Workplace dilemmas: should I make my big promotion permanent?

Workplace dilemmas: Should I make my big promotion permanent?

A tricky teaser for our agony uncle this month: what to do if you’re acting up, but want to act down again

Dear Tim,

Towards the end of last summer, I was asked by my line manager to take her job. She’d secured an internal promotion and a part of her new role would involve restructuring our company. We’re a fairly well known global brand and have a huge headcount.

    ...the new job has put me under a huge amount of pressure. It might not have shown at work, but I think my friends and family would agree...  

My boss’s brief was to merge a couple of departments and she wanted me to take over as head of our team while the new structure was put in place. Then, she said, I’d have the opportunity to apply for a permanent role, heading up the merged department.

Naturally, I jumped at the chance. I’d been labouring away in my current job for a number of years. To be honest, I’d felt a bit as if my career was stalling and had begun looking around for new opportunities.

Then this came up: six months to prove myself, working on 10 grand a year more pay, with the chance to make it a long-term role if I delivered the readies.

Now here we are. The six months are almost up and I’ve been invited to apply for my position permanently. During a recent appraisal, my boss said I’d done a really impressive job at holding the team together during the time of transition. There have been a few redundancies, and the hierarchy thought I’d dealt with the challenge of that well.

Apparently, I’ve also shown good strategic instincts and strong people-management skills.

Workplace dilemmas: Should I make my big promotion permanent?While it’s lovely to receive such positive feedback, and good for my ego to be told that there’s a very high chance I’d be given the job on a permanent basis, I’m wondering if it’s really what I want.

By the time I’ve paid tax and National Insurance and lost my Child Benefit payments because the new salary puts me over the threshold, my £10,000 bounty doesn’t add up to much.

And the new job has put me under a huge amount of pressure. It might not have shown at work, but I think my friends and family would agree that I’ve been a lot more preoccupied since taking it on.

But I worry what will happen to my reputation if I decide not to apply for the full-time promotion and revert instead to my former job. Will that be the end of my career? Will I ever have a chance to assume more responsibility in the future, or is this a one-time-only thing?

Tim writes:

I’d like to begin by congratulating you. It’s no mean feat to assume additional responsibility with your existing employer, especially on a pro tem basis. Colleagues are often uncertain how to respond to you in such circumstances: all the time the job’s temporary, you’re still one of them. But then again you’re not, because you have to manage them and, as you found with the restructuring, are making decisions that could affect their futures.

To emerge from such an experience with your reputation not only intact but enhanced is deeply impressive. It is no surprise your boss wants to give you a more senior appointment permanently. You’ve clearly made your mark.

    To emerge from such an experience with your reputation not only intact but enhanced is deeply impressive.  

However, as bestselling author and motivational speaker Milly Johnson says, just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to pursue it.

You may well be an exceptional manager who could go all the way to the very top of your profession. But if it’s not making you happy, what’s the point?

That said, you’re right to think about the optics of this. Your superiors will no doubt have taken your willingness to act up since the summer as an indication that you’re ambitious. Turning your back on the permanent opportunity could be interpreted as a step back from this. It could be seen as a sign that you’ve reached your level and don’t want to go any further.

Ultimately, though, that may be a risk worth taking. I imagine staff churn in a big company like yours is fairly high. Managers come and go. Which means the corporate memory is fairly short. At worst, the current crop of senior managers may have you pegged as unambitious if you don’t take this opportunity to make your elevation permanent.

Should you change your mind about pursuing preferment a few years from now, the chances are new managers will be in post. And they won't be hung up on this incident because it will have happened before their watch.

Nothing we do in the present locks us in forever. To sound like a walking cliché, your happiness and mental wellbeing are more important than anything.

If you don’t feel that this is the time to take the permanent promotion, don’t take it. Go back to your old job, knowing that you have to let go the opportunity to continue shaping things. Reclaim your Child Benefit. Live a simpler, less stressful life.

But consider this. How will you feel if someone else comes in and does “your” job? It may be that you’re feeling anxious about stepping up permanently. Get over that diffidence and this could be just the opportunity you’ve been looking for to keep your career fresh and your working life interesting.

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published: 8 January 2020

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Workplace dilemmas: my colleague doesn’t respect my religious beliefs

You may also enjoy: Workplace dilemmas: how do I help my colleague through mental illness?

Jobs currently available

New job
Electrical Wireman
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910175
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Electrical Wire person on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex.

The role will involve mechanical and electrical assembly, wire and electrically test distribution and MCCB boards, cabinets and cable harnesses. The role also has the potential for new product development by building prototype boards and testing boards before product launch.


