“I’ve been offered a promotion I’m not sure I want. What do I do?”

Question: I have just been offered a supervisor’s job in my healthcare institution. My Administrator called me to the office and told me that she, another Director and the V.P. all agreed I was the man for the job. I was shocked.

I am only 33 years old. Some of my co-workers were the people who trained me when I was a student. I have grown close with a lot of my colleagues. Now I am being asked to supervise them, as well as two others in my department. I feel weird being above all of them now if I take this.

I don’t want to lose friendships either. I am well respected and don’t want to lose that. There is an increase in pay, too, of course. I love what I do now and my boss said I will still be doing that, but not as much as now.

What should I do? I will appreciate any advice. Thank you.  

         Shirley, New York

Answer: Joe, you face a “problem” most people would love to have – being offered a promotion with greater pay, great responsibilities, and greater opportunity for the future.

The answer to your question – “What should I do?” – depends on what we call your “Employment Values.” You may be saying to yourself, “What’s that?” You’re in luck – I have written a newsletter on this exact subject entitled “Your ‘Employment Values’ – Why Take (or Stay In) This Job?” To read it, simply [click here]. It comes down to your values, that is, what is most important to you?

A. Not making your friends envious . . .  or being able to help out your loved ones in need of a loan?
B. Being close to colleagues . . . or growing your career and professional reputation?
C. Feeling “weird” . . . or feeling challenged by new situations and opportunities?
D. Friendships . . . or saving money for your children’s education and your retirement?

There is nothing wrong with a person who chooses to stay where he or she is, and therefore not taking any chance of damaging friendships, and saying “No Thank You” to a promotion, being paid more, and growing in his or her career. It’s unusual, but it’s your right to do. I’d respect your decision, either way.

Remember that “more important” does not mean “must choose one or the other.” It just means “may have to choose,” but does not mean “definitely has to choose.”

I would counsel you that I believe you should be able to take the promotion, and pay increase, and keep your friendships, too. If you are mature, and they are mature, you and your friends can stay friends, even if you become their supervisor. If either you or they do not possess the maturity to do so, then (a) that is who you and they are, and (b) you and they will probably never “do better” for yourselves.

I would also counsel you that, sooner or later – and it may be sooner than you think – one of your friends may be chosen to supervise you. How will you and he or she handle that? This is just a part of life that, sooner or later, you will need to deal with.

Lastly, I would counsel you that, if you turn down this promotion now, this opportunity may not come around again, or at least soon. Opportunity does not knock every day, and for many people it knocks far too infrequently.

Hope this helps you in your deliberations and decision, I really do. Please consider recommending our blogsite to at least two of your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media.

          Best, Al Sklover   

©  2010 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

Print Article