Congratulations! After years of hard work you have received a well-deserved promotion. But before you even receive that first paycheck and realize that your life is not about to undergo any major economic changes, something happens. Your boss is looking at you differently – and it’s not in a good way. Welcome to the Post-Promotion Punishment (patent pending), one of those foolish and undocumented workplace rites of passage. Getting through this period can be difficult, and we’ll talk about how to weather the storm in a bit, but first, let’s look at why this phenomenon occurs.
NO CONTROL. It is possible that your boss did not want to promote you and was forced into it. Perhaps it was upper-management’s call, or maybe you forced the issue. Whatever the case, you will now be punished for hard work – ironical, ain’t it!
POWER PLAY. Bosses feel they need to “teach” you that there are no free rides in life. Of course you would have never been promoted if you didn’t already earn it, so in a way, every promotion means you have to prove yourself twice.
OFF BALANCE. Everyone is expendable and the org doesn’t want you getting too comfortable. The company has given you a vote of confidence, but your boss wants to ensure that your head still fits through the door – and that you remember who is in charge.
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO. Ever wonder why things are the way the are at work? Oftentimes, it is because that is all a person knows. They saw it done like that once, so they think that is the right way to do it. Perhaps your boss was put through the grinder after a promotion; now they are simply getting payback.
It’s always trying when a boss tests your mettle. The best approach is to hold your head up high, work hard, and act grateful. This becomes easy when you keep in mind…
* Your boss is unlikely to fire you now. He/She would look foolish for giving you the boot right after giving you a very public vote of confidence.
*Embrace the promotion, as it gives you a new beginning, something that is hard to come by in a career-world that often knows no beginning or end – only an impossibly long middle.
*Write the dollar difference of your old and new salary on a scrap of paper and keep it visible. Next time your boss gives you run for the money, remind yourself of something positive that work enables you to do/have (medical insurance, a roof over your head, vacation, etc.)
*The post-promotion punishment is often temporary. Endure your boss’ magnifying glass for several weeks and odds are you will both slip back into your old roles.
Also, never forget to thank your boss for a promotion and/or pay increase. The majority of the time, they played an integral role in making it happen. And if they didn’t, so what! It never hurts to find ways to show your gratitude.