What If I Don’t Want to Be Promoted?

What If I Don’t Want to Be Promoted?

It’s kind of a given that most people aim for upward mobility in their career. Otherwise known as climbing the ladder, running the rat race, moving up, etc., this expectation that getting promoted into higher position is a reflection of your ambition, career and personal growth, and general worth as a worker. But what if you don’t want to be promoted?

What happens when you are perfectly happy where you are?

Case in point: someone in my family is really good at what they do. They love their work, and instead of focusing on moving up, they instead concentrate on doing a better job.

That’s exactly what lights their fire … especially when they find productivity enhancements in how they do their work, and develop useful tools that add more insights to their work. What’s wrong with that? Answer: Nothing. Nothing is wrong.

In fact, there are always going to be people who recognize that they do their best work at a sole contributor level. And we all certainly know enough bad bosses out there to know that some people DEFINITELY should not be promoted. So what do you do if you are one of those people who just enjoys being in the trenches, doing a great job?

For one thing, you need to overcome the incorrect social stigma that you’ve stagnated in your career development. The most important facet is to start talking about your innovations and reinventions that have improved your ability to do your job. Start showcasing how what you’ve learned or created has helped you do your job BETTER.

But that still doesn’t address the corresponding salary growth issue … most people max out at their current level. To earn more, you have to go somewhere else or be promoted. How does someone deal with that? The answer is simple, actually.

By starting to maintain your own performance metrics, you can build a strong business case that you are a profit center, versus a cost center. If you can prove how you have enhanced the bottom line as a direct result of your work, then a boss would be much more attentive to your salary needs. After all, you are making them look good.

So keep track, and keep on … keepin’ on. You can stay where you are, doing what you love, and forget the promotion. After all, we spend so much time at work, we might as well stick with what we love doing that we do well!

Editors' Note: The views expressed by contributing bloggers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Meetings Today or its parent company.

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Posted by Dawn Rasmussen

Dawn is Chief sumé Designer at Pathfinder Writing and Career Services in Portland, Ore.

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