Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

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Patzer
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Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Patzer »

There are about 20 comparable rolls to mine at my company. I am the best by a large margin. My productivity is 50% higher than the 2nd best person, and about 150% higher than the average. I have succeeded at many high profile projects and have a decade of management experience, but am not a manager here.

A management opportunity has opened up and it would be a 40% raise, because my boss is taking a new role. I told my boss I was interested and they said that was fantastic and that they can't think of anyone better for the roll, and that they would tell me once it is posted, so I can apply.

2 weeks pass and the job has not been posted yet, and I hear that their boss is chatting up people with less experience and worse performance for the role. I talk to my boss about it and they tell me that their boss is afraid to lose my productivity and so they are searching far and wide to fill the roll with anyone but me.

So, I am not sure how to react.
I have had 2 offers in the last 3 months from other companies that were willing to pay me 10% and 20% more, but I turned them down, because I really like what I am doing, and I already make more than I need.

The prospect of moving into management wasn't super exciting to me, but I did the math and it would have taken about 4 years off my retirement date, plus given me the opportunity mentor people, which I enjoy and allowed me to have a much large impact on the company as a whole, instead of just my projects.

Now, it seems that the decision has been made to not give me a chance at the job and even if I get an interview it will just be to placate me, with the decision already made on who it is going to (anyone but me).
My gut reaction was to resign on the spot, but cooler heads prevailed and I made it to the end of the day.

So, it seems that I am now in a "dead end" job with no opportunity for promotion, but significant annual raises, because I am really good at it.
I make more money than I need and I like what I do. Do I accept that I am not going to get promoted ever and be happy for the time being at this role. I could ride this out for 20 years until I retire. The problem is, I think if my ability to grow and take on new challenges is artificially limited, that it is only a matter of time, maybe 2-3 years, before this role is not satisfying. If that is the case, would I be smart to leave now for another company that won't punish me for being too good at my job or do I ride it out until I stop enjoying the work?
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Tamarind
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Tamarind »

It sounds like your pride is wounded and I absolutely understand why.

But it also doesn't seem to me like you actually wanted this particular job or are unhappy with your current one. You are good at it, enjoy it enough to have turned down raises, expect to continue to get regular raises, etc. Perhaps not getting this particular event is actually a good opportunity to think harder about how much you value retiring sooner vs enjoying the job while you have it? That's a good choice to have.

How much does continuing to climb upwards matter to you, aside from pay?
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tractorguy
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by tractorguy »

+1 on Tamarind's reply. Some of the happiest people I worked with self limited their career's to what was called a project engineer in our company. This was a high performing technical expert who led projects, would mentor one or two people, but who was not expected to manage people. Our company officially had a technical promotion track that was supposed to give these technical experts a way to keep getting promoted. However, in practice it was difficult because the company only needed (and could justify paying) one company wide expert in a given field. If you were almost as good as that person, you had to wait for him or her to retire before you could move into the job.

Because of that limitation, many people made the jump to the management career track with mixed results. Some found that they had a talent for it, did well, and kept getting promotions as their skills improved. Others failed. They ended up taking demotions (when available), or occasionally left the company. Some of these demotions were voluntary, others not.

The skills required of a project leader are necessary but not sufficient for being a good manager. If you are really interested in this job, ask yourself if you've demonstrated the willingness to put up with all of the bull and and horse *** that a good manager has to shield his staff from. Also ask yourself if you are willing and skilled at playing the politics that managers have to deal with. If the answer to either of these questions is a strong NO, then you probably should thank your lucky stars that you weren't given this opportunity.
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buhlaxtus
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by buhlaxtus »

Patzer wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:48 pm I really like what I am doing
I already make more than I need
The prospect of moving into management wasn't super exciting to me
I make more money than I need and I like what I do
It kind of sounds like the answer is here. So much so that you have turned down other alternatives already.

Patzer wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:48 pm The problem is, I think if my ability to grow and take on new challenges is artificially limited, that it is only a matter of time, maybe 2-3 years, before this role is not satisfying.
This makes sense but, are you sure this is true? Or are you just mad about the situation? Which would be completely reasonable, but maybe maybe the situation is in the category of "things to accept" rather than "things to do make changes about" ?

