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How to Graciously Accept a Promotion

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Whether it’s the fancy corner office, the addition of some zeros to the salary or just the opportunity to tackle more challenging tasks, a promotion is something for which many workers long. If you have finally earned yourself that promotion you have been chasing for so long, put care into accepting the new position with grace. While it may seem unimportant, the way in which you step up to the plate plays a part in establishing your persona as a newly in-charge person in your workplace.

Think About It

When upper-management tells you they want to promote you, excitement might run through your veins, clouding your thoughts. Don’t allow this adrenaline to leave you accepting too hastily. A gracious acceptance doesn’t have to be an immediate one. Kindly thank them for their faith in you and inquire as to how much time you have to consider the offer. Take the time and think about whether this move is right for you. Ask yourself whether the move is in the right direction to reach your ultimate career goals and whether you will be able to balance family life and this new, likely more taxing, job.

Ask for Clarification

If you decide to take the position, sit down with upper-management and share your decision. During this sit down, pose any questions you may have about the new job. While you may be reticent to do so, feeling that asking loads of questions makes you seem unprepared, the opposite is generally true, says the Government of Alberta's Learning Information Service website. Posing these questions will actually make you appear thoughtful, focused and ready for the increased rigors the position brings.

Pen a Thank You Letter

Gracious promotion accepters make it clear they are grateful for the opportunity. Prove your appreciation by sending a simple thank-you note. Write separate notes to each of the people who played a part in your promotion. Send this appreciation-rich correspondence through traditional mail or via email.

Redefine Workplace Relationships

The grace with which you step into your new leadership role will likely play a large part in determining your success. As you accept, start to redefine workplace relationships. Be upfront with your former peers, suggests Michael Watkins for “The Harvard Business Review.” Tell them that accepting this new position will change things a bit. Continue to be cordial with your former co-workers to ensure they don’t feel this new power has gone to your head, but stop gossiping or engaging in other not-boss-appropriate behaviors in which you may have formerly participated.


Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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