Life Changing Decisions: To Take or Not to Take That Promotion

Getting offered a promotion is nearly always a good thing, but that does not mean you should always take it. In fact, sometimes it may well be in your best interests to turn down a promotion. Here are some of the issues to consider to help you make up your mind when you start thinking over your options.

Is the Extra Responsibility Worth It?

You have to consider how much of a wage increase you will get for the extra duties you will be responsible for. If the promotion will lead to a lot more responsibility for very little pay, you may want to turn it down.

But you also have to think about where it could lead to. Even if the initial promotion is not something that you are particularly keen on, it could well open up the door to a more attractive promotion in a few years time, and you could therefore think of it as a stepping stone.

Also beware of an 'invisible promotion' where you are given extra responsibilities without actually receiving a promotion. Fortune has some good advice on what to do in this situation.

How Much Do You Need the Extra Money?

Promotions will normally come with a wage increase, and this is always attractive to a certain degree. But if you are not particularly thrilled about the promotion, how much will the extra money help?

For example, you may be thinking about buying your first property, or upscaling. In this case, you may need to be earning more to get a more attractive mortgage. There are lots of properties available for all price ranges in the UK (see for more details), but it will all depend on the mortgage, which is related to your earnings, so this is something to consider.

Will It Make You Happier in Your Job?

If your goal is to progress up the ladder in your organization, you'll probably be very happy about being offered any kind of promotion. But this is not always the case.

You may be happy in your job as you are, and you may not want the extra responsibility that a promotion could bring, such as the obligation to travel more and to spend extra hours at the office.

You have to seriously think whether this will make you happy in the long-term, rather than just accepting it because you don't want to miss out. And if you feel like you need to be happier at work, this Forbes article has some good tips

Does It Come with Any Big Changes Outside of Work?

The two main changes are extra hours, which could mean less time with your family, and increased work-load, which could put you under greater stress and affect your personal life.

The other possibility when you get a promotion is that you will need to relocate. You may even have to move overseas as part of the promotion, and this will affect your family to a large extent. Are you prepared for such changes?

Will a Rejection Be Frowned Upon?

Sometimes organizations may not be happy to keep you in your comfort zone, and instead they may want to train you up in specialist skills. Ensuring they have top talent is a key requirement of big companies.

Use your intuition and ask other people in the organization for their advice. If you say no, could this put your job at risk? Perhaps your organization does not require you in your current position, and you would be far more valuable to them in a new role. In this case, taking the promotion could protect you from redundancy.

How Will Saying 'No' Affect Your Future Chances?

Another thing to consider is whether this will affect your future chances of a more attractive promotion. Rejecting it could suggest that you are not a team player and that you are not prepared to be flexible. You may want to hold out for a better promotion, but the risk is that this will never come. So always use your instinct, and decide whether this will affect your future chances of promotion.

Never Rush Your Decision

If you are absolutely certain that a promotion is the best option for you, go ahead and accept it. However, don't worry about taking a short time to think about it. This is always acceptable. Just say that you need to talk it over with your family first, and that you will confirm your decision in a few days. And always show that you are grateful, even if you decide not to take the promotion.

A promotion could mean a big change in your life, and you want to make sure you make the right decision. So think over it carefully and talk to your family, friends, and co-workers to help you come to the right decision.

Connor Walters is a financial planner by day. He enjoys sharing his knowledge online covering many aspects of consumer finance matters. See his blogs on a range of personal finance sites online.