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Find Out if a Promotion is the Right Move for You

You’ve just been offered a promotion—congratulations! But is that promotion the right move for you? To help you decide, consider your answers to these 7 questions.

1. Does the promotion fit your career plans?

If the promotion lines up with your career goals, it’s likely a good opportunity. Here are some other questions to ask yourself:

  • Will the promotion let you do work you really want to do?
  • Does the new job reflect your values, interests and abilities?
  • Will the promotion be a step up from your current job? If not, will it lead to opportunities for future growth?

2. Can you do the job well with your current skills?

Find out the requirements of the new position and compare them with your current skills. Ask yourself:

  • What skills or knowledge will you need to develop to do the job properly?
  • Will your employer give you the resources or training you need to perform well?
  • Will you get support and coaching during the transition?
  • Will you be given time to grow into your new responsibilities?
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3. Will the benefits outweigh the challenges?

Consider what you’ll be giving up and what you’ll be gaining. If you have a family, you’ll want to take their needs into account as well. Consider these questions:

  • Can you discuss the pros and cons with the last person who did the job? Why did that person leave?
  • Will you be given the resources and authority to do the job well?
  • How much extra work and responsibility will you be taking on?
  • Will your salary or benefits go up? Will any increase make up for your added responsibilities and time?
  • If your salary or benefits will not increase, ask why. Try to get details about when you’ll receive a salary increase or benefits.
  • Will you need to work more hours? Travel? Train staff or speak in public? If so, are these duties you want to take on?
  • Will you need to move? If so, what costs will be covered?
  • Will it take longer to get to work? If so, is it an issue for you? Could you telecommute?
  • Does your family support this change?
  • Will you have more status and prestige? Does this matter to you?

4. Are you ready to supervise?

A promotion may mean you’ll be supervising people. Decide if you’ll be comfortable with that by asking questions like:

  • Who will be reporting to you? Are you willing to make the switch from co-worker or friend to supervisor?
  • What is the workplace culture and morale like where you’ll be supervising? How do you get along with the staff?
  • Do you have the right people skills? A good manager deals fairly and equally with all types of people.
  • Do you enjoy tasks like scheduling, resolving conflicts and evaluating performance?

5. What if you’re still not sure?

If you still have doubts, see if you can take a test drive: ask for a trial period with set start and end dates to see if the new job is right for you.

6. What else should you consider?

If you decide to accept the offer, but are unsure of some of the terms or conditions, ask for more information. Any promises your employer makes, such as a pay increase or training support, should be in writing.

7. What if you don’t want the job?

If you decide to turn down the promotion, make sure your employer knows you appreciated the offer. Maybe now is not the right time for you, but you might want another chance at it later:

  • Remind your employer of the value you bring to your current work.
  • Describe the skills and traits that make you an excellent fit for your position—just as if you were interviewing for a job.
  • Reassure your employer that even though you didn’t accept the promotion, you’re open to change and willing to try new projects.
  • Show that growth at work matters to you by taking some training or working on projects that expand your knowledge and skills.

Make the move that’s right for you

No matter what you decide, it’s best if the outcome can be a win/win for both you and your employer. Give yourself time to consider your personal values and career goals before accepting or turning down a promotion. It will help you make the right decision.

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