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When is a promotion a bad thing?

career career advice Jun 10, 2022
angry businesswoman who did not get the promised seat at the leadership table

When is a promotion a bad thing?

 When it doesn’t carry any weight with it.

 Unfortunately, I hear this exact situation all the time. Someone strives throughout their career to gain a meaningful management position, only to discover that when they finally land the role, it is in name only.

Worse, this is often the case for women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ persons, or others who check a “diversity box.” The company wants to show that it values diversity because it is a popular marketing message, however, the corporate culture doesn’t adopt the change.

 Signs of the “in name only” promotions

On the surface, the new job sounds good. The title is right, the job description is exciting, and the money is there. However, the resistance begins to appear almost immediately:

  • You are given all the responsibility when things go wrong, but none of the authority to fix it.
  • You are talked over or cut off when you try to contribute at team meetings.
  • Your future initiatives and visions fall on deaf ears or are even thwarted.
  • The leadership team is holding off-site meetings that don’t include you, often under the guise of social hang-outs- Golf, anyone?
  • You aren’t invited to business lunches with your boss.
  • Your budget is limited or even slashed.
  • They never fill the team positions under you, even though it was discussed when you took the role.
  • You are expected to perform the work of the team, not lead them.
  • There is a sub-culture in the office that feels “off” – or worse, it is openly hostile. Leadership does nothing about correcting issues like harassment, derogatory jokes, or “lockerroom talk.”


Now that “great opportunity” turns into the “great frustration.” 🤦‍♂️

 Has this ever happened to you?

 What did you do about it? 🤔

 If you are like many of my clients, they start looking for their next opportunity.

 However, you don’t want to fall into another garbage job!

 12 Red Flags

Believe it or not, there are 12 red flags that you should watch for throughout the application and interview process. For example, if they don’t treat you with respect during the interviews, guess what – they won’t treat you with respect on the job either.

Read the 12 Red Flags here:


Want more? Join our new Down & Dirty Job Search program! We will help you find a job with a REAL seat at the table.

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