Q&A: Should I refuse my promotion if I am not keen on the new job scope?

Question: I’ve just been offered a promotion that brings with it new and weightier responsibilities. However, I really enjoy my current job and would no longer be required to cover most of my present responsibilities. Should I turn down the promotion?

Answer: Everyone dreams of climbing the corporate ladder. There are tons of resources dedicated to showing people how to advance their careers and net higher paying jobs. The offer of a promotion can also be immensely enticing, bringing with it the promise of a higher salary, more important responsibilities and a more impressive job title that tickles your ego. So when you are offered a step up the career ladder, it would seem madness to even think of turning down the offer. However, not all promotions are created equal. When the step up takes you in an unwanted direction and means that you will no longer be doing what you love, perhaps it’s wise to think twice about accepting the promotion.

A Step Forward Could be a Step Back

A promotion might improve your prospects in the short-term in the form of a higher salary and enhanced recognition. However, it might end up throwing you onto a career path that you have no interest in being on and could bode ill for your job satisfaction and happiness in the long run. It’s important to take a look at your long-term goals.

Will your promotion enable you to continue the work you enjoy and hone your skills in this area? For instance, you might be working in accounting and be offered a promotion in this department when you actually want to work in advertising. In this case, accepting the promotion could cement your position in a department you have little interest in and hinder your chances of moving to advertising in the future.

The Burden of Additional Responsibilities

Your promotion would also entail additional responsibilities that might disrupt the careful balance that you have established between work and your personal life. For example, your new responsibilities might require you to work for longer hours, or you might even be required to spend extended periods of time abroad. Or perhaps the promotion is a great opportunity that is simply coming at the wrong time. You should examine your priorities closely and see if career progression trumps other considerations. If you are caring for an aged parent or just starting a family, your family might require you to be around more often than your job would allow for.

What are the Prospects Like?

A move into a management role can be a daunting task for many people. And for those who are highly task-oriented, managing and improving your team’s productivity and performance can seem like a terribly vague task. It’s also important to look at the new expectations that will be placed upon you. Are you being thrust into a soon-to-be obsolete department or one with stunningly high turnover rates? You want to be able to develop skills that will make you more marketable even several years down the road, and you certainly don’t want to be thrust into a failing department where staff are leaving every other day.

Before accepting or rejecting any promotion, you have to have a broad perspective of the long-term. A promotion is not something to be turned down lightly, but it can sometimes do more harm than good. If it threatens to disrupt your personal life, entrench you in a line of work you don’t enjoy, or presents slim chances of improving your career prospects in the future, you would probably do well to turn it down, especially if you love what you do now.

Would you turn down a promotion? Share with us in the comment box below!

CareerBuilder Singapore is the owner of JobsCentral.com.sg, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community. Alternatively, Like us on JobsCentral Facebook Page or Follow JobsCentral on Twitter for more career-centric content!

Career Central Tags: