Should you take a promotion for a job you don’t like?

Stop us if this sounds familiar:

You’re working a job you don’t like. Maybe it’s not in your chosen field nor is it set to get you there. Maybe the work itself isn’t stimulating, or perhaps you’re simply more talented than it. But then, sometime into your tenure with the company, you’re called in to your line manager’s office and offered a promotion.

Should you take it?

Much as the concept of remaining at your workplace a moment longer might make you want to flee for the hills, take a moment. That promotion might be better for you than you think.

You’re hungry

This isn’t the job of your dreams. Bad news: that means you’re not satisfied. Better news: that means you have the guts and gumption to shape this role into what you want it to be.

Want more people reporting in to you and the chance to delegate your work in a structure that makes sense? Now’s your opportunity. Does the company’s business proposition as a whole seem flawed to you? Take the chance to change it.

Not only do you not have anything to lose, but think about what you have to gain. What new processes or procedures do you now have the chance to put in place that could benefit both you and your colleagues? More to the point, how will implementing them look on your resume?

You’ve got the opportunity to learn

This may not be the industry you want to pursue a career in, nor where you want to end up getting stuck. But there’s certainly the opportunity to learn from your coworkers in other departments and to gain skills that are in turn transferable to your field of interest. This may include anything from stakeholder and project management to knowledge in subject matter that could become relevant to your original field of interest, if the industries are adjacent.

Alternatively, it may be that there’s another department in your company that’s always seemed more palatable. Now’s your opportunity — as one of the company’s leaders — to voice your interest in gaining exposure (‘cross-departmental skills’) in what could help both you and the business advance.

You’re responsible

Face facts: as a junior employee, your chances of rising up the ranks swiftly are much more limited these days. So, if you already have your foot in the door at your current company, you should grab the opportunity to actively lead projects and claim their successes as your own.

By stepping up to the plate, you’re signaling to future employers that you’re good at what you do and that you’re willing to take on the challenges and obligations of a more senior role. That’s perhaps the most significant set of transferrable skills you could bring across to any industry (That is, if you haven’t shaped the role into one that’s ace for you already.)

About the author

Viv Mah writes for Inspiring Interns, which specializes in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs, including digital jobs.

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