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What to do when promotion promises fall through

Question :

When I joined my current company, I was promised a promotion to vice-president in the marketing department. Now my boss, who had made the promise, has been sacked and the company is restructuring. There are new projects every few months and people are leaving. The culture here does not encourage open dialogue and there is no way I could talk to management in the foreseeable future. I have only been here for less than a year and it is going to look bad on my CV if I leave now. But staying here for one more month will only add one more month to my misery. Should I stay and be miserable, or should I go and let my CV suffer? StuckInARut

Posted by StuckInARut on Saturday, 14 Feb 2015

Comments :

I understand the situation is rather discouraging for you at the moment. If your company has a responsive HR department, you should talk to your HR generalist and make sure your previous boss's promise for you to be a VP in the marketing department is at least on file, and you could ask for his or her advice.

There are certainly unknowns and risks when a company is undergoing restructuring. On the other hand, new opportunities may also arise. To give your company one last try, you could ask yourself whether you see opportunities and thus have hope for your career in the restructuring.

If your company is big, you should look for opportunities in other departments as well. The opportunity can be a promotion, as you expect, or simply exposure that complements your existing skill set, making your marketing offerings more complete.

The former will give you the gratification you expect, while the latter will equip you with greater market value for more promising opportunities in future. If, however, you cannot see either of the above opportunities in the coming months, then I suggest you plan your exit.

Whether you look jumpy on your CV depends on your previous employment record. If you have at least two years' experience in each of your previous jobs - and of which there are measurable achievements - I would not be too worried about the job-hopping impression, given you have a good reason to resign from this one.

Your next question should be: would it be better to leave this job after finding yourself a new one, or should you quit now? As you are in a job market that has an unemployment rate of 3.3 per cent, don't be too worried about finding a new job, even if you quit first. Some might argue you will have more bargaining power if you have a job on hand. Yet I have also encountered situations in which employers consider immediate availability an advantage.

It is important you are passionate and optimistic in your interviews. If a trip might re-energise you, go for it before your next job hunt.



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