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Have you taken a promotion you regretted?
Old 02-04-2012, 01:18 PM   #1
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Have you taken a promotion you regretted?

Happy Saturday to those of you for whom weekends still matter.
I've been struggling lately with my j*b and need to get a few things off my chest. I'd also really appreciate feedback from those who have been there. Without too much detail, I interviewed & was promoted 1.5 years ago for a position on the HQ staff of our County organization. I was flattered that the Director really wanted me in the position and it ws sold as a position that supports and responds to the interests of our communities and our staffers in the field. I'm a true introvert and was happy w*rking in a small community outpost of the organization, but I knew that Administration thought I had expertise to share with everyone.
But this job is not like the one described in my interview. The staff at the community offices are happy to ignore my dept's policies because communication and trust in the org were never well-established. I've had three uber-bosses during this time, as we are a "change-based organization". The most stressful part of my job, though, is responding to fundraising volunteers (ours!) and newspaper reporters who question the vision and direction of the organization. Every time one of these challenges comes to HQ, Admin becomes completely hyper and all attention seems to be focused on my communicating the "right answer" (which we all know is a moving target) to the dissatisfied parties. I have no background in PR, I greatly dislike conflict, and being under the microscope is taking a real physical toll: worsening depression (I've taken meds for years), heartburn, insomnia, crying... I even went to the Director and told him I thought he had the wrong person for the job. He asked me to stick with it under the newest boss, although I could probably demote to a community-based supervisory position if I wanted. I'm still thinking about it. My staff asked me not to go and the schedule would no longer mesh with my husband's, but at least I was in control of my job when I was away from HQ.
This has turned out longer than I thought. Thank you all in advance for your input and experience!
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:43 PM   #2
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Very sorry to hear about your situation, I am sure it's very unpleasant. I don't know enough about your apparent line of work to relate very well, I led a manufacturing organization. The thoughts that do come to mind;

Can you return to a non-HQ staff/management role, is that even an option?

I would sit down with two columns and generate a list of what you like and don't like about the current job. Hopefully the what you like side will surprise you, and motivate you to see if you can address the other column. Whether it does or not, I'd then look through each item on the don't like list and ask yourself which if any you could change or improve.
Are there responsibilities that can be delegated in exchange for others among staff or peers (just handing off problems to someone else isn't a solution)?
Are there skills you could learn to improve others?
Are there other approaches to some tasks that would better suit your skills, and still be as (or more) effective?
Are there some responsibilities that your boss can better facilitate (support, run interference, etc.) without taking on your task - possible items for discussion with him/her?

Hopefully someone else will be more helpful, best of luck...
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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Welcome Boose!

Yes, I can relate to your experience. I worked for a county based system for 30 years. I was in a satellite office for 25 years of that time. The last 5 years, I was asked by a supervisor, who I really liked, to consider taking a promotion and come into the main office. I did. After taking over my new responsibilities, I quickly found that while the job was rewarding in most ways, I was no longer physically doing the things that really kept me going for the last 25 years. I was managing people who now did what I used to do. This was ok, I lived with it for 1.5 years. Then my supervisor I liked, resigned. He was replaced by a young 30 something, with new ideas. It seemed that my years of experience did not mean much. Projects were delegated but never fully released. I really tried to work with the new system, but became increasingly hard.

After 3.5 years of this, I decided that I didn't want to continue, so I took ER. In retrospect, if I had not of had the promotion, I could not have financially exercised that option. In addition, with out the new 30 something supervisor making my job less than satisfying, I would have had a much harder time letting go emotionally.

Things happen for many reasons. Take what joy you can day to day, and realize that better times are coming.

Good luck!!
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:48 PM   #4
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I have never taken a promotion I regretted, but I was very satisfied turning down all promotions offered. I know my limitations, and was much happier retiring as a programmer (which I was very good at) than moving up to management (where both I and anyone under me would have been miserable).

It sounds like you were much happier before the promotion. That demotion sounds appealing to me.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
I have never taken a promotion I regretted, but I was very satisfied turning down all promotions offered. I know my limitations, and was much happier retiring as a programmer (which I was very good at) than moving up to management (where both I and anyone under me would have been miserable).
+1

I'm right where I want to be on the corporate ladder, assuming I have to be on it at all: the highest rung below management. Any promotions at this point would be into management which I want no part of.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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Your job sounds like it's making you sick--I feel so sorry for you! I'm sure you're good at it, but at what cost to your health, physical and psychological. I hated managing; there is a real skill involved and if you're not comfortable with it, you end up second guessing everything and taking things more seriously than you should. Not everyone is good at it or even knows how to do it. Maybe you can talk to the director about getting some training/continuing education in PR, for example.

Good luck--Midpack's idea of making lists of what you enjoy/value about the position vs. the opposite is a good idea.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
I have never taken a promotion I regretted, but I was very satisfied turning down all promotions offered. I know my limitations, and was much happier retiring as a programmer (which I was very good at) than moving up to management (where both I and anyone under me would have been miserable).

It sounds like you were much happier before the promotion. That demotion sounds appealing to me.
+1.

Turned down a few promotion opportunites before for the same reasons.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:12 PM   #8
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Midpack and Bestwifeever, your suggestions are very helpful and will get me off the pity pot where I've been for a couple of weeks. I need to think about this in a more analytical way. CyclingInvestor, I have to laugh because my husband is a programmer who has been saying the very same thing you have for 15 years. My profession is more human-services oriented so people are always part of the equation, however unpredictable they may be. Thank you all for listening.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:26 PM   #9
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Very interesting question....I took a promotion into management because no one in my department would step up and take it on. Now, three years later and three to four years away from my planned retirement date, I am considering either leaving my department or requesting to go back to my old position and let the director promote someone else. I am good at what I do and don't need much supervision, but I really don't like managing other people. I am struggling a little with this dilemma
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:52 AM   #10
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Boose,

I noticed that you posted on this message board last June saying how your job is making you sick from all of the stress. Now you're saying that you are having physical and emotional symtoms of anxiety and depression. If you're not seeing a therapist, it's time to start. I'd also recommend that you make a lifestyle change and go back to a less stressful job. You have another 10 or 15 years until retirement, and it just doesn't make sense to make those years miserable.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:47 AM   #11
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It's nice to hear from people who aren't striving for "career advancement". I constantly reevaluate my decision not to climb the ladder, even though I know I'm capable of more than I'm currently doing. Most people I meet don't really get it.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:53 AM   #12
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It's nice to hear from people who aren't striving for "career advancement". I constantly reevaluate my decision not to climb the ladder, even though I know I'm capable of more than I'm currently doing. Most people I meet don't really get it.
It's a tough choice to be sure. Go the promotion path and reach FI sooner, or with more assets (potentially more work grief but fewer years)

or

forego promotion to management for the technical ladder (or equiv) and work longer (less work grief but more years). Trade-offs...no right or wrong.
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