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A job promotion is usually a cause for celebration. Not only does it bring an elevation in position, it typically brings a pay raise as well. However, a promotion could have baggage, bringing more responsibilities and a heavier workload. For some workers, a promotion might not be all that appealing, especially if they like the position that they already have – or if they dislike the duties they would do after the promotion. So, what do you do when your boss offers you a promotion that you don't want? It takes diplomacy and tact.
Plan to have a private, one-to-one conference with your boss about your promotion. To turn down a promotion in front of other workers looks like you're disrespecting authority, which never fares well in the workplace.
Tell your boss that you're flattered that she thought enough about you to offer you the promotion. Even if you find the offer undesirable and burdensome, at least act as if you see it as an honor.
Decline the boss's offer in a diplomatic way. Bosses don't like being told no, and you don't want to hurt your future with the company. Explain how much you enjoy being an asset to the company, but you don't believe you would be able to accept this particular offer at this time.
Explain to your boss how staying in your present position is actually better for the company. Be specific. For example, you could highlight your strong record of success as a computer instructor, but your new job would not use this talent.
Offer to take on any extra responsibilities until your boss is able to find a co-worker to take the promotion that was offered to you. Your boss will see how hard of a worker you are, and how much of an asset you are to the company. It will also assure that your boss will consider you for future positions that may be a better fit for you.
Don't apologize for turning down the promotion. If you feel the job isn't right for you, don't be sorry for turning it down.
Don't recommend any co-workers for the promotion that you just turned down. It's best to leave that decision to the boss.
Diane Abel-Bey began her freelance writing career in 2010, bringing extensive, multi-tiered experience to her education-related articles. Her expertise includes lesson planning, children's crafts and test preparation. Abel-Bey holds a Master of Science in elementary education from St. John's University.