Ah, the illusive promotion. While it’s the coveted carrot that many employers use to keep us in check – the reward is not always – well, rewarding! Here are a few things to consider before you’re blinded by a raise.
1) Avoid a no-win situation. Often a promotion comes along with increased responsibility – sometimes in the form of managing staff. But what if the staff is "unmanageable." You know the type… they’re angry, bitter and washed up. They make threats of walking out but end up going nowhere. Not only with this crew be difficult to reign in, but they’ll plot against you and resent you every step of the way. Maybe you can turn them around. Or maybe you’re just dreaming.
2) Two steps forward, no steps back. Like any chess game, you can’t just bust out those Rooks without having a plan. If you’re in a true "career," you need to be at least two steps ahead. This promotion might bring along some short-term growth – but you need to make sure it’s not the top rung on a short ladder.
3) Balance the scales. You need to know where your work/life balance priorities are – both now – and in the future (to the best of your ability). If you’re planning to get pregnant, buy a house or take an extended leave – this might not be the right time for you. Know where you want the balance to be – and don’t rock the boat. Above all, be honest with yourself.
4) Add up the little things. So many of us are blinded by money. We hear about an extra five grand a year and we jump at the opportunity. After taxes, you could be looking at $70 a week. Maybe you’re getting moved to a smaller office. Maybe the number of hours you will have to work is not proportionate to the raise. When deciding, look at the small perks and see if they add up to a major factor.
5) Time to say goodbye? Have you jumped the shark with your current organization? If so, will a few thousand dollars make you wake up with a new attitude? Unlikely. Why give yourself the stress of learning new tasks and "putting on a happy face." If you honestly think it can be a second chance at carer success – go for it. Anything else will leave you with some sleepless nights.
6) New job, new boss. A promotion could mean a new boss. I have found this to be one of the most overlooked – yet potentially important factors – when trying to decide whether to accept or decline. The best gig at a Fortune 500 Company can easily be ruined by a crappy, short-sighted boss.
We’re not suggesting you make the prospect of a promotion into a science. Sometimes, it’s well-deserved and exactly what the doctor ordered. However, don’t let a few extra dollars or the pressure to say "yes" blind you to reality.
In a few days/weeks we’ll talk about strategies to decline gracefully. Please subscribe now.