Has This Happened to You? A Promotion Promised but Never Happened

The promotion that disappeared…

Your boss’ boss pulls you aside. “Have time for lunch this week?” she asks. She adds, “There’s an exciting opportunity and you could be perfect for it.”

A couple of days later at lunch, she describes a role opening up on Bruce’s team, basically what you were already excelling at with a few more responsibilities.

“Is this a promotion?” you ask, pointedly.

“It will be in a couple of months, if you perform at your current level,” she states.

Back at the office, Bruce stops by, as if on cue. You and he discuss the role. He shows you a job description. “This could be a big step for your career,” he says. “I want to set you up for success, get you your own office, you know, do it right.”

You take the job not knowing that Bruce is on his way out. So is his boss.

Fast forward six months: there is no promotion.

You continue to work hard and do your best to forge relationships with the new execs. But you can’t shake the nagging suspicion that you’re a “marked woman” chosen for advancement by the prior executives who fell out of favor.

What do you do? You’ve been producing at the level you’ve been asked to produce and then some. You’ve been underpaid. (Yes, you’re one of the women who makes $0.72 to your male counterpart – the gender pay gap exists). Do you approach your new boss now? Give the new boss more of a chance to see your work? Or, do you cut bait and go where you are appreciated? There seems to be no one good answer. You want to be compensated fairly, but you don’t want to rock the boat when things have been so shaky.

Ever been in this situation? Tell us how you handled it.

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