How to Turn Down a Promotion

How to Turn Down a Promotion

Most of the time when a person gets an offer for a promotion, they worked hard to advance in their company or department. Sometimes, however, a promotion comes as an unwelcome surprise and turning it down feels impossible due to feelings of fear, guilt, or obligation. However, there are ways to turn down a promotion without compromising your current position with a company. Learn how to turn down a promotion using the following tips.

Be honest

If taking a promotion takes you away from a position you love, find engaging, and which is conducive to overall wellness, it isn’t a good fit. There is nothing wrong with choosing to stay in a position you enjoy or wanting to complete projects you’ve started. Explain the reasons you aren’t interested in a promotion at this time and make sure to note you appreciate the offer and it was an honor to make the cut. It’s important to let the individual who offered the promotion know exactly what the reason is for the refusal.

Remove guilt from the equation

Take a day or two to decide what to say and how to say it. If you need help, many audiobooks from Quill include ideas that can help you explain your concerns.  Going over what to say when objections to the refusal arise is useful for standing firm in the choice to forego an unwanted promotion. Display resolve and let superiors know that after giving it consideration you aren’t interested. Removing feelings of guilt and obligation from the choice to refuse helps keep people from taking positions they may resent later. Ignoring your inner voice can lead to unnecessary stress, the desire to leave the company altogether, or put your current career path at risk. Knowing how to say no without letting guilt or obligation stop you is a life skill that has benefits that extend beyond your career.

Share innovative ideas

Individuals turning down a promotion should let management or supervisors know about specific upcoming projects they don’t want to miss out on. Include previously scheduled meetings and any major department event noted on planners for the rest of the year. Showing active engagement in the department reinforces that an employee is vital to the company in their present position.

Make sure you want to refuse, always ask for position details before refusal, and take that two days to think it over and weigh the pros and cons. Discuss your options over coffee with a trusted friend, adviser, or colleague. When a clear direction presents itself, even if it means the possibility of needing to seek other employment, pursue what maintains your well-being. Knowing how to turn down a promotion by focusing on the benefits displays acceptance of change and increases the chance of being offered future promotions. No matter how delicately or professionally a person turns down a promotion, they should always plan for all possible scenarios. While most companies don’t fire someone for not wanting to move up the business ladder, some may if they are implementing company-wide changes in management.