Is it OK to decline a promotion?

9/16/2019, By Adrian Choo

Dear Adrian,

Is it OK to decline a promotion? Will it affect my career?

Here are some things you need to consider before saying yes or no. 1. Is this promotion part of your Career Strategy? Are you ready for it at this point in your life? Is your family okay with it? Or is this a hot seat nobody wants or a dead-end role, or even an overseas posting that's really an exile away from HQ? Think deep and hard before moving. 2. Is this the 2nd or 3rd time you're declining? Some companies (and bosses) do not like being rejected. What signals are you sending out... That you've plateau-ed? That you're not interested in promotions? You might miss out the next big and juicy one. Make your reasons for declining clear to your bosses...but realise you only have a limited number of 'NO' cards to play. 3. Know what you really want. If you want to cruise at this point in your career, that's OK too. If this is not acceptable in your company, then maybe time to look out for external opportunities. It's flattering to be offered a promotion... Think it through and speak to your Career Strategist before leaping.