For many of us, we often jump at the chance for promotion the very minute it is offered to us. However, our co-workers may disagree with the promotion and say it’s not yet time for us to get it. Some are content on where they are and know it is not yet the time to get that promotion. But, saying this to peers is not always a good thing because they would say you are letting the opportunity slip away.

If you are one of these people who are happy at their current roles, you know why you want to stay where you are. It’s possible that your life is where you want it to be and you do not mind staying there for a while. There is also the fact you love your job and moving from it is the last thing in your mind.


So, what do you do when you get an offer from your boss to be promoted to a new role?

Here are some tips we can recommend for you to try out:

Take the Offer

The direction of our careers often changes in a way we would never expect. Even if we want to stay where we are, we need to have options in case things go south.

When you get the offer, be polite and review the offer. You will not move into your position ASAP so take time to review the offer.

Use the opportunity to explain your ideas

When your boss talks to you about promotion, thank him for the gesture and explain to him that you can still make a difference in your current position. You can give him your ideas on why you should remain in your current role.


Look if the job can be modified to your goals

After you get the offer from your boss, list down the pros and cons of the job. Then look into whether you can adjust the job to your goals.

You can ask your boss if they will offer opportunities for you to learn skills related to the job or if there are projects you like that they can offer. Promotion should not just be good for your career, it should also be worthwhile for you to do.

Decline it

If your career is stable and you do not want to move from it at all, decline it politely. Explain why you do not want to move from your spot and that you are content where you are.

In Other Words

Promotion is a double-edged sword that you have to be careful about when it is offered to you. If you feel like you can still do good in your current role, do not hesitate to speak to your boss about it.

Good communication can help you and your company understand one another and understand why you are good where you are.

Show to them that your reasoning is valid and you show why you are still good where you are and they will be happy to let you stay where you are.

Have you passed on a promotion? What was it like? Please do share with us your experiences so everyone can learn something new.

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5 replies on “How To Tell Your Boss You Don’t Want A Promotion

  1. Good advice, Kally. On a more humorous note, I remember once I’d recently left a fast-lane bar job with lots of money and bodily wear and tear to take a low-pay line cook job without all the sturm und drang. Ah, the sweet simplicity! Sure enough, the chef soon quit and the manager asked, “Gary, how would you like the opportunity to be the chef?” Me: “No, I’m happy with line cook.” Mgr: “Too bad. You’re chef or you’re fired.” Thus began my 6-month stretch as chef at a French restaurant — looks great now sandwiched between “hitchhiked 14 countries” and “ran two marathons” on my resume!


  2. I find that with promotions the only thing that changes is the status with inequitable compensation. It is cool to at least be considered, as it lets you know that you are on a good path.


  3. A very good post peng yu. (How have you been?)
    Not an easy thing to do. And probably does not happen often.
    Like you said, we are (or should be) all eager for a promotion.
    I never turned down one. Actually, many times I have “promoted” myself by changing company. At a higher level of course. 🙂
    Now there is another factor: some promotions can be traps… Those should be turned down. Definitely.
    How’s everything? The baby? (Not so baby anymore), the driving?


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