Why I Didn’t Take the Promotion

In the post How to Get Promoted Quickly, I mentioned that I was approached recently with two internal job opportunities.  These opportunities came with increased pay, the opportunity to move to a lower cost of living area, and a greater title. I had posted in the Month 3 Update this past weekend that I was ready to accept one of the jobs.  Well after much reflection and a sleepless night last night,  I rejected the offer. My decision may seem crazy to some folks but it makes total sense to me. There are a few key factors that led me to this decision.

Loyalty is a Lost Art

Millennials are known job hoppers.  Heck, I am a job hopper. I worked at 4 different companies my first two years out of college.  In the age of LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed, employees are inundated with opportunities to jump ship and reminded daily of how much money they can make elsewhere.  (I get an email from LinkedIn every day that tells me “Employers X, Y, Z are looking for candidates like me!”).  It’s clear that the market has improved significantly since 2009 and that employees in key fields are well sought after by employers.

Even though the market is so good right now, there is something to be said about loyalty. My current boss gave me the opportunity to lead a team, much earlier than the average person at my company. My boss prior gave me the opportunity to work in one of the hottest and highest paying fields, despite the fact that I had no experience in the field or degree in the subject.  I am forever grateful to both of them for taking a chance on me and came to realize that it’s wrong to jump ship on the department so soon. I haven’t even been in my current role a year and a half!

I’m dealing with the “grass is always greener” issue with some of my employees right now.  Some of the more junior employees, many of which came into the role straight out of college, are now tempted to leave to chase down better opportunities.  Our department invested time training them to the point that they add value and now that they have marketable skills, they are ready to go. The money and title increase that they can get elsewhere is too enticing.

Well, last night I held up a mirror and realized that by taking the promotion I was just like them. I was chasing money, a higher title, and was abandoning my team way too early.

There’s Still More to Learn

In my current position, I am still learning each and every day.  So junior to my career, I want to make sure that I learn the core business and the basics prior to moving up. Now, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be successful if I moved up right now. I have the confidence that I would.  It just means that when that opportunity does come my way again (which it will) I will perform even better when I get to that next level.

I’m thinking about starting my Masters degree classes again.  I took a hiatus from classes due to the cost but maybe it’s worth pursuing, especially since my company offers partial tuition reimbursement.

Life is Too Short

This last one is super important.  As a young go-getter, I would often put work before my health.  I used to be an athlete and last year I rarely worked out. I avoided scheduling doctors and dentists appointments because I didn’t want to ask my boss if I can come in late.  I came home stressed out after a long day at the office and didn’t feel like doing anything but watch television. Even worse, I was grumpy and sometimes took it out on my significant other. Over the past few months, I realized that health, happiness, family, and friends are so much more important than work. Through my debt payoff challenge, my latest outdoors kick, and my ability to set limits for myself in my current role, I have taken measures to improve my well being.

When I compared the jobs I was offered versus the job I had, I realized the job I had was better for my happiness.  I feel energized by my department, my peers, my boss, and my team.  I knew these other departments were struggling and I would be walking into a stressful situation.  I also know my current manager shares similar views and supports the work-life balance I also believe in.  The exposure I had to the managers in these other roles led me to believe that I would spend my weekends and nights responding to their emails and stressing out about the upcoming week.  I’ve seen tragedy happen to friends and family lately which made me realize that life is too short to be anything but happy.

Sorry, Sheryl

Now Sheryl Sandberg told us all to Lean In, and maybe this decision would be perceived as not leaning in,  but I don’t see it that way.  I think I am devoting myself to my team and exhibiting confidence in my future self.  The money and title will come to me eventually, I know it.

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