Your career would be easier if every job promotion was a guaranteed positive career move. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Job promotions happen for a variety of reasons and companies are in a constant state of flux. Before smiling and accepting that promotion at work, stop and think about the consequences. See if this job promotion will end up hurting your career.
When the promotion does not fit your career goals
There are times when we are offered promotions that take our career in an entirely new direction. For example, if someone managing a marketing department suddenly gets offered a job as Director of Operations. You have to decide if you want to start going in that career direction with your promotion at work.
It is a great job promotion and an honor, but operations jobs are very different from marketing. Examine if this will truly be the career you want, going forward.
Tip: Accepting promotions to show appreciation for the offer is a bad career move. If you do not want the job, graciously thank them for the offer. Let them know it is not a position you feel you can contribute your best efforts to.
When the promotion at work does not interest you
Even if a new promotion pays really well, don’t take it if it does not interest you. Repeated studies have shown people are more productive in jobs they love. The last thing you want to do is accept a job for the pay bump and then be really bad at your job.
You will make your company feel like the job promotion was a mistake. It was a bad career move because now the company questions your judgment.
Tip: Simply put, if it is not your cup of tea, don’t take the new job promotion. You are not being true to yourself or the company.
When the job promotion is symbolic
This one is unfortunate. An employee is at a company for a long time and is well-paid. However, the company is going in a new direction and needs to move people out. Companies may employ the strategy of boring an employee out of a job.
The employee is given a higher job title, which looks great on a resume. But then many responsibilities are removed and the promoted employee has nothing to do. Eventually, the employee or the company has to remove the position. This strategy is used because firing someone, or letting them go without reason, creates negativity in the workplace. It is safer for the company to promote the employee and wait for them to quit or get laid off.
Tip: When a promotion is offered, find out what your new duties are going to be, first. If you feel it is symbolic, or a company’s way of saying goodbye, take the promotion and salary increase. Then, start looking for new work. Go out on top. Use your new leverage to get a better job somewhere else.
When the job promotion creates an undesirable lifestyle
As you are promoted throughout your career, the type of people you surround yourself with changes, as well. A new promotion at work may mean making your “job” a new “lifestyle”. This means you will be working much harder, and your co-workers will change, too.
Your new job/lifestyle has to be something you want, badly. If not, you will end up resenting the company and the new people you work with. And they may end up resenting you because you should never have been promoted. Unfortunately, some employees accept promotions without thinking about the changes in the workplace. They try to stay “one of the employees” when the fact is they now manage the employees.
More so, be careful this type of promotion is not done to exhaust you out of the company. Giving a person too many responsibilities to handle is a strategy used to politely force an employee into saying, “I need to leave. I cannot handle this.”
Tip: Find out who you will be working with at your new job and the duties at hand. Think about your current life and if you want all that to change. If the change is too much, skip this promotion at work.