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When a promotion is a setback



When you give 110 percent to your job and always succeed in your tasks, it only stands to reason that you would want to be recognized for your consistent performance. However, when your boss offers to reward you with a promotion, don’t jump too quickly at the offer.

A promotion can be a great way to advance your career, but it could also work against you. Be careful what you wish for. Take these steps before making a final decision:

Dig deeper

What exactly does the promotion entail? Figure out the specifics, including how many additional hours you might be working, whom you will be answering to directly, whom you will be supervising, how much additional pay you will receive, and how far the promotion will take you as far as your resume is concerned. These are the questions you would ask when looking for a job, so why not ask them when taking on new responsibilities?

Do you love your job?

Just because you work hard doesn’t mean you love your job. Hard work might just be a personality trait. If you hate your job, will the promotion make a difference or just make you hate it even more? If the promotion means additional hours at a place that makes you miserable, it won’t be long before you end up suffering a nervous breakdown.

Don’t fall into the trap

Assess your current position. Are you happy making the money they are currently paying you for the amount that you work? Is the extra bump in salary and responsibility worth the potential risk? How have other people fared in the position you will be filling? If there is a heavy turnover rate, the new job may not be worth it. You have a responsibility to yourself: making sure you have enough money for shelter, food, clothing, etc. Taking a promotion that might lead you right to the unemployment line isn’t the wisest move to make.

Talk to your family

You should always include your significant other in conversations affecting your future. If the new job is going to ruin your work/life balance, what good is a promotion when you lose the ones you love the most? If your family is willing to understand the sacrifices involved and support your decision to accept the promotion, then go into your new role with strength behind you.

Make moves that will let your resume glow

If a promotion is going to take you off of your specific career track, then why accept the offer? See if there are opportunities that will build your resume and wait it out until one becomes available. Do not just accept a new position because the title makes you feel important. It’s how you’re seen by other companies you aspire to work for that really matters, and the wrong move could ultimately hurt you.

Vault is the trusted source for professionals and students pursuing and managing high-potential careers and employers seeking to engage them. Read more at

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