May 15, 2007
Please, Boss, Please -- Don't Promote Me!
Sounds a little fishy, doesn't it? Sort of like Brer Rabbit telling Brer Fox, "Please don't fling me in that briar patch!"
But according to this BusinessWeek item, "Please Don't Promote Me," research from Development Dimensions International (DDI) shows one in five managers ranked getting a promotion their most challenging life event, ahead of bereavement, divorce, moving and raising teenagers.
The DDI research suggests the stress is due to poor support from employers for the managers who are taking on additional responsibilities. Not only does it get lonely on the way to the top, there's less help along the way.
My personal work experience includes both managing dozens of people and working as a solo contributor. I would have to agree that the responsibility that comes with a promotion, from managing more people to greater emphasis on bottom-line performance, is pretty stressful. Not as stressful as raising teenagers -- the people who didn't rank that first probably don't have any -- but those career demands are relentless.
And, yes, it's hard to find meaningful support along the way unless your company has fairly sophisticated management development practices. That's why so many companies want to recruit senior executives from companies with highly-regarded executive training programs like GE and Proctor and Gamble.
Another factor to consider is just where you are in your career. A 20- or 30-something may be looking for the chance to advance. A 50-plus employee who is not on the executive track may not want to take on the pressures -- there are other issues involved. That was certainly a conscious choice I made along the way.
But there are a lot of different viewpoints on this issue, such as:
- The Smart Lemming blog
- "Why Minorities Distrust Employers' Promotion Policies and Practices"
- "Visibility vs. Self- Promotion"
- "Benefits and Drawbacks of Phased Retirement"
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Please, Boss, Please -- Don't Promote Me!:
I see this in my manager that I have right now. Poor guy, he does wonderful things for the company and gets little recongintion from the company, but as soon a something goes wrong he doesn't hear the end of it. Ontop of that they hire new people that are just short of worthless. My greenness in the field is starting to fade and I see management as a next step and I hope I can learn how to deal with this.
Posted by: Matt Elhard | May 16, 2007 3:14:27 AM
Promote me? no not at my age....I have the responsibility I wanted ten years ago plus some. I don't "get" to leave the office, regardless of 60 hour work weeks, travel and weekends, to see my kids for more than 2 hours, if that a night. But also I agree on a whole other level:
"Please don't promote me".....my husband thinks I am nuts. 6 figures when you are barely in your mid-thirties makes me nervous every single time I am paged, or the blackberry goes off and it is your boss. Yes, I was hired in at that rate, GOOD FOR ME......should of signed a contract to keep that rate. Look at me now. 7 jobs later on my Resume in less than 17 years. Doesn't look good does it? I wish I would have known about the longevity risk after my 2nd job. I might have 3 jobs on my current resume with no more to come. That is plenty of money without bonus or a 5% increase annually.
How do you ask a potential employee to pay you 40k less without looking like you aren't worth your potential?
Posted by: Opinion | May 18, 2007 1:18:34 PM
"How do you ask a potential employee to pay you 40k less without looking like you aren't worth your potential?"
I'm not an anti-feminist, but I was always suspect about the whole concept that women are paid less than their male counterparts solely due to gender discrimination issues on the employer's end. I'm quoting this next time it comes up.
You took the job. Deal, or leave. They'll find someone else who's willing to work at the same salary and work harder before they try to water down the position. (I think basic economic principles are being overlooked-- as if your hours of work are a complete luxury to the boss, and they're simply having you do them because of your salary-related expectations).
Posted by: tim | May 23, 2007 1:08:29 PM
I rapidly rose to a senior level position without much management training. Now I can't find another position anywhere else that pays even close to what I am making. I am happy taking a pay cut at a new job for less stress/responsibility, but all the "recruiters" I work with tell me it won't look good for my career.
I am tired of not being able to go on vacation without taking my laptop. I am burnt out from having to be on my Blackberry at Disneyland (while riding the Autopia with my son). I am successful at work, but not really anywhere else that truly matters.
On my tombstone, I think I would rather it say "A great father and husband" instead of "One hell of a program manager"
Posted by: ShootingStar | May 27, 2007 12:22:38 AM
I never was a "shooting star," but did have a management position early on and found out the stresses weren't worth it to me, especially since the paycheck I was getting was, on an hourly basis, less than some of the people I supervised. I doubt I'll ever do that again. Since I know there are glass ceilings against females working to get to executive levels at this company, I know I wouldn't even try here.
Posted by: Cyn0213 | May 30, 2007 4:01:37 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.