It is traditional to keep pushing up, but if you are in a good place due to good skills and personal interest it is not necessary to follow this tradition.

I have a bias here because I myself have stopped pushing at a nice place that lets me use technical skills to good effect and pays reasonable, and also lets me avoid 90% of managerial and administrative horse dung :)
libralibra
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by libralibra »

post removed
Last edited by libralibra on Fri May 31, 2019 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
6Pack
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by 6Pack »

Depending on your prospects, why not look to another company? I work for the government and when this happens people start transferring out to other positions.

If it were me, I’d say “look, we both recognize I am productive and I’d like the new job because of the 40% pay raise. I think we can both win by keeping my productivity while giving me a 40% raise at the same time”. However, you may need to be prepared to walk out. Not sure if that’s what you want to do. But that’s what I’d do.
Trader Joe
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Trader Joe »

Patzer wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:48 pm There are about 20 comparable rolls to mine at my company. I am the best by a large margin. My productivity is 50% higher than the 2nd best person, and about 150% higher than the average. I have succeeded at many high profile projects and have a decade of management experience, but am not a manager here.

A management opportunity has opened up and it would be a 40% raise, because my boss is taking a new role. I told my boss I was interested and they said that was fantastic and that they can't think of anyone better for the roll, and that they would tell me once it is posted, so I can apply.

2 weeks pass and the job has not been posted yet, and I hear that their boss is chatting up people with less experience and worse performance for the role. I talk to my boss about it and they tell me that their boss is afraid to lose my productivity and so they are searching far and wide to fill the roll with anyone but me.

So, I am not sure how to react.
I have had 2 offers in the last 3 months from other companies that were willing to pay me 10% and 20% more, but I turned them down, because I really like what I am doing, and I already make more than I need.

The prospect of moving into management wasn't super exciting to me, but I did the math and it would have taken about 4 years off my retirement date, plus given me the opportunity mentor people, which I enjoy and allowed me to have a much large impact on the company as a whole, instead of just my projects.

Now, it seems that the decision has been made to not give me a chance at the job and even if I get an interview it will just be to placate me, with the decision already made on who it is going to (anyone but me).
My gut reaction was to resign on the spot, but cooler heads prevailed and I made it to the end of the day.

So, it seems that I am now in a "dead end" job with no opportunity for promotion, but significant annual raises, because I am really good at it.
I make more money than I need and I like what I do. Do I accept that I am not going to get promoted ever and be happy for the time being at this role. I could ride this out for 20 years until I retire. The problem is, I think if my ability to grow and take on new challenges is artificially limited, that it is only a matter of time, maybe 2-3 years, before this role is not satisfying. If that is the case, would I be smart to leave now for another company that won't punish me for being too good at my job or do I ride it out until I stop enjoying the work?
If you are unhappy with your job situation you should try to find a better job.
buhlaxtus
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by buhlaxtus »

Trader Joe wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:23 pm If you are unhappy with your job situation you should try to find a better job.
They're not though! They're unhappy with some momentary political shifts.
panine
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by panine »

"I am the best by a large margin"

your company's idea of "the best" may be different than yours? productivity may not be the only deciding factor.
Retrograde
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Retrograde »

I had a similar issue. I was trying to transfer to a new job I was certain I would be good at and would pay significantly more. Management wouldn't give me a chance at it because it was easier to find someone to fill the role I applied for than to backfill my position if I moved. This really bothered me for quite a while before I simply left the company.
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by RickBoglehead »

Role with it?
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Unicorn1
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Unicorn1 »

Success at one's job does not necessarily translate to success in a managerial role. Just because I can crank out more widgets than the rest of the team does not imply that I can effectively manage people, projects, and budgets.
Topic Author
Patzer
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Patzer »

Tamarind wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:55 pm How much does continuing to climb upwards matter to you, aside from pay?
The upward climb doesn't matter to me other than the fact it usually involves new challenges, which I do like.
I don't care about titles or offices. The money is nice, but only as a tool to retiring earlier, I won't buy more stuff with it.
tractorguy wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:16 pm If you are really interested in this job, ask yourself if you've demonstrated the willingness to put up with all of the bull and and horse *** that a good manager has to shield his staff from. Also ask yourself if you are willing and skilled at playing the politics that managers have to deal with. If the answer to either of these questions is a strong NO, then you probably should thank your lucky stars that you weren't given this opportunity.
I have been a high level manager at a previous company, and was good at it, but I did get tired of the BS.

I was happy continuing to do this job, but it was in my plans to try to take that manager roll in 2-3 years if and when I got bored with my current role. The opportunity came up sooner than expected, my boss seemed eager to have me take it, so I got mentally married to the idea. Then, there was a complete 180 and I feel like I got hosed.

If I am rational and not emotional, it is clear that my situation is the same as it was a month ago, when I was completely happy doing this gig.
That said, it does make me question whether or not future opportunities will also be stifled and at a point where I really do need to move on to be happy.
That is somewhat demotivating.
libralibra wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:20 pm You can reason with your boss this way: if they admit that you are worth 1.5x other emps in the same position, ask them to grant you a big raise.
I don't think it would be hard to push for an additional raise in my current role, but it certainly won't be as big as the one the management job would have given, and money isn't really the problem here, it is the perceived fluidity in being able to take on new challenges.
Tamarind wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:55 pm Perhaps not getting this particular event is actually a good opportunity to think harder about how much you value retiring sooner vs enjoying the job while you have it? That's a good choice to have.
That's definitely true. I know I am whining a bit about a first world problem, but I am just trying to figure out how to put my best foot forward, and this forum is full of smart, capable, and successful people, so it seems like a good place to pose the question.
If the choice is phrased as 16 years of being unhappy at work VS 20 years of being happy at work, that seems like a pretty easy choice. Not sure it is really that simple, but it is something to think about.
RobLyons
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by RobLyons »

Don't let it get to you.

You enjoy the job you do, and don't really want the higher paying managerial position.

So you'll work another 4 years. But at least you aren't in a position that you hate.

Best of luck!
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Cycle »

I'm in a dead end project engineer role. No direct reports. I have no desire to climb the corporate ladder as id be doing less engineering work and more budgeting/people management stuff.

I just keep training on new skills in my free time to keep up with technology.

I'm 35, net worth 1.5MM. i plan to keep developing my side hussles so I can switch to part time self directed work (retired) from age 45-120.
Last edited by Cycle on Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Church Lady »

OP,
How secure is your job in the sense it cannot be outsourced, off shored, obsoleted, or automated? If you can see the end of your job on the horizon due to social or technology shifts, maybe you should move on to another company and diversify your skill set while you are young enough to make the move.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
WardnerMan
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by WardnerMan »

This corporate BS makes my blood boil. If I were in your position and I didn’t need to sell a house and move to another region, I’d look for another job. I really resent people what I should be thinking or that there are sound reasons why I should accept my fate. I’m retired now, so there’s no chance of me crossing this line.
mikemikemike
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by mikemikemike »

RickBoglehead wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:38 pm Role with it?
I was lurking on this forum, and saw this. I registered for the forum just to give this a +1. Well played, Rick.
pdavi21
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by pdavi21 »

You could get competing job offers and threaten to leave if they don't promote you.

Your manager acted foolishly for essentially admitting that he wants you under him where he can take credit for your successes instead of competing against him. Makes me think this employer has seriously failed at promoting people (i.e. him).
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by quantAndHold »

Being the best as an individual contributor doesn’t necessarily translate to being the best manager. The skillset is very different. I’m guessing that the person doing the hiring for this position has an idea of what skills they want, and they think that other people, who may be less productive as individual contributors, are a better fit for the management position.

Your best bet, if you want this job now, or a similar job at this company in the future, is to talk to the hiring manager, and find out what skills you need to develop to be considered.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
mortfree
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by mortfree »

Face the reality.

The higher up you go, the less work (tasks) you have to do.

At those levels the job is to make decisions and manage.

Embrace being a worker bee or change your ways.

