Wendywoman on Accepting a Promotion…

Reporter query:

Should professionals accept a promotion that comes with no pay increase, in exchange for the career-development opportunity? Under what conditions?

It’s Monday morning and your boss is so excited to talk to you!  You just got a “promotion”  to nowhere – at least nowhere in your bank account can you find any evidence of a promotion, which probably means it is more like a lateral move to nowhere.  More responsibility, more time, more work – no more pay.  Should you take it?  In today’s tight employment market, the answer is a qualified maybe.  Ask yourself a couple of key questions:  Even though this job is a promotion, is it something I am great at, can excel at, and at the same time makes my heart sing – in other words, I love it.  If the answer is yes to both, then do it.   Do your best to negotiate specific metrics that, if met, will result in a raise at the end of a one year period.  Even if you can’t negotiate the increase, you will be in a better position to market yourself with a more senior role/title down the road so it may lead to a different opportunity that does compensate you more.  Twice in my career I accepted “lateral” moves for the above reasons.  Two years later I was worth more in the open market.