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How to Handle a ‘Ghost Promotion’ at Work

Mei 02, 2019
Category: Fashion & Style,Lifestyle

And you are right to trust your instincts. You have been knocked back about a decade. Your department head is territorial and an obstacle to your progress. Indeed, you do not have a future, at least not in your current job. And in the next consolidation or round of layoffs, you’ll almost certainly be pushed out.

But there is a foothold: You still have the title and the salary. Parlay these as best as you can. I understand you are in a specialized role, but now is the time to look around for a new job. If there is a competent one in your field, enlist a headhunter, and post your details on LinkedIn. Tell industry contacts you trust that you are open to exploratory conversations. (But make it clear you have not already quit.)

Striking out on your own as a contractor or consultant might also be a prudent route. People overestimate the extent to which in-house jobs are safer or more lucrative than working for yourself. And the more specialized you are, the more likely other firms will be eager to contract out your work as needed. (As you have learned the hard way, hiring salaried employees full time in dynamic industry environments is an enormous commitment.) The worst that can happen is that you end up back in-house.

I work part time for a training program that periodically brings a couple of people onto the “team” on a more permanent basis, with a regular schedule and benefits. I have been passed over for open positions twice now, and each time the person chosen was younger than myself and newer and less experienced with the work over all. I didn’t express anything after these rejections, as I didn’t want to feel like I was rocking the boat.

I should mention that I am classified as an independent contractor when I probably should be an employee, reflecting the nature of the work and the scheduling. Should I say something to my supervisor about feeling unvalued for my seven years of experience and ask what I can do to not be passed over next time?

— R., Minneapolis

I hate to break it to you, but at this point you have nothing to lose other than the sop of a raise your boss might offer you out of guilt: Yes, absolutely speak with this person frankly about what your career path might look like. But don’t say you feel undervalued — or that you feel anything at all. Just stick to the facts.

During the formal meeting you schedule with your supervisor, simply say: “Hi, there. I wanted to check in on my career path. I notice two others have been hired into full-time jobs and I have not. I would like to know if there is anything I can do to improve my chances of moving into a full-time position.” In other words, do not put this person on the spot. Confrontation will get you less information than will a more oblique approach.


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