You may want to read articles related to the ins and outs of the show “The Office” where it details the roles and people type within a company. Interesting read.
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Mlm
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Mlm »

I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you. Something similar happened to me early in my career. In retrospect what that particular department wanted was a nasty person with a whip and I know now that I wasn't that person. I left the company and they eventually hired two people to replace me.

I went through a few jobs in the next few years and eventually landed a much higher management position that was perfect for me. I thrived there for the remainder of my career. Three years ago I retired as VP of the company.

No one company is likely to meet your needs for your entire career. Now that your eyes have been opened it might be time to look around.
I know that this feels terrible right now but given time it might be to your benefit.....good luck
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:27 pm You could get competing job offers and threaten to leave if they don't promote you.

Your manager acted foolishly for essentially admitting that he wants you under him where he can take credit for your successes instead of competing against him. Makes me think this employer has seriously failed at promoting people (i.e. him).
Is this a joke? Get competing offers and threaten to leave? If you get an offer(s), do not threaten, do not make ultimatums, just leave.

OP - start looking outside the company. After you have the offers in hand, make a decision. Stay with a company where management does not respect you, where there is a glass ceiling or move to a location where opportunities await. Your choice, not theirs. By staying at your current employer you let them control your destiny. Look, there is no harm in looking outside.
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GerryL
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by GerryL »

Do you really want to move into management? You may find you prefer doing to telling other people to do -- and being responsible for their outcome.

I worked at Megacorp, where if you weren't moving up to management you were stagnating. As a result people competed to get into management roles and many people who were successful as ICs (individual contributors) were neither successful nor happy as managers. And the folks who reported to them were miserable, too. Eventually the company wised up and had to work to change the culture to make it possible for ICs to grow in their roles without being on a management track.

Might be a good time for a sit-down with your manager to talk about your future growth. If they don't want you on a management track -- and maybe you don't want to be anyway -- discuss what career growth will look like and how you can continue to increase your contributions to the company.
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by pdavi21 »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:41 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:27 pm You could get competing job offers and threaten to leave if they don't promote you.

Your manager acted foolishly for essentially admitting that he wants you under him where he can take credit for your successes instead of competing against him. Makes me think this employer has seriously failed at promoting people (i.e. him).
Is this a joke? Get competing offers and threaten to leave? If you get an offer(s), do not threaten, do not make ultimatums, just leave.

OP - start looking outside the company. After you have the offers in hand, make a decision. Stay with a company where management does not respect you, where there is a glass ceiling or move to a location where opportunities await. Your choice, not theirs. By staying at your current employer you let them control your destiny. Look, there is no harm in looking outside.
OP likes his job and already turned down higher paying offers. I can't see why giving his boss an ultimatum could hurt him. He can even walk it back if he changes his mind.
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:44 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:41 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:27 pm You could get competing job offers and threaten to leave if they don't promote you.

Your manager acted foolishly for essentially admitting that he wants you under him where he can take credit for your successes instead of competing against him. Makes me think this employer has seriously failed at promoting people (i.e. him).
Is this a joke? Get competing offers and threaten to leave? If you get an offer(s), do not threaten, do not make ultimatums, just leave.

OP - start looking outside the company. After you have the offers in hand, make a decision. Stay with a company where management does not respect you, where there is a glass ceiling or move to a location where opportunities await. Your choice, not theirs. By staying at your current employer you let them control your destiny. Look, there is no harm in looking outside.
OP likes his job and already turned down higher paying offers. I can't see why giving his boss an ultimatum could hurt him. He can even walk it back if he changes his mind.
Are you employed? On Monday go into the office and make a threat against your boss, let us know how the atmosphere changes. That is, if you manage to remain employed.
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pdavi21
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by pdavi21 »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:58 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:44 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:41 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:27 pm You could get competing job offers and threaten to leave if they don't promote you.

Your manager acted foolishly for essentially admitting that he wants you under him where he can take credit for your successes instead of competing against him. Makes me think this employer has seriously failed at promoting people (i.e. him).
Is this a joke? Get competing offers and threaten to leave? If you get an offer(s), do not threaten, do not make ultimatums, just leave.

