With Promotion Comes Price

By Ed Hunter

Change requires a step into the unknown.  And that is scary stuff.  In fact, most people don’t change until the pain of staying put becomes just too much to bear or when they no longer have a choice.

Seeking or being offered a job promotion is no exception.  It’s important not to get swept away by the idea of moving up the corporate latter.  The most important thing to remember with any promotion is this:  no promotion comes without a price.  Here are some things to consider:

Training. If you believe your skills are not up to par, jumping into this new role may be a mistake. Promotions into management and top leadership generally come without any training.  A study by CareerBuilder revealed that 58% of managers hadn’t received any type of management training, and another 26% admitted that they weren’t ready to assume leadership responsibility when they took on those jobs.  If you are pursuing a promotion into management– and counting on meaningful training– you better get it in writing.

Passion. If you love what you do, remember: there are more ways to succeed than through a promotion.  Why not focus on being an expert?  Or being THE expert?  Better to be great at something than average (or worse) in a “promotion.”

Risk of Turnover.  Has the job in question been filled (and emptied) six times in the last 18 months?  Unless there is an ironclad contract, you’re as much in danger of a layoff/downsize/firing as the rest of them. My advice is to keep looking!

Future Plans.  If you are planning on going back to school, leaving the organization, moving to another city, taking a new job can hurt you and the organization.  This is especially true if you did, in fact, receive training. You’re likely to burn a bridge and possibly damage your network.

Work/Life Balance. While the new job may pay more, consider what you may be sacrificing to step into this role. If it requires more hours, keep in mind the costs vs. benefits. None of us can have everything, but we can usually get the most important things if we’re clear about what they are!

While I offer several different types of professional and personal coaching, I find that it all comes down to life coaching! The underlying reason we struggle to grow is to have a better life.

Ed Hunter, PCC, MBA is the principal and ‘head coach’ at Life in Progress Coaching.  He is a certified life, career and executive coach and specializes in career choice, change and transition for adult professionals.

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