IT Best Practices

8 Reasons IT Pros Need to Reject a Promotion

Some studies suggest as many as 60 percent of new managers fail at their job. Yikes! Sometimes, it is a case of inadequate preparation, and sometimes, maybe they just should not have accepted the job. David Wagner provides eight reasons at InformationWeek for why you might want to pass up a promotion:

  1. You like your family.
  2. The money doesn’t add up.
  3. Your ego really needs a lift.
  4. You like the company you work for.
  5. You have a dream.
  6. You’re happy.
  7. … You’re unhappy.
  8. You’re not good with people.

Thanks, but No Thanks

If a new job will keep you away from your family for an unreasonable amount of time, then you need to pick your life ahead of your job. If you crunch the numbers, and the new job will give you a disproportionate amount of extra work versus what you are getting paid, then that is another no-brainer reason to shake your head. Wagner notes, pertaining to the third item, that people often ask why you want a job at an interview, but that stops getting asked during promotions. It is just assumed you want to advance—but in what direction? Will this promotion really help you, or will it just inflate your ego for a little while? Sometimes, you might even dare to have a dream. Will a promotion bring you closer or further away from that dream?

If things are cozy right where you are, and you do not want to risk losing that coziness at a new place, well, that might be a rational reason to stick around. Even better, if you are just plain happy where you are at your current moment in life, there is no shame in holding on to that. Aaand conversely, if you think a new job will make you stop being unhappy, you might want to really scrutinize what is making you unhappy right now to make sure a new job will improve the situation.

About the final reason, Wagner says:

Now we’re into the specific reasons why managers fail. They usually are really good at doing their job, but they’re not experienced enough or skilled enough to get the same level of work out of others. Leaders need to inspire. They need to explain. They need to mediate. As a network admin, you do not need to inspire a router. I’ve never seen a data scientist have to explain the corporate strategy to a Hadoop stack. I’ve never seen anyone have to mediate a conflict between two servers. If the best way you communicate is through t-shirts, maybe you should stay where you are.

I would argue this is the point at which Wagner starts to get lazy though. People skills can in fact be learned, and I would encourage most people to develop those skills if necessary, if that is all that is holding them back from a great career in management. I mean, come on, people! Have some faith in yourself.

You can view the original slideshow here:

John Friscia

John Friscia was the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success from 2015 through 2018. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and grew in every possible way in his time there. John graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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