OP - start looking outside the company. After you have the offers in hand, make a decision. Stay with a company where management does not respect you, where there is a glass ceiling or move to a location where opportunities await. Your choice, not theirs. By staying at your current employer you let them control your destiny. Look, there is no harm in looking outside.
OP likes his job and already turned down higher paying offers. I can't see why giving his boss an ultimatum could hurt him. He can even walk it back if he changes his mind.
Are you employed? On Monday go into the office and make a threat against your boss, let us know how the atmosphere changes. That is, if you manage to remain employed.
Yes. I have done that and ended up staying.
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking
quantAndHold
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by quantAndHold »

pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:44 pm
OP likes his job and already turned down higher paying offers. I can't see why giving his boss an ultimatum could hurt him. He can even walk it back if he changes his mind.
If someone gave me an ultimatum like that, they would not get a chance to walk it back.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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camillus
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by camillus »

There's a basic human reaction - you believe someone took from you something that should be yours. My 1-year-old can identify.

I don't mean to trivialize what you are going through. There is an issue of respect going on. You are very productive, but your management seems to want to "placate" you. There is a social element to this. Decisions are being made about you without you being at the table. BUT, perhaps these people know something about you, that you would be more effective (and perhaps even happier) in your current situation.

You have to decide for yourself what you want out of the situation, taking a "all of life" view. It doesn't seem like you will be able to get this management position. Are you okay staying in your current position? What changes would you need to be okay with that - more vacation, more money? It seems you are a goose that lays the golden egg.

If you can't get what you want out of your current situation, look elsewhere. Sometimes looking abroad can give you assurance that you are in the best spot, otherwise you can move and stick it to the man.

You do seem happy where you are. A lot of happiness comes from a high level of competence. Constant promotions could leave you in a place where you are incompetent, unfulfilled, unproductive, and unhappy - but with more money.

If I were you, I would go on a nice long vacation.
pdavi21
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by pdavi21 »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:02 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:44 pm
OP likes his job and already turned down higher paying offers. I can't see why giving his boss an ultimatum could hurt him. He can even walk it back if he changes his mind.
If someone gave me an ultimatum like that, they would not get a chance to walk it back.
Not even if they were 50% more productive than your second best? :P

EDIT: In all seriousness, an effective manager should try to retain talent if it would be financially beneficial to the employer. Perhaps an effective manager should not let pride dictate his decision making...oops, I'm off topic.
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Would you be happy with a 40% raise and more autonomous say in new interesting projects you work on.

If so, talk more with the companies who have shown interest. Get offers in hand.

With this as leverage, propose to your management what you're looking for. XYZ projects. 40% raise (which is what you'd get in the management position) and if not, they instead of losing your work to a management role, where I would bet you would excel, they lose you to another company.
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by London »

People's perception of their own productivity (and their position in the company) is often skewed. Maybe you aren’t as good as you think you are.

Or, as others mentioned, maybe you are great at doing the job and they don’t think you’d be as valuable as a manager.

Either way, it’s clear they already made up theirs mind about you.
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by quantAndHold »

pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:05 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:02 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:44 pm
OP likes his job and already turned down higher paying offers. I can't see why giving his boss an ultimatum could hurt him. He can even walk it back if he changes his mind.
If someone gave me an ultimatum like that, they would not get a chance to walk it back.
Not even if they were 50% more productive than your second best? :P

EDIT: In all seriousness, an effective manager should try to retain talent if it would be financially beneficial to the employer. Perhaps an effective manager should not let pride dictate his decision making...oops, I'm off topic.
Nothing to do with pride. It’s management 101. If someone threatens to quit, they’re going to leave within six months anyway. They might as well leave now so we can get on with our lives without them. Everyone is replaceable.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Beehave
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Beehave »

Let's suppose that your expectation that a less talented person will come in as your new manager comes to be. Possibly they will rely on you and reward you financially and with more responsibility. Possibly they will feel threatened and want you to become a wallflower or leave the unit. If you do nothing drastic, things will play out, and it might well be in a very pleasing manner. If not, you can always bail (at least seemingly, based on your recent offers).

