What to consider before accepting a promotion at work
Some of the best words to hear at the workplace could be: you are up for a promotion. This could be that dream stepping stone one has been anticipating, which helps them start climbing the corporate ladder and allows one to get their foot in the door for even bigger positions in the future. Positives could include an increased salary, better benefits, a nice new office, or it could be a way to pad one’s resume to help them in their search for a position elsewhere down the line.
What most might not know is that accepting a promotion should not be a done deal as soon as one hears their manager or boss break the news. That sounds crazy, right? Who would turn down a promotion? Well, it is not about turning down a promotion and more about approaching it logically, not emotionally. When offered an opportunity like this, an employee might get overwhelmed and make a rash decision, which is not recommended. Instead, here is what one should know before accepting that promotion to help them make the best possible decision for their career future.
Always negotiate the deal
Before accepting any job or promotion, one needs to understand that they still have a lot of bargaining power. The idea that this employer has all the chips is an outdated power tactic on their part. They assume that the selected employee should feel honoured, grateful, lucky to have received an offer when in reality, they are showing their hand by making it clear that the employee offered the position is their preferred candidate. Knowing that one is skilled enough for them to consider them such a valuable asset bodes well for one’s chance to negotiate a deal.
Negotiating a deal for a promotion should be a priority in getting the things an employee needs from their work. It may be that one is moving up from an entry-level position, which gives them the opportunity to reach for benefits that they did not have before. If the employee has been with them for some time and is getting a promotion to a new position, negotiate an increase in pay or improved incentives like better health or dental plans. The worker being offered the new position has a lot of power here, so they should make sure to negotiate to get what they want – within reason.
Consider income bracket
Promotions are almost always going to involve an improvement to one’s pay but there is a hidden caveat to this increase in wage: income bracket. Everyone is always trying to improve their social standing, and the one way to do that is by shooting up the income ladder and positioning one’s self in new strata of earnings. Putting one’s self into this echelon of money-making allows more opportunity, but it comes with some downsides.
The most evident of these downsides? The higher one’s income, the higher their taxes can be. This is not true in all cases as some promotions will give better pay but one will still be within the same marginal tax requirements. However, significant jumps can change that. Using the calculator at https://taxfyle.com/tax-bracket-calculator/, anyone can determine if their new promotion will actually be setting them back more in taxes. This promotion should be giving the employee new financial freedom, not a sense of false hope, so do the math to see if it is even worth it.
Determine the promotion trajectory
Promotions allow one to move up in their career for earnings and for job responsibility. A good promotion helps one utilise their skills and improve their chances of getting to make a real difference. What some might not know is that not every promotion is a step up on the rung of the corporate ladder.
Later promotions promise the improvement of one’s job functions, but in reality, the worker is simply asked to do a different task or possibly take on more work, without much of the benefits that a good promotion should provide. Knowing this, read into the company structure and determine if this promotion is actually leading to a better trajectory that has upward mobility or if it is simply going to stagnate one’s career. Taking the wrong promotion that ends up keeping an employee shuffling from a mundane position to position will hurt career aspirations in the long run.
Understand who you will be working with
Just like one would research the trajectory of the promotion, one needs to know who will be on their team, in their care, and who they will be reporting to. In a job interview, one wants to know about the dynamic of the environment, and so should this be a concern when mulling over the decision to accept a promotion. An employee will want to know who it is that they are going to be dealing with on a daily basis.
Bad coworkers, unstable managers and a lacklustre team can make a promotion feel like a demotion and the added responsibility just creates an even bigger headache to deal with. A worker should want to give themself enough time to do research to see who it will be on their new career path so that they are prepared for the challenges, or deny the promotion to prevent taking on an emotionally taxing job. One’s health comes first, and the people around a worker should not be a detriment to that just for some extra money.
Have a written contract
A verbal contract is worthless. No matter where or what capacity it is in, it is a pointless endeavour to avoid – whether it’s from a friend, an agreement over money or any kind of deal that should be in writing. A promotion will more than likely be in written form, and if it is not, then the employee should ask for a formal contract to be written up, or else they could be signing away their labour.
Get the contract in written form, but also remember to have them detail all of the important aspects of this promotion. An employer should detail the position’s expectations, roles, benefits, expected wages and anything else that is pertinent to this new job. The best way to avoid getting sucked into a dead-end promotion is to see for one’s own eyes, in a binding contract, what is expected of them and what they are actually being offered beyond a handshake.
Promotions always sound like a great deal. What could be better than moving up in one’s job and forging a new career path? The truth is that there could be a lot of things better than a promotion that leads an employee nowhere, ends up costing them more money in taxes or gets them roped in with a sorry cast of coworkers. Before accepting a promotion, always do your research to make sure you are getting the best possible outcome.
The editorial unit