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Questions to Ask Your Employer Before Accepting a Promotion

Madhushree Kelkar
Asking your employer the right questions before accepting a job promotion will help you understand your new role and responsibilities better. Here, we inform you about what you need to ask your boss before you say 'yes' to a promotion.
Being ready isn't enough; you have to be prepared for a promotion or any other significant change.
- Pat Riley
If you are thinking that saying no to a promotion is not a good idea, this is far from true. Sometimes, a promotion comes with many details that you would not want, like, for example, relocating. This is why you should understand the finer nuances of the promotion before you say yes.
A promotion might also mean that you step into a half-completed project, or more likely, take the place of someone inefficient and lagging behind in work. This can cause undue stress in your life, and will make the promotion not worth it.
Also, when employers know that a certain task is difficulty to achieve, they try to motivate employees by giving them a promotion before letting them tackle it. In most cases, the end result is failure, and the loss of a job.
There are many people who regret accepting a promotion because of such problems. Being completely aware about the different aspects of the promotion and questioning your employer about it can definitely save you from making such a career debacle.
This story will inform you about the questions to ask your employer which will help you to understand if the promotion is profitable for you or not.

Important Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Promotion

What are the changes in the compensation, perks, and benefits that you are offering me?
This is perhaps the most important question from your point of view. With an enhanced designation, your role and responsibilities will increase. Hence, you will get a hike in compensation, perks, or benefits.
Ensure that your monthly take-home salary has increased considerably after the promotion. If you are going to work for long hours at a stretch, divide your salary by the number of hours, and see if you are going to earn more after the promotion or in your current position.
Remember that in some companies, promotion may not necessarily increase the compensation, or its hike may be limited. Hence, it is important that you know about the monetary and allied terms of your promotion before you accept it. Have a talk with your boss and negotiate appropriately.

What will be the focus of my new duties for the first six months?

You should know about the immediate focus of your work, or you may end up completing a task that may not be a priority. Also, your performance will be judged during the initial period, and you will come across as an irresponsible person if you are not aware about the long-term and short-term goals of your department.
Understand if there are any areas of concern that you need to know about. Needless to say, asking this question to your superior will portray you as an employee with good analytical and planning skills.

What are the responsibilities that I am expected to shoulder?

Unless you know what responsibilities are expected of you, it will be very difficult for you to perform well. Take your prospective boss out for lunch, and try to understand the working of the department.
Know what the immediate and long-term goals are, that need to be addressed. Know about the priorities, and tasks which can be taken up later. Apart from your routine work, if you are going to be part of some work-related committees or interview panels, be aware about the same.
If your work includes a lot of public speaking, you will have to gear up for that as well. Whatever the amount of work, plan it properly so that you will not be bogged down by the stress of meeting deadlines.

What is the current situation of the work, and what does it need to be?

It may so happen that the person who has the left the position might have piled on a lot of work which will have to be sorted by you. Before accepting the promotion, understand what the current situation of the work is, and how long it will take for you to correct and finish it.
This will help you understand about the feasibility, time management, resource allocation, etc., for the completion of the work. Asking this question will give you a clear picture of the work to be completed. You can then plan and execute the work accordingly. However, make sure that you are comfortable with excessive workload and long working hours.

What is the new working environment like?

If your new working environment is going to be excessively stressful and physically draining, while the financial benefits are not too many, you may reconsider accepting the promotion. Also, ensure that your cabin has enough privacy to complete your work without any distractions.
To know about the nature of your job, consult your new boss and get a few details about the work environment from him. You can also ask other people in the department about the environment. This will give you an idea about the working environment that the new position entails.

Who will be my reporting authority?

This is a very important question. Get to know a little about your prospective boss from your current boss. Ensure that he is not a ruthless taskmaster who will easily steal your credit. Also, it is necessary that any future advancement in the organization is not impeded by a selfish boss who will not allow your work to come to the forefront.
If you speak to other people in the department, you will come to know about his personality. This will also help you to impress him and deal with him in a better way.

Who all will be reporting to me?

Though many people may not give this question much importance, it matters a lot. Especially if your subordinates include people who indulge in spreading negative gossip that can tarnish your image. If you did not get along with them in the first place, they are bound to make matters worse for you when you get an authoritative position.
Find out about the issues related to people or performance which you will have to address immediately. Knowing about the strengths and weaknesses of your subordinates will help you to delegate the appropriate tasks to them and deal with them in a way which they understand best.

What is the future growth for this position?

Don't make this question sound as if you are asking for too much, too soon. Take your own time and pop it in the flow of the conversation. Do not accept a promotion without giving the future of your career a thought. Think about utilizing this position in such a way that it will help you to climb the ladder of success.
If it is hinting towards stagnated career growth with no opportunities for advancement, you may have to reconsider your decision of accepting the promotion. However, if it helps you gain a position among the top executives in the organization, then it is advisable that you accept the promotion.
Ask your employer about the challenges involved in the taking up a new position. You must know exactly which subordinate can act as a link between others and you. You can then make him your associate. Ensure that you know how much traveling comes with your new position, or you will practically end up living out of your suitcase.
Apart from this, you need to first ask yourself if you are capable enough to handle the responsibility, encounter stressful situations, and take important decisions.
Now that you know about the questions to be asked to an employer before accepting a job promotion, you will be able to take a level-headed decision. As you will be constantly judged, add value by delivering innovative working practices which will benefit the organization.