If you do not want to simply bide your time and await whatever the powers-that-be decide, then arrange a talk with your 2nd line mgr. Get her/his view of your optimum role in the company and how you can continue to grow in depth or breadth to accomplish that. If your 2nd line says "we just need you to keep doing what you are doing," it would seem that this management does not see you as accomplishing anything more than what you are currently doing and you can do whatever you choose about that. If they want you to contribute more, work together with mgmt to craft a development plan you agree to that will keep you increasing your productivity/responsibility and job satisfaction.

Good luck. And remember, what you are going through now is peanuts compared to being dumped three or five years from now because you're too old and expensive to have around. Don't allow what's happening you to now to make you become soured and less productive. Use it as an opportunity and lever to increase your responsibility, if not as a manager, then as an absolutely key individual contributor.
Jazzysoon
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Jazzysoon »

deleted.
Last edited by Jazzysoon on Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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beyou
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by beyou »

As bad as this sounds, the way businesses are run today, you should not be thinking about 20 years from now. I dont care how secure you may feel, things change.

My point is, think about the near term money/happiness tradeoff, and do what feels right (for you) for near future. Dont’t count on a 20 year career, and don’t do what you think you should want, do what you actually want.
wootwoot
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by wootwoot »

This sounds like office politics. Are you a known commodity to the higher ups? They usually want to promote people they personally like or work well with. Not saying that it's fair but in business you need to do a great job and play good politics.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by ClevrChico »

Reaching for an internal position has always taken multiple attempts, sometimes over years for me. I compare it to the movie Mr. Roberts, where Lt. Roberts never gives up requesting a transfer. You're never going to apply for a promotion and then get it with the first attempt.

Corporate management isn't all it's cracked up to be anyway. I think as many engineers wash out at it as succeed. They would have done far better just focusing their energy on their hard skills in the first place.

The easy solution is to jump ship for a 20%+ raise to continue growing your career. It sounds like you're a bit underpaid.
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F150HD
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by F150HD »

Patzer wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:48 pm 2 weeks pass and the job has not been posted yet, and I hear that their boss is chatting up people with less experience and worse performance for the role. I talk to my boss about it and they tell me that their boss is afraid to lose my productivity and so they are searching far and wide to fill the roll with anyone but me.
wow. Just goes to show no one is looking out for you but 'you'.
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by DesertDiva »

A wise manager should work to ensure people are productive AND happy with their jobs. Two ideas come to mind

1) ask your boss what skills (either technical or soft) you need to advance into your desired position. Even if there is nothing your boss can suggest, this will show your willingness to improve professionally.

2) since you like to mentor others, propose that you and your colleagues engage in some form of cross-training. You will essentially train your replacement(s) which will show management that they can move you into another role without missing a beat.
Amphian
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Amphian »

The issue here isn't management vs non. It's that your boss doesn't have your back at all. You said you were interested. They said that was great... and then they simply planned to hire someone else without telling you. No one is going to look out for your career like you do, but when you deal with people who are not being honest, it's difficult to stay.

I work as a software engineer at a job I started about a year ago. It's a similar situation - we have four devs and half to two thirds of any given release is my work. One of those devs is in a dev/team lead role, which they made sure I knew about when my actual boss got moved to a new role. (He's still my boss, he's just much less involved in the day to day.) For me, the pay change wasn't enough to justify the role - also, that person is working as I type this and will be working tomorrow as well... and I am not. I am also 20ish years out. Four fewer years as a manager than dev means 16 years as a manager. I would far rather make less and work 20 as a dev. YMMV.

If you want to do mentoring and not managing, I would look for industry related groups or meetups in your area. I've done some work with younger women entering technology fields and plan to do more.
tindel
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by tindel »

F150HD wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:54 pm
Patzer wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:48 pm 2 weeks pass and the job has not been posted yet, and I hear that their boss is chatting up people with less experience and worse performance for the role. I talk to my boss about it and they tell me that their boss is afraid to lose my productivity and so they are searching far and wide to fill the roll with anyone but me.
wow. Just goes to show no one is looking out for you but 'you'.
Yep - time to move to another job IMHO.
mattsm
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by mattsm »

Been here done this, leave this job... screams bad mgmt. You are probably a little "cocky" but most decent folks have a little bit of flare for the dramatic in situations like this... my self included...

