Like “side hustles” and “silent resigning,” the current “developing” trend in the workplace is really just the old one given a new, more alluring label. (Sorry, you don’t have a “side hustle,” you have a second job, and if your first job isn’t paying the bills, you deserve a raise.)
This time, it’s “silent promoting,” a term derived from “quiet leaving” to characterize the practice of giving workers additional responsibility without commensurate increases in their title or salary.
So, we may discuss how often they are, what they look like, and what to do if you receive one; nonetheless, we would much rather have a real promotion and pay increase.
Just how often do behind-the-scenes promotions occur?
One thousand full-time employees in the United States were polled by the employer review website Job Sage in October 2022 to determine their experiences with “silent promotions,” which were described as “getting a greater workload in your job without more income.” Extra labor done without compensation is as frequent in American workplaces as males in executive positions, according to the data. Although it is understandable that something occurs sometimes, it occurs much too often.
According to the data, 78% of the workforce has been “silent promoted.” If you’ve been assigned more of the same or completely new responsibilities without receiving a promotion or pay increase, know that you’re in good — and plenty of — company.
In addition, 59% of those surveyed reported feeling underpaid in their present positions, and 42% stated they didn’t think their bosses appreciated their efforts.
Specifically, how does one go about a discreet promotion?
Some of the most frequent indications of a covert promotion include:
One of the most common requests from managers is for employees to take on more responsibilities.
- Carrying a heavier workload than those with similar titles
- Taking over responsibilities left vacant by an employee’s departure
- Consciousness that you’d let down your employer if you didn’t take on new responsibilities
When pushed to do extra, 53% of people report feeling exploited or taken advantage of.
It’s important to remember that these are not hard and fast diagnoses of a stealthy promotion, but rather symptoms.
One difficulty is that proving your readiness to your employer for a promotion and actually getting that promotion might appear quite similar at first glance. Many workers will take on more work without being asked if they think it will help them get promoted.
However, there is a difference in how the sexes see this: According to the available data, males are more likely to be promoted for their potential, whereas women are rewarded for their actual achievements. That is to say, women are less likely to automatically be promoted and are more likely to be asked to take on more responsibilities in order to show they are deserving of a higher position.
When promoted, do individuals keep their mouths shut?
Only about a quarter of workers have spoken out about being quietly promoted.
The same way that not everyone can make a quiet exit, not everyone can make a quiet acceptance of a promotion. In order to maintain their employment, many workers from historically underrepresented groups, for example, already believe they may need to go above and beyond. Employees whose visas are contingent upon their current employer may also feel helpless.
However, anybody might find oneself in a position where they fear that saying “no” to their superior would result in negative consequences like being demoted or dismissed.
How can you make your subtle promotion official, resulting in a pay increase?
In such case, what recourse do you have if you suspect that you have been discreetly promoted? Think about what the concept of a “silent promotion” overlooks before storming into your boss’s office, Excel spreadsheets at the ready, to demand that promotion.
While most workers begin their employment with a clear assignment of responsibilities, such responsibilities seldom remain unchanged. When an organization takes in new workers, changes its focus, or implements new technology, the roles of its current employees will naturally evolve to accommodate the new circumstances. In addition, there is inherent space for advancement in every function, both as you acquire new talents and as your level of experience increases but before you are promoted to the next level and get a new title.
An unnoticed promotion that isn’t being appropriately compensated would be more symptomatic of a substantial and continuous shift in your responsibilities, such as taking on management responsibilities for a team of direct reports or doing all of the activities of a recently departed senior coworker.
As a result, you may use any combination of the following methods:
Take stock of the situation.
For what reasons have you taken on so much more responsibility? How long will it last? Do you find yourself doing many of a higher-ranking employee’s duties already? Look at several postings for the job you want and see how your duties stack up against those stated. Think about how much money you will be making. Find out what you might or should be earning by talking to others in your network or using pay calculators like the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s PayScale or Salary.com. However, as every business is unique, you should check to see whether your organization currently employs people with the desired title, and if so, compare your responsibilities (and income, if possible) to theirs. Is this the beginning of a legitimate promotion, or have you already been promoted quietly?
Write down every detail.
Document everything you do for work, even if it’s not directly related to your employment. Keep track of the outcomes of your efforts and the positive comments you get from your boss, coworkers, or anybody you encounter within the course of doing your job. The more detailed you can be about the influence your work has had on your team and organization, the better. As a mental aid, consider this your time spent getting ready for an evaluation of your performance.
Choose the right time for request.
Establish a time to talk to your boss. Is there a timeframe when we may expect a periodic evaluation? Are you nearing the end of a project that may strengthen your case for a raise? Or are you hoping to get an answer quickly? What is the state of the business as a whole? It could be best to hold off if your company just laid off employees or lost a large customer.
You should prepare what you will say and how you will say it if you want to ask for a raise, a promotion, or both.
Find something that better suits you.
If asking for a raise or a promotion at your current job has gotten you nowhere, or if you know it will get you nowhere, it may be time to start looking elsewhere. Create a cover letter that highlights your relevant experience and provide examples of how your additional effort has prepared you for the position you’re applying for.
Maybe it has nothing to do with the lack of the raise and is unhappiness in your current job. If this is the case, check out our other content on “Finding Happiness and Purpose Within Your Job”.