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Napoleon Dynamite

Refusing Promotion at Work (or not)

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TLDR: Have any of you refused or avoided taking a promotion at work?  If so, for what reasons and how did it work out?


I'm a developer, I've worked on a project as a lead developer. I'm now doing it again by default.  The official job role and a bump in salary is being advertised.  I've been prompted to apply for it.

I'm happy in current my role.  The lead role has brought me into contact with people I'd rather not have anything to do with.  Abrasive project mangagers, higher ups and other departments.  It's more pressure, conflict, hassle and having to deal with people I don't like.

Some terms on the 'Its mens fault' thread hit home, "spreadsheet botherer at Shitcorp Inc", "a bitter woman with some kind of axe to grind",  pushy Indians etc.  

That said I can do it (well I have done) and it's getting easier.  I'm coping better with the stress/pressure the more I do it.

Role is more money, say £5K (10% bump).  I don't need the money, would put it straight into the pension for tax efficiency reasons.  I'm 41 with wife & kids.

So what's the DOSBODS consensus?

1) Politely decline.  Leave things as they are, if I don't need the money, it's not worth the extra hassle

2) Go for it.  Man up, push myself, maintain frame and improve.  Learn how to deal with all the new stuff, it's only words and opinions.
 

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17 minutes ago, Napoleon Dynamite said:

TLDR: Have any of you refused or avoided taking a promotion at work?  If so, for what reasons and how did it work out?


I'm a developer, I've worked on a project as a lead developer. I'm now doing it again by default.  The official job role and a bump in salary is being advertised.  I've been prompted to apply for it.

I'm happy in current my role.  The lead role has brought me into contact with people I'd rather not have anything to do with.  Abrasive project mangagers, higher ups and other departments.  It's more pressure, conflict, hassle and having to deal with people I don't like.

Some terms on the 'Its mens fault' thread hit home, "spreadsheet botherer at Shitcorp Inc", "a bitter woman with some kind of axe to grind",  pushy Indians etc.  

That said I can do it (well I have done) and it's getting easier.  I'm coping better with the stress/pressure the more I do it.

Role is more money, say £5K (10% bump).  I don't need the money, would put it straight into the pension for tax efficiency reasons.  I'm 41 with wife & kids.

So what's the DOSBODS consensus?

1) Politely decline.  Leave things as they are, if I don't need the money, it's not worth the extra hassle

2) Go for it.  Man up, push myself, maintain frame and improve.  Learn how to deal with all the new stuff, it's only words and opinions.
 

I have no good advice for you. It looks like a load of shit for not much money. No money is worth it for having contact with Indians on a regular basis (even if some are the salt of the earth).

I'm glad to say that in 35 years working as a developer no-one has ever sought to promote me to anything beyond dogsbody developer status and with a bit of luck I will see out my career as such.

You'll pay tax on the extra money? Is it worth it?

 

 

 

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You're not refusing a promotion... You're deciding whether to try to progress your career in a particular direction. World of difference.

Only you can decide between 1. And 2.

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Number 1. 5k after tax at higher tax rate is only 3k.  Is it worth the extra  hassle?  

Fwiw, I’ve avoided promotions like the plague. The couple of times I have stood up in my then current job, I have ended up being totally shafted. 

Im bitter though so don’t listen to me bxD

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1 minute ago, leonardratso said:

i got promoted once, was hefty salary rise as well, i didnt like it so i asked to go back to my old job, they said fine but forgot to drop my salary back to what it was, im still on it and more,  years later.

 

Well played sir. 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, One percent said:

Well played sir. 

yes, HR are particularly shite there. I once put in an overtime claim for 10 hrs one month, they balls'd it up and paid me for 100hrs instead.

I never mentioned it. They didnt notice. That was 4 years ago.

Edited by leonardratso

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I've turned down promotions, but never with a job related reason.  Always been external commitments.  That way those higher up can't piss on you because they feel insulted.

 

Just my advice.

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It depends on what you want from your career.  I spent 25 years chasing every promotion going and got top money but stress and long hours and I have spent the last five doing a more junior role than I have had for twenty years and refusing the opportunity to take promotions because I like the job and my next job move will be to retire.

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2 minutes ago, leonardratso said:

yes, HR are particularly shite there. I once put in an overtime claim for 10 hrs one month, they balls'd it up and paid me for 100hrs instead.

I never mentioned it. They didnt notice. That was 4 years ago.

Are there any jobs going?  xD

my mate was over paid for about 18 months where I work. Hr discovered it and tried to take the whole lot back in one hit. Without bothering to tell her. They really are bastards where I work. 

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4 minutes ago, null; said:

I used to be a developer. Did a couple of years as team leader and then ended up managing a project and then being offered project manager job which I took.

I got shafted.