DO NOT keep being extra productive... also don't just quit before you find a new job. Done that too... worked out OK but would have been nicer to have just been leaving. Use the extra time to find a new job.

-M
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by carolinaman »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:41 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:27 pm You could get competing job offers and threaten to leave if they don't promote you.

Your manager acted foolishly for essentially admitting that he wants you under him where he can take credit for your successes instead of competing against him. Makes me think this employer has seriously failed at promoting people (i.e. him).
Is this a joke? Get competing offers and threaten to leave? If you get an offer(s), do not threaten, do not make ultimatums, just leave.

OP - start looking outside the company. After you have the offers in hand, make a decision. Stay with a company where management does not respect you, where there is a glass ceiling or move to a location where opportunities await. Your choice, not theirs. By staying at your current employer you let them control your destiny. Look, there is no harm in looking outside.
+1. If you are that much better than your peers and so valuable that manager wants to keep you in your position, then you should be compensated accordingly. Personally, I would have a very hard time working for someone who said what your manager said. He does not care about you, only his self serving interests. Take your time looking. I bet you will find some great opportunities. The big issue is the lack or respect of your management and the fact they are not looking out for your best interests. I would not want to stay in a situation like that.

Years ago I was number 2 person in an IT organization and it would be very hard for them to replace me if I left. Yet my boss told me that I should look for another job because he was not planning on retiring for another 10 years and I had too much potential to waste my time waiting on him to retire. I have seen other managers like that and I have seen some that selfishly did everything possible to prevent their people from getting promotions outside their department. Which do you want to work for?
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by pondering »

Sounds like you know how to find a job in your industry.

Is it geographically bound? Are you?
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28fe6
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by 28fe6 »

This kind of thing is very common. It's important not to be emotional. Managers have to deal with all types of people; have to do something with them. If you are a manager and need a junior manager and your choice is between promoting/sniping a top of the line engineer, then trying to backfill them, or else choose somebody else who is more technically dispensable, will probably do the management job the same, or maybe even be more of a "yes" man or more mentor-able, what are you going to do? It may help to realize that you might make the same decision if you were the manager. And if not, that maybe you wouldn't make as good of a manager as you think you might.

At my last job this happened to me multiple times. I even ended up working for one of the managers that got one of the roles I wanted. Other times the company hired new outside talent for new roles rather than promote-and-backfill. If you promote and backfill, you have two people who are in new roles, instead of just one, and there is the chance that two roles won't work out, and there is no cost advantage. It just is what it is.

Being competent and productive is one small factor in promotion within an organization. Even politics are only a help. The other 90% is honestly luck. It has been that way and will always be that way. Some of my peers got jobs where their boss just kept getting promoted and they got pulled along. It is an ideal situation but it's not a default situation. The best you can do is try to position yourself and change companies if you judge that the prospects are not favorable.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all. Eccl 9:11 KJV
Now that we are past "it is what it is", that doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. It is absolutely positively too late to try to negotiate anything now. You should be confident that you are already making top dollar for your role. If not, then you need to work harder to make sure you are, but now is definitely not the time. Trying to negotiate for more now is futile and counterproductive.

In the short term, there probably isn't anything you can do. In the longer term, there's a couple things. Nothing has really changed about your current job or situation; you did not get demoted or anything. What did change is now you have new information to work with, about your prospects of getting promoted. Try to focus on things that you can control, and you will probably realize there is very little that you can control and your best bet is to scoop up the dice and re-roll them at another company. Of course, do the obvious things like make sure you have good management visibility at all times and always have a positive attitude and generally are a "yes man", because all of that enhances promotability. Always make sure you are grooming a successor and/making yourself replaceable. This is a trade-off obviously. And always make sure you are executing toward articulable objectives that help management with THEIR problems, and negotiating firmly to keep your compensation up to date. At the same time, try to interview at least once per quarter and keep your resume up to date. Mentally prepare yourself that your most likely course of action is going to be leaving to another company. If you get frustrated that it's hard to find another job that you want, look at the bright side that that means your current job is not that bad.

