – will the promotion force you to abandon efforts to deal with it?
  • You’re passionate about charity work – will you be able to continue it with the promotion?
  • You have an outside activity that you love – maybe you are a regular golfer – what will become of that pastime if you take the promotion?
  • You have a side business – will the business, or the income that you earn from it, suffer as a result of the promotion? Could the promotion result in a decrease in income overall?

Each of us have only so much time and energy in our lives, and a promotion to a more challenging position may cut down on both. If you have circumstances or activities in your non-work life, you’ll have to consider what impact the promotion will have. In the final analysis, you may decide that you like your life just the way it is – and you don’t really want to be promoted after all.


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