Help me get demoted!
February 2, 2012 6:22 PM   Subscribe

I am meeting with my District Manager soon to ask for a demotion. Hivemind, what are your experiences doing so? Probably too many details inside.

Some background:

- I was hired at this company in September 2005. Quickly moved up from a sales (hourly) position to an exempt store manager position.

- I was miserable during my time as a store manager. When the company closed 100 stores in 2008 (including mine), I jumped ship rather than take another store that I was offered. I didn't want the other manager to lose his job and I was miserable anyway.

- After a short time at a retailer, came back to the original company and was hired as an hourly position. Was quickly moved up to a Service Manager (exempt) position. Became *very* successful in this position, becoming a leader in the district for sales and service. Had a kid. Bought a house. Life was good.

- As a result of my success, I was encouraged/pressured by a former boss into a Store Manager position - thought it would be better, given all my new success and experience. Miserable all over again.

The responsibilities of the Service Manager position are completely different than the Store Manager position I currently occupy. It has also been converted into a more desirable hourly, non-exempt position. For the sake of my health/family/sanity/whatever, I want to ask to move back down. I had sent some signals to my boss that I would possibly do this at some point and he has indicated that he "wouldn't lose" me over something like this. He has always been honest with me in the past and I have no reason to doubt him now.

Do you have any experience doing this? How did you approach it, and were you successful? I don't see this going too poorly but I want to see what the hivemind sees as possible complications or strategies.
posted by jeffrygardner to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was a techy-designer-webby type who ended up promoted into an online sales manager position. I had never sold before. I hated the job. I wasn't good at the job -- I had sales reps asking me how to close a sale and I had never even been on sales call! When I did start going on calls, I was a sweaty and nervous disaster. I gave it two months, then I asked for a meeting with my boss and his boss.

I was terrified, but I went in and calmly told them that I was not a fit for that job, that I wasn't motivated by hitting sales goals, I hated selling and they really needed someone who cared about their bottom line. I told them that I'd be the best support person they could ever imagine, but if I couldn't step down from the manager job, I'd have to start looking elsewhere.

They were GREAT about it, if a bit shocked. They asked me to hang in a little longer, and in two weeks they had promoted one of my really great sales reps to manager, and moved me back into a support/production role. He shone in his new role, and I thrived in mine.

It was the best career decision I made, and I continued working there for six more years. Best of luck!
posted by ladygypsy at 6:43 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

One thing to watch out for - there may be salary/compensation caps at the level you want to demote to.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:55 PM on February 2, 2012

MY mother in law did this at geico. Was management her in NY and hated it. always firing people ontop of other things. She asked for a demotion to regular claims person and has been much happier. She now only has to worry about going into work doing her job then leaving again.
posted by majortom1981 at 7:27 AM on February 3, 2012

If you really were a solid, solid, rock-solid service manager, the DM will probably be fine with you stepping down. One of my assistant managers at my last gig was an awesome AM, but an absolute train wreck SM, and she was ecstatic to get demoted. The only issue could be that if you ever decide you might want to try being a store manager again... DM might (rightly?) tell you that that ship has long since sailed. Or if you try to get in with Corporate, they might not want to risk you cutting bait and running for the field again. If its what you truly want, I say go for it.
posted by mornie_alantie at 10:57 AM on February 4, 2012

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