What if I leave my job right after getting a promotion?
November 9, 2016 8:26 PM   Subscribe

I think I've got a strong case for a promotion at work, and could use the extra money. But I'm also sure I want to jump to a new company and I'm actively looking. What are the considerations here? How do I avoid burning bridges, but also do right by my career?
posted by boghead to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Best answer: I think it depends on what kind of promotion it is.

Widget Polisher to Senior Widget Polisher? Nobody cares, leave your job, and as long as you are otherwise professional in doing so. You won't burn any bridges.

Line manager to middle manager? Yeah, leave within a couple months of getting that promotion and you will burn quite a few bridges behind you, the only way to avoid it would be to not change jobs or not take the promotion.
posted by phoenixy at 8:36 PM on November 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: What's the alternative? "Sorry I will have to turn down this promotion, I am applying for a job I might not get". Just go for it - everybody understands that you have to go for what's right for you. Work out your notice period with enthusiasm and leave a good handover, and if anyone is still bitter they were clearly a dickhead all along. If there are only two employers in your town then hey maybe be a bit cautious if you are early in your career, otherwise jump in.
posted by askmeaboutboardgames at 8:45 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

How to right by your career:
1. Don't make decisions based on an assumption of an offer that hasn't even materialized yet

2. If/when an offer does come around, be professional about the switch. Sometimes that means a 2-week exit, sometimes it means a 2-month exit.

3. The nature of your role (promotion or no) is the deciding factor. Ultimately what this means is not leaving your former colleagues in a lurch by a hasty exit. This is how you prevent bridge-burning.

You are not obligated to let your employer know that you are "actively looking" for a new job. A smart employer assumes that everyone is actively looking all the time*.

*Disclosure: I'm a manager. I manage my teams with the basic assumption that the job market is dynamic, LinkedIn is a social virus and, well, shit happens. So far I have yet to be surprised by anyone who jumps ship.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:27 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

What if business slows and they let you go two months after the promotion?
posted by COD at 5:49 AM on November 10, 2016

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