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Testing The Waters At Work? Crying Wolf May Backfire

You’ve tried everything, from taking on additional responsibility to mentoring less seasoned staff, yet your boss still hasn’t promoted you.


Frustrated, you decide it’s time to hit it between the eyes and push back a little. After all, you’re known as a high performer, a leader and an integral part of your team. You have great relationships with senior management and you’re confident in the contribution you make on your team. It’s time to stand up for yourself. So, logically you’ll go all in – by threatening to quit.

Look Before You Leap

Threatening to quit when things aren’t going your way at work is the oldest trick in the book. If your boss is seasoned, he or she has seen this move before. So, if you plan to pull this trick out of your bag, have a plan and be prepared to react swiftly.

  • Don’t go overboard when presenting your ultimatum and say things you can’t retract. If you approach the situation wisely, you may be victorious in your pursuit. But, the minute you become viewed as entitled or overbearing, you’ll lose credibility.
  • Have your resume ready. If your demands aren’t met, you’ll seriously want to consider moving forward in your career. Not only have you harmed the relationship with your boss by making demands, but you’ve also lost your ability to continue to push for a promotion in the near future. Trust will be damaged within the leadership team and your maturity will be questioned.
  • Evaluate why you haven’t been promoted. Be honest with yourself. Is there a viable reason? Are you truly ready for the next step up? Have you earned the promotion or do you feel entitled to it?

Consider A Different Tactic, Unless You’re Really Ready To Quit

The best advice I can give you is to always plan your next career move. Simply walking into work and demanding a promotion or pay raise isn’t wise. If you really feel this is your last resort, then it’s time to consider moving on professionally.

If you sincerely believe you’re ready to take a step up and the opportunity isn’t being offered to you at your current employer, demanding a promotion will more than likely fail and leave a stain on your career and reputation.

Instead, update your resume, target it to new roles and launch a job search. Then, when you have an offer in hand, flex your muscles with your boss. If your demands are met, you can weigh what move is best; staying with your current employer or accepting a new opportunity.

At the end of the day don’t allow emotions to cloud your judgement. If your career goals aren’t being reached in your current role, find a new opportunity. Pushing your boss into promoting you or giving you a raise isn’t great for your career in the long run. But if you insist on pressing your boss for more, just be prepared to hear no and be ready to strike on a new career path! – Carter

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About The Author

Carter is our resident coffee junkie and a member of our sales and marketing resume team. Having spent most of his professional career in sales management, Carter leans on his professional expertise to create unique, accomplishment based resumes that speak to the demands of hiring managers and current market trends. If you’d like to simplify your career, follow Carter and the rest of our team on Twitter and LinkedIn to get updates on careers, job search and resume best practices!

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