Keep your job without getting promoted

Not everyone wants to get promoted. I knew an accountant who was approaching retirement who had done nothing but the lowest level accounting positions since he’d gotten out of college. When I offered him a promotion, he laughed and said “I’ve been doing exactly what I wanted for the last 40 years. I don’t want a change.” 

Some businesses have an “up or out” style of promotion. Get passed up for a few promotions and you may find yourself out of a job.

How do you get respect and a chance to keep a job that people usually get promoted out of?

Wrong ways that keep you from getting that promotion

Keep dice in your drawer.  Whenever your boss asks for a decision, roll the dice.  Pull out a chart and run your finger down the rows.  Then give the correct answer, not the one from the chart.  That will keep you from getting promoted, even if it only LOOKS like you’re using the dice to find a solution.  Of course you may lose credibility with your boss, but not all plans are perfect.

That’s a terrible idea. Don’t do it. 

The right way to prevent getting promoted

You can keep from getting pushed out if you don’t want a promotion.  First of all, let your boss know you love your job and don’t want a promotion.  

Next, don’t get stuck in place.  You should become the company’s greatest mentor. You can be a mentor as a technician, manager, HR specialist or assembly line worker. Just help others with their careers. 

Keep an eye out for complainers and whiners.  Avoid them.  There is usually very little you can do for them.  Look for people who sincerely want to advance.  Find the diamonds in the rough.  These are people who put in extra work, take night classes and are always helping others.  Find the one or two shining examples in the workforce and help them advance.  

Often the biggest thing you can do is to recommend one of your diamonds for a project.  Then help them to see the critical path for the project and follow it.  Give them encouragement along the way.   Make sure they know where the levers of power are.  They need to know who really makes things happen in the company.

As a person who doesn’t want a promotion, you need to help the people blocked by your permanence.  Help them move up beside you or to hop over you.  If you get a reputation for developing leaders, you will never be laid off.  Good companies covet good leaders.

Something to do today

You should be developing leaders whether you want to stay where you are or not.  In your job journal write down the names of the top one or two candidates for promotion in your group.  Help them out.  Be a mentor even if you aren’t above them

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