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How did you tell your boss "no" when he asked you to be supervisor or manager?


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I'm looking for some insight from someone who may have been pressured by someone higher up the food chain to take a promotion. If you weren't comfortable with this and you declined to accept, my question is how did you tell your boss "no" and what was the response?

 

I would need more context.

What is your current relationship like with your boss?

And, why wouldn't you want the opportunity?

 

I ask because it depends.

I wouldn't have a problem saying 'no thank you'. Currently a supervisor and I've been in some sort of lead, management, training or supervising role my entire (working) life. After this gig I would easily decline the opportunity again. It's good in some ways, but grueling in others.

It's not for everyone.

If I ever have another job, I will gladly be a worker bee and keep to myself:)

Edited by reinventmyself
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My relationship with my superiors is very good...and if I move up the food chain, I will be placed into a salaried position with longer hours and more stress without the possibility of accrued overtime. I just want other people's experiences regardless of their relationship with their boss and how they gracefully turned down the opportunity. Or if they didn't...did they end up regretting it.

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As reinvent points out, there's plenty of good reasons to accept and maintain lesser pay for fewer hours and less responsibility. The only thing I'd be cautious of is how specialized your position is on its own. After so many years of raises, it's a possibility they'll look at your position and ask themselves whether they could turn you out and bring someone in fresh and at a base rate for a relatively similar performance. Some jobs are more than happy to have someone tried and true in the same position for however long. Others are less eager if they're able to fill the position relatively easily and for less. That's on you to reflect on, though. You know the dynamics of your business and profession better than I do. Express your content for your current duties and responsibilities and that you feel you've got a great work-life balance as things are right now. Who knows? Maybe if they're dead-set on you being promoted, they'll offer more vacation days or other benefits to better assure your quality of life. Or not.

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Express your content for your current duties and responsibilities and that you feel you've got a great work-life balance as things are right now. Who knows? Maybe if they're dead-set on you being promoted, they'll offer more vacation days or other benefits to better assure your quality of life.

 

Agreed. Negotiate for the things that would make this job more desirable. If they can't meet your requests, then say no. That's more tactful than just plain "No."

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what is your reason for saying no?

 

Long story condensed - I work in a large hospital. There is a department that was neglected in terms of staffing (which was the fault of management and HR) and I was asked to help out on an interim basis with the understanding I would return to my old duties after this new department became fully staffed. Job applicants have been basically non existent so far, and now I am being pressured to retain permanent employment in this new department as a supervisor (bait and switch tactic by management) which would involve overseeing the rebuilding of the entire department including recruiting and training additional staff, rebuilding procedure manuals, and keeping up to date with all processes that involve accreditations and inspections. This would mean keeping long hours and being that it's salaried...no overtime compensation, as well as extreme levels of stress. I almost feel like I was set up, but if I resist, it could cost me what I previously referred to as good relationships with my superiors which could turn out to really affect my standing with this employer.

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In that case, I would tell them that taking this job on permanently is not part of your career progression plan (or whatever phrasing you want to use) and ask to go back to your old position. I guess they could say no to that, and what would you do? Would you stay on as the head and look for a new job? Refuse the promotion and just start job hunting? Do you think they would be open to negotiation? ie, tell them you'd take the job if they gave you a raise of $X/year and Y days vacation and whatever other thing you want.

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Ah. I had typed something but after reading your response, I'm revising it. I see how they're trying to trap you in the job. I would say that if you had a promise that you could return to your previous job, then I wouldn't say anything but that you would like to return to your old position. Just keep saying you were happy in your old position and you would like to return to it.

 

If they tell you your position has been filled and this is the only position they have for you, then you would have to think long and hard about leaving. If there are other hospitals around or other places where you can go, I might suggest you resign and just say goodbye.

 

I had an experience such as yours. I was a great technician and I was asked three times to be a manager. I would have been a great manager, and I had managed projects before, but as a tech, I was paid by the hour and I averaged 60 hours a week for years. And some weeks, I'd work up to 80 hours a week, which was 40 hours of 1.5x overtime! As a manager, I would have to work 60 hours a week but be paid at a 40-hour rate with no overtime. And the benefits weren't very good.

 

Now, I didn't want to get into a discussion about not wanting to take a pay cut or complaining how cheap the company was. I didn't want to say that I didn't want to be the one called in the middle of the night or having to worry about things 24 hours a day. I just said, I like being a technician. I was happy being a technician. What could my boss say? I wasn't grumpy or critical. Heck, I was making more money than he was, but I wasn't going to say that. He didn't like my answer but there really was nothing he could do.