Overtime no longer paid as expected to work a professional day. I ended up working longer days for less money. Was told I had to prove myself in the role before pay rise. I was eventually given a rise but was still way below the other PMs who had come in externally. With my dev background and getting on well with the teams (including the offshore Indian teams) I'm proud to say that every project I managed over 5 years came in on time and budget. This excellent performance was recognised at pay reviews when I got the maximum 1.5% when the other PMs only got 1%.

Then one day out of the blue, my world collasped which prompted me to quit that job.

As you have a family, I would focus on quality of life. If the extra money means more days out with the kids, less stress over bills and a nicer life then go for it. If its not going to make much difference and will leave you stressed or working longer or more unsociable hours then maybe not.

I know people in business who have regretted not spending more time with their children because they were too busy.

It's a very personal choice, I wouldn't want to steer you in any direction but getting views and opinions from others may help you make your decision.

Your time is limited and a valuable assest, spend it wisely because once its gone, its gone.

got to agree with last line. Money comes and goes, youll get by with less if you have to. You wont get by with less time though.

HPC: were not giving it away you know.

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54 minutes ago, Dave Bloke said:

You'll pay tax on the extra money? Is it worth it?

 

Indeed.  There is a "dead zone" income range where your marginal tax rate goes through the roof.  Plus tapering of pension relief.  

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UK has a massive problem with work, income taxes, benefits and transport.

 

Its a huge fucking mess.

The number of people willing to work in a high stress job is shrinking. Most people are jacking it in.

Need to reduce income tax and reduce working age benefits. Urgently.

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3 minutes ago, spygirl said:

UK has a massive problem with most people not working, income taxes, benefits and transport.

 

Its a huge fucking mess.

The number of people willing to work in a high stress job is shrinking. Most people are jacking it in.

Need to reduce income tax and reduce working age benefits. Urgently.

FIFY :)

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Similarly my boss has told me at review that he wants me to step into his shoes when he retires (probably less than 3 or 4 years from now).

I've politely made it known I'm not that interested.. I earn pretty good money, I like having time with my family and I've seen enough of the bullying and pressure pushed down from his management in the US to know I don't particularly need that kind of stress in my life.

My greater concern is what happens when my manager leaves and we end up with someone less experienced who does the role in a way I might not agree with.  I think my next move is more likely to be a sideways shift to a new company or possibly even new industry.  But we shall see. 

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I'll add that just because I got shafted, sharing my experience was not intended to put you off. Just to give a flavour of what can happen and to help you avoid the mistakes I made, which was basically trusting the directors who made promises but never delivered.

It didn't help that we were outsourced and the new corporation were slippery bastards.

I recall one week HR doing a talk just before pay reviews (the average increase was 1%) and going on about how great it was to work for them and the classic line of "money is not a motivator".

The following week the companies annual reports came out. In the directors renumeration section had a ine that went something like this "in order to motivate the directors to give world class performance salaries have been increased by an average of 18%"

I guess money only motivates those at the top.

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12 minutes ago, spygirl said:

The number of people willing to work in a high stress job is shrinking. Most people are jacking it in.

This.

I know so many people, here and in real life, myself included, who are saying a big 'fuck you' to the high-stress jobs. That extra 5 or 10K aint much of a carrot to dangle when the government is taking half and house prices are still sky high compared to what you'd be earning.

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My dad got a promotion in about 2001. It meant from going to 12hour shifts 7 days on 7 days off to 9-5 mon-fri.

because of the rush hour traffic, he did 3 weeks of 9-5 and asked to go back to his old job, since he was leaving and getting home at the same time each day regardless if it was 7am-7pm, 7pm-7am or 9-5.

was a good decision

the problem is now that 15 years later, the traffic is so bad that his 30min commute at 6:30am in 2001 has turned into an hour and a half. Now he leaves at 5:30 every morning and gets home at 9:30pm on a day shift

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46 minutes ago, wherebee said:

I've turned down promotions, but never with a job related reason.  Always been external commitments.  That way those higher up can't piss on you because they feel insulted.

This is excellent advice, and an angle I'd not have considered. 

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2 minutes ago, Libspero said:

Similarly my boss has told me at review that he wants me to step into his shoes when he retires (probably less than 3 or 4 years from now).

I've politely made it known I'm not that interested.. I earn pretty good money, I like having time with my family and I've seen enough of the bullying and pressure pushed down from his management in the US to know I don't particularly need that kind of stress in my life.

My greater concern is what happens when my manager leaves and we end up with someone less experienced who does the role in a way I might not agree with.  I think my next move is more likely to be a sideways shift to a new company or possibly even new industry.  But we shall see. 

One of the recent comedy issues ive been party to was someone ive worked with turning a job with a company id contracted with.

