WORKPLACE SAVVY

Contacts you make when seeking a promotion can be own reward


Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 10:53 p.m.

Q: Last week you gave advice on what to do if you are offered a promotion you don't want. My situation is slightly different.

I'm being pressured by peers and supervisors to apply for a promotion to a job I'm not interested in. Yes, it's more money, and excellent advancement, but it involves a longer commute and more corporate politics than I care to endure.

Should I apply for it even though I know that I wouldn't accept it if offered?

A: Those are valid concerns. But, yes, you should apply for it. And don't be so certain that you wouldn't accept.

But first, I'm assuming that if everyone expects you to throw your hat in the ring, it means you're probably well-liked, you're good at what you do, and this opening represents a reasonable next step in your career.

So, I think if you were to bow out on the opportunity you could hurt your current standing and risk appearing stagnated. This is why you should put aside your concerns for now and apply.

I'm a big believer that the interview process itself can have value and purpose beyond selecting a candidate to fill a position. It helps the organization gauge employee aspirations and talent for future openings, and applicants get exposure to other departments and upper management. Everyone grows as a result.

For instance, you think you know everything about this job already, but it's possible you'll learn something new that might surprise you or change your mind about accepting.

Maybe it's more flexible than you imagined, maybe they want someone who'll revamp the position, maybe there are no dreaded politics. You get the idea. But if the interview confirms your fears and concerns that this isn't the right job for you, then you need to promptly, graciously and with much consideration for everyone's time withdraw from the running.

Be truthful, (“after learning more about the job, talking to my family, and reassessing, etc ...”), and make sure to include and thank everyone involved in the process. Especially those in management whose endorsement and support you enjoyed. Otherwise, you'll be persona non-grata, and you would have been better off staying on the sidelines.

Eva Del Rio is a human resources consultant and business owner. Send questions to askeva@hrproondemand.com or find her on Facebook.

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