 

I would add that some years later when the company targeted all my bosses and they left, I left too. It was plain the company didn't care about its employees and they replaced my bosses with crooks who were also vendors. So it was made easier for me to leave since the people I had worked for for 10 years were also gone.

 

I think if they won't let you go back to your old job, you might have to just walk out too.

Edited by DanZee
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One of my friends was asked to "cover" for another lead who went on vacation. Well, that other lead came back from vacation and my friend is still there. They originally told him one week, then it became two, then three, now it's indefinite. And there are no plans to send him back to his original location. He's stuck.

 

I once said "no" to an offer to be the assistant to the president of the company. I turned it down because I didn't have the proper experience and I knew the president was not sympathetic toward people who were new to positions. He had high expectations from day one, and I could see myself making a mistake (due to being new) and being fired. So I explained that I felt someone with the right type of experience would be a much better fit. He wasn't happy because it meant he would have to look outside the company to find someone, but I still feel I was right.

 

Years later I accepted a position I wasn't qualified for even though I had doubts. I was assured they felt I could handle it. Seven months later I was fired. The reasons they cited were inaccurate, but they expected me to have knowledge they knew for a fact I didn't have, yet I got fired anyway. So I won't make that mistake again.

 

I recently was promoted to a position I know I can handle. There have been a few bumps but so far things are going well. I'll never again accept a position I have doubts about.

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I wouldn't offer an explanation, but just tell them if it's alright with them you would rather return to your original position.

 

At the same time tell them you are there to be of any service in the interim, while they search for someone who is well suited for the position. But ultimately, you really liked the job you originally had and would prefer to return to it.

 

They aren't stupid and know exactly what they are doing. Just say no thank you and tell them you are honored they asked you (Not) But say it anyway. People who are in management positions totally get why not everyone else would like it. We might not say so, but we do.

 

I have a friend that works for large big box store (Costco) She was honored to be promoted to a supervisor position, which entitled her to a whopping $1.00 an hour more! But along with that she handled all the responsibilities and head aches, problem solving and the employees. After a couple years she told them they either needed to pay her more or demote her to cashier, because the pay didn't compensate for all the extra work and frustration involved.

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I wouldn't offer an explanation, but just tell them if it's alright with them you would rather return to your original position.

 

At the same time tell them you are there to be of any service in the interim, while they search for someone who is well suited for the position. But ultimately, you really liked the job you originally had and would prefer to return to it.

 

They aren't stupid and know exactly what they are doing. Just say no thank you and tell them you are honored they asked you (Not) But say it anyway. People who are in management positions totally get why not everyone else would like it. We might not say so, but we do.

 

I have a friend that works for large big box store (Costco) She was honored to be promoted to a supervisor position, which entitled her to a whopping $1.00 an hour more! But along with that she handled all the responsibilities and head aches, problem solving and the employees. After a couple years she told them they either needed to pay her more or demote her to cashier, because the pay didn't compensate for all the extra work and frustration involved.

 

Indeed. I was previously at a large institution, which I have since left. When the position of my supervisor became available, it was available to me but with no increase in pay. Just, why.

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I only got a small raise with my current promotion, but I figured since I'd been doing the work already I might as well get a bit more money. I also got a title that gives me much higher visibility and could benefit me in the future if I do want to move up. The next level up would mean substantially more money and my current position puts me in line for the move.

 

But, if there are literally no benefits to accepting the position I would not do so.

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Well, I've got a meeting scheduled with my administrative director for tomorrow afternoon. This is do or die. Either they let me go back to my old position of I'll be looking for a new employer. Things have gone from bad to worse in the last 48 hours. Here's hoping it doesn't come to that but I'm prepared for the worst.

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I would say since you have been in the new role less than a week, maybe you should reiterate what you were told about the position and instead of asking for a demotion, rise to the challenge. In six months, or actually, after Christmas if nothing has improved, start shopping your resume. But if you manage to help the department turn around - you may be able to write your ticket for a raise or a parallel move. If you stick in this job six months, it will look good on a resume vs saying "i was bait and switched" and if you can demonstrate things you have implemented that will work in your favor If things have gone from bad to worse in 2 days -- is there a way that can be solved by asking HR to put out help wanted ads and job postings or to offer some other kind of support.

 

If you said no, that would be one thing, but because you said yes, i would stick it out longer than 48 hours. That's just me.

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I've been in the new role for three months now. My instincts in this field have been honed over the years and unfortunately this is a black hole that is getting darker by the day. My resume could take an even worse hit if they attempt to pin the current problems of the department on me the next time we are inspected, which I would not put past them.

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