Its slowly dawned on the company that tgey need to get a handful of software people employed. For the last 10 years, theyve been trying to run stuff on a shoestring, getting contractors in for odds and sods.

Now theyve stepped up and took on some business which is 80% software rather than 80% electronics - which was all outsourced to hong kong/china.

The hk subcontractor has been very honest - We dont have any software people, theyve all left.

So, the newly promoted md is 'recruiting'.

6 months in no - and i mean no - response to his advert.

So, he contacted me.

Ok, dont put competive, put the salary and benefits.

Refused.

So they carried on using contractors. They had one the md got on with, so i was asked to have a chat with him, see if he knew what he was doing.

He did, which was rare.

Md made an offer, which was literally laughed at.

I found out the guy only does this 1 month contract to ensure he works for more than one company in the tax year. He likes this one as he stays in a holiday house, does his 8 hours, then goes on the beach, whatever.

He prices this work at 50% of his normalrate to ensure he gets the gig, and in early summer.

The job offer was 40% of what he currently earns. And does not include the 2 months offhe pisses of to Thailand in the winter.

And, as he lives somewhere cheaper, hed need to be earning about 150% more to break even.

His point, which is valid, is hed expect working for a comoany to earn him mire tgan operating as a one man band. If all the admin staff cannot boost hisproductivity and earnings rhen what value do they add to the org?

13 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

I am 34. Been a developer for about 12 years.

When I was in my late 20's, I was a lead developer; at the age of 27 I was managing a small team of about 3. But I hated it as both the customer and one of the developers were total arseholes. Customer didn't know what they wanted, I was being made to use the wrong tech stack, and one of the dev's was a lazy useless shite. There has never been a more stressful time in my life than when I was trying to get someone else to do some fucking work, yet didn't have the power to fire them. And if they didn't get anything done, it fell on my head.

I'm now earning over 10K more than I was back then, in a dev job that pays about £40K. I am responsible for my own work; nobody else. I like it that way. I face the exact same conundrum as you; even though I contribute much more to the business than some of those on the payscale above me, my pay is fixed as a 'developer'. My ego doesn't like this one bit, but I've been told my only choice is to go into a management role, which I'd hate.

Here's what I'd consider if I were you:

- You will be sandwiched between the customer and the developers, and potentially have to deal with toxic personalities on both sides.  From what you say you don't want to be in contact with these people - I'm the same as the levels above me contain a few nutjobs and some backstabbing Machiavellian types. The question you have to ask yourself is do you have the constitution to sit in meetings with these folk, potentially for several hours a day, while they chew your balls off and then go home after and not let it affect your home life.

- Will the extra money in your pension over the next 20+ years be worth it compared to the cumulative effects of the stress of this role over those 20 years. What if something happens at home, e.g. one of your kids gets sick, could you cope with stressful stuff at home and the lead developer job at the same time?

- Could you take the 5K, which would bump you up to say £55K, work the job for 6 months, and then find a new developer job somewhere else where they'd have to match or exceed that salary? This would be the best reason to take the job IMHO.

IMHO unless you plan to parlay this increase with another increase from a different job offer in a few months, I'd advise against taking the job. There are many jobs where there is a diminishing rate of returns for promotions; load of extra stress for what....£250 a month after tax? It's an insult quite frankly, but most people feel the need to push to get the highest paying job they can, even if that final 5 or 10K makes them miserable.

If you are going to take that shit then it needs to be your company or paying huge 100k+++ salary.

Basically, you are being asked to do about 5jobs.

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10 minutes ago, Bakez said:

My dad got a promotion in about 2001. It meant from going to 12hour shifts 7 days on 7 days off to 9-5 mon-fri.

because of the rush hour traffic, he did 3 weeks of 9-5 and asked to go back to his old job, since he was leaving and getting home at the same time each day regardless if it was 7am-7pm, 7pm-7am or 9-5.

was a good decision

the problem is now that 15 years later, the traffic is so bad that his 30min commute at 6:30am in 2001 has turned into an hour and a half. Now he leaves at 5:30 every morning and gets home at 9:30pm on a day shift

M4?

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

This.

I know so many people, here and in real life, myself included, who are saying a big 'fuck you' to the high-stress jobs. That extra 5 or 10K aint much of a carrot to dangle when the government is taking half and house prices are still sky high compared to what you'd be earning.

The bit I don't get here is why anyone who is a good developer doesn't go contracting. You get more money, potentially some tax benefits and little of the politics because you aren't staying there permanently. Yes there is a risk that the work drys up but the only time that was a risk was when the permanent company had me supporting their old systems because no-one else knew them. Nowadays I'm somewhere for 6-9 months then carefully pick the next contract to fill in whatever skills gap I perceive myself to have.

And its wonderful how less stressful it is.

Edited by eek

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