  • Build and test distribution and MCCB panels to the standards specified by the latest electrical regulations: BS EN 61439 and BS7671 including energy metering and surge suppression devices.
  • Read, understand and work from technical electrical CAD drawings and wiring diagrams.
  • To pick and check all component quantity and quality before each job.
  • To build and assemble wiring loom kits using a variety of cable crimp hand tools.
  • Electrical testing, fault finding and resolution.
  • Production of Test Certificates.
  • To work using own initiative with limited supervision.
  • Maintain manufacturing records including: copy test certification, wiring diagrams, layout drawings and production sheets.


  • Previous strong experience in Low Voltage panel building environment.
  • Knowledge of metering requirements and installation.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Flash Testing Certified.
Read more
Graphic Designer
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910168
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Graphic Designer on behalf of a company based in Colchester, Essex.

They are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled Graphic Designer to join their team.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join an exciting company as they rapidly expand nationwide.

Duties will include:

  • Designing and producing marketing material for nine businesses across the UK
  • Each business has their own distinct brand identity, so you must be willing to adapt as the situation demands
  • Manage the production of their 300 page brochure
  • Design other promotional material; for example posters and flyers; for use in their sites
  • Liaising with 3rd parties to design and produce physical promotional materials
  • Negotiating prices
  • Experience with website design is preferable
  • Experience with running business social media accounts also preferable

Experience in a similar role or relevant qualification is a must for this opportunity

  • Relevant extensive experience in design programs - for example, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver - is required
Read more
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: discussed on application
Location: Chelmsford, South Woodham Ferrers
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910167
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Designer on behalf of a company based near South Woodham Ferrers.

This is a fantastic opportunity if you have a Product Design background and can offer Retail or POS Design experience.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Create new products, including 3D designs, prototyping and testing
  • Execute robust design process and continuous improvement
  • Take client brief either from Account Manager or Client
  • Time management and planning workload with Head of Design
  • A ‘can do’ attitude


  • Excellent level of knowledge using SolidWorks
  • Good level of knowledge using Adobe Suite
  • Experience with the POS sector would be advantageous
  • Product Design degree would be preferred
  • Good problems solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good Word & Excel skills
Read more
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: £16,500 - £17,000 per annum
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910164
About the role

Just Recruitment is working with one of Suffolk’s most promising mortgage companies. Established in 2014, this company is looking to take on a skilled Administrator to support its rapid expansion.

Your duties will include:

  • Supporting the mortgage brokers in their day-to-day activities
  • Electronic Filing and record-keeping
  • Checking and submitting mortgage applications
  • Progressing cases
  • Speaking to members of the public, both in-person and over the phone

Ideally, you will:

  • Have experience in an administrative role
  • Possess an excellent telephone manner
  • Be diligent and detail-oriented
  • Be highly computer literate, including familiarity with Microsoft Packages
  • Have a great sense of humour

Working hours:

35 per week – Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm, with an hour off for lunch

Read more
Warehouse Operator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910163
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Warehouse Operative on behalf of a company based in Sudbury Suffolk.

Your daily duties will include:

  • Ensuring that the warehouse is kept tidy and organised
  • Unloading and checking of deliveries in
  • Checking in goods
  • Putting away products within the warehouse
  • Picking products as per customer orders
  • Checking orders, ensuring accuracy
  • Packing orders to ensure safety in delivery
  • Loading deliveries
  • On occasions take responsibility for the locking up procedure for the Warehouse/Site

Working hours:

Split shifts: 6.00am – 2.30pm / 2.00pm – 10.30pm

You will have the following skills and experience:

  • Suitable applicants will ideally have current Forklift licences for Counterbalance, Pallet Truck and Flexi
  • Good level of Numeracy and Literacy
  • Intermediate PC skills
  • Preferred NVQ Level 2 Warehousing or equivalent
  • Prior knowledge of Warehouse Management Systems
Read more
Equity Release Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910156
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Equity Release Advisor to join an established company based in Needham Market.

Operating for over 20 years, our client has a great reputation in the local area. They are looking to take on someone with a real hunger to succeed within the industry.

  • A CeMAP / Equity Release qualification
  • Experience within mortgage broking or Equity Release
  • Great communication skills
  • A detail-oriented nature
  • Experience of dealing with clients, both in-person and over the phone
  • Strong market awareness
  • Great knowledge of Microsoft packages and be generally computer literate

In return, you will receive a competitive base salary plus commission.

Please get in touch if you would like to be considered for this exciting new opportunity.

Read more