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更新时间:2018-4-12 20:16:01 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What to do when your great promotion backfires

One of Marcos Clowes’s biggest career setbacks wasn’t getting fired – it was accepting a promotion.

克洛斯(Marcos Clowes)最大的职业挫折之一不是被解雇,而是得到一次晋升机会。

The reason? Clowes was promoted despite lacking the relevant experience needed for his new management-heavy role. Ultimately, he found he just didn’t have the non-technical skills needed, such as leadership know-how, to immediately succeed in the job and keep progressing up the career ladder.


Feeling unprepared “undermined my confidence”, said Clowes, a supply chain, transport and logistics consultant based in Stafford in the UK. This hit his performance and in the end, he left the company he had been with for a decade and found a job that was a better fit.


In most cases, promotions are a time for congratulatory emails and drinks, but some workers find taking on a more senior role – at the wrong time - can damage their careers.


Promotions can backfire when employees don’t acquire the soft skills needed to move up into what’s often a more management-heavy role, explains Diane Domeyer, executive director of the Creative Group at Robert Half, a US-based recruiting firm.

罗致恒富是一家美国猎头公司,其创新集团常务董事杜美雅(Diane Domeyer)解释说,如果员工没有掌握必要的软技能,那么晋升可能会适得其反,因为这些软技能往往是重管理能力的职位所必需的。

Or workers simply don’t want a more demanding role despite the opportunity: “Either you don’t have the skills to be successful, or you don’t have the motivation to do the job,” says Domeyer.


Feeling compelled to take on a more senior position due to company politics can be especially damaging. Employees pushing into a more senior role by colleagues or senior staff members are destined for poor performance, says Tacy Byham, chief executive at DDI, a US-based human resources consultancy.

迫于公司政策升职而感到身不由己,这对员工特别有害。美国智睿咨询有限公司(以下简称DDI)首席执行官白哈姆(Tacy Byham)称,被同事或高级管理层推到更高级别职位的员工注定表现不佳。

Workers who felt forced to comply with a promotion were three times more dissatisfied with the new role and twice more likely to consider leaving, according to DDI data. “If no one else wanted the job or you didn’t choose to become a leader, it can backfire,” she says.


Nearly 41% of global workers accepted a promotion to gain greater respect from peers, while 29% agreed for the perks and travel opportunities, according to DDI data. “People want it because it feels like a status symbol and that’s the wrong approach,” Byham suggests.

DDI数据显示,全球近41%的员工晋升是为了得到更多同行的尊重,而29%的员工晋升则是为了津贴和出差机会。白哈姆(Tacy Byham)指出,“人们选择晋升是因为它代表个人的身份象征,尽管这种想法是不对的”。

If contemplating a promotion, Edwin Trevor-Roberts, who runs a career management firm in Brisbane, Australia, suggests a mental exercise: He asks people to reflect on what a day or week would feel like in the new position in order to better imagine themselves in a leadership role. “The most important question an individual can ask themselves is ‘Do I think of myself as a leader?’”

在澳大利亚布里斯班经营一家职业管理公司的特雷弗罗伯茨(Edwin Trevor-Roberts)建议考虑是否接受晋升的人可先作一项心理训练:他让人认真思考在新职位上工作一天或者一周的感受,为的是充分想象自己担任主管职位的情景。“每个人都应该问自己的一个最重要的问题——‘我有没有把自己当成领导者?’”

‘Check your ego’


Another factor to consider is that it’s not always immediately clear when a promotion has gone wrong, says Jo Miller, a women’s leadership coach based in Iowa in the US. Often companies fail to give feedback about your performance in a higher role and it’s not obvious that the position might be harming your career. “People don’t generally get fired because of a misplaced promotion – they get overlooked and pushed out,” she says.

米勒(Jo Miller)在美国爱荷华州从事女性主管职能教练的工作。她说,我们还需考虑的是,升职不是好事并不能立刻表现出来。通常,公司对员工在高级职位的表现不会及时给予反馈,高级职位对员工职业发展的阻碍一时也不明显。她还说:“通常人们不会因为一次不合适的晋升而被解雇,却会因此被忽视,最后被迫离开。”

It took Nigel Green, a sales and marketing professional from Nashville in the US, a year to realise that moving from the sales department into the role of chief executive was a mistake.

美国纳什维尔州的一位销售和营销专员格林(Nigel Green)花了一年时间才意识到,从销售部门转岗成为首席执行官是错误的。

After months in the role, he still felt unprepared for the challenge of overseeing his marketing firm and couldn’t manage his work-life balance. Green also realised that he wasn’t truly his own boss, but instead had to answer to shareholders, which was exhausting.


After nearly a year, he was close to getting fired and decided to quit: “I had to fire myself because I’m incapable of being accessible 80 hours a week,” says Green.


He has returned to a sales role at a healthcare technology firm and says he thinks more critically when presented with opportunities that others perceive as a step up.


With a talent for communicating and handling sales, Green is not looking to leave his favourite parts of his job behind. “You have to really put your ego in check,” he says. “It really forces you to say: Who is this for? Is this for me and my family or is it for the applause or recognition from other people?”


'The joke was definitely on me'


Heidi McBain, a Texas-based counsellor, says moving into management can be particularly hard for people who are doing something that they love. She ended up resigning after taking on a supervisory position that meant giving up her counselling clients.

一位在得克萨斯州工作的顾问麦克贝恩(Heidi McBain)表示,对于喜爱自己工作的人来说,进入管理层可能特别困难。她在担任主管职位后选择辞职,因为担任主管职位就意味着要放弃她的咨询客户。

Although the position was better paid and offered a more senior title, McBain missed working directly with her clients – and managing the work of other counsellors wasn’t the same. “The joke was definitely on me,” recalls McBain, who now owns her own online counselling business.


Diane Domeyer, of Robert Half, says things are changing. As organisations “flatten” and require fewer employees in middle management, career experts are seeing younger workers declining roles that would allow them to climb the ladder in the traditional manner.

罗致恒富的杜美雅(Diane Domeyer)说一切正在发生改变。随着组织“扁平化”,对中层管理人员的需求减少,职业专家们发现,年轻员工倾向于拒绝一些有助于他们按传统方式获得晋升的职位。

“Many individuals either in IT or creative professions have a major impact without ever managing people,” says Domeyer, who focuses on creative careers. “Your value to an organisation does not need to be aligned with where you sit on an organisation chart.”


When counselling younger employees, Jo Miller advises them to be cautious of accepting a more senior role as a way of improving self-esteem and talks to them about the overlooked benefits of taking a lower position at another firm.


She often has to dispel the myth that all promotions lead to career benefits: “People shouldn’t be afraid to step down and take a step back,” she adds.