At my last job my potential successors and mentees all kept quitting after a year or two. And senior management kept rotating constantly. I was definitely in a job I could have kept forever, and the pay was "competitive" but only just. Once I focused on getting another job, it took about 2 years to find one that was really better than the current one. Maybe you will go on the job market and find it very easy to do better. Maybe not, which means you are doing pretty well now.

And about the person who does get the role you wanted...your first instinct needs to be to make friends with him. If not, your emotions are holding you back and will continue to do so.
Last edited by 28fe6 on Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:11 am, edited 5 times in total.
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whodidntante
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by whodidntante »

Just because you're a star performer doesn't make you a fit for management, or management a fit for you. What often happens in these situations is a "carve out" of the star where they get special handling of assignments and their own box in the org chart, possibly a pay bump with a different title. Principal engineer, architect, topical potentate, etc. And if you're underpaid, you need to negotiate that or start looking. And not to be mean, and not that it applies to you, but sometimes people have a major deficiency that everyone sees but them, so they don't have the status they think they do.

You don't actually know what the less stellar performers are going to get paid if they get the management job. It's going to be linked to what they earned before most of the time.
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by dm200 »

2 weeks pass and the job has not been posted yet, and I hear that their boss is chatting up people with less experience and worse performance for the role. I talk to my boss about it and they tell me that their boss is afraid to lose my productivity and so they are searching far and wide to fill the roll with anyone but me.
Doesn't it occur to them that if you leave the employer, they will lose your productivity?

If you are so productive on your current job, why aren't they paying you more?
Leemiller
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Leemiller »

Your manager is a piece of work. I would not continue to work for such a person. I had a similar issue with my last job - I did an oversized amount of work and the work was among the most sophisticated our group did. Finally, I got tired of watching others get promoted and I left. I had a huge jump in salary but also in title. Less than a year later another jump to an internal position, with a raise and better title. Now my future possibilities have opened up, and I’ve started dreaming again. When I read you’d be ok where you are for a decade, it leads me to believe you need a change.
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Patzer
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Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

Post by Patzer »

Thanks to everyone for the feedback.

Answers to common questions:
How am I sure I am good? #1 Rank in KPIs. Max score in annual reviews. Company awards.

Would I be a good manager? I have done it at a previous employer and was good, but it got old after many years.

Do I really want to be a manager? Mixed feelings, but it was a good opportunity, and it seemed foolish to pass it up.

Is it political or due to favoritism? No, our company has a history of denying promotions to high performers. I know of 2 other situations where people actually received a promotion to another department, and their boss (different bosses than mine) told them they had to wait 3 months to transfer out, because they needed them in their current role. One person waited the time out and got the promotion. The other person waited the 3 months and then was told it would be at least 3 more months. They quit 1 week later with no notice.

Am I underpaid? I get paid more than about 60% of people in my role industry wide. Hard to call that underpaid, but given my performance, there is clearly room to pay me more.

How hard is it to get another job? I live in a hub for my skills. It is easy (1 month or less) to get another job that uses my skills, but they won't match my interests as well as my current job. Finding a job that matches my interests and my skills took 4 months the last time I did it. I was employed the whole time, so it was not a problem to wait for the right opportunity.


Conclusion/Plan of Action:
It is clear that my employer has not handled this well, and it would be easy to leave on those grounds, but trying to punish them for that will have a lot more impact on me, than them.

After thinking a lot about what I want, I think I would be happiest staying at my company and being moved into a technical lead role, instead of a management role. There are no openings for that, but there is precedent for the position.
Rather than confronting them further about the management position, I think I am going to use the dialogue that is already open to focus on getting them to create that position for me with a substantial increase in pay. If they are receptive to that, I will give it 6-12 months to materialize.
If they are not receptive to that, I will continue in my current role, but immediately begin searching for another position.
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