A Year At My Job. How Can I Get a Promotion?

A question to the Workplace Doctors about how to get a promotion in spite of limited tenure.



I’ve done an amazing job in my position in a short amount of time. I want a promotion. We’re a small department and I’m the most senior person with my title and, again, I’m excellent at what I do (constant praise by boss on my work and I’ve really moved the company forward).

Another employer (not in my field) just contacted me and offered me an interview for a position they are trying to fill. I am somewhat interested in the position. More importantly, I am thinking of going through the application process to get the job so that I can use the job offer to negotiate a promotion and raise at the CURRENT job so that I can stay there (without moving on to a new job).

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Toxic Ex-Coworker at New Job!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about going to a new job where a past enemy is employed.

I was in a very toxic work environment for about two years, so much that I started seeing a therapist and taking short-term medication to help me with the stress and agony. The place was fraught with bullies, gossips, backstabbers and office politics due to the extremely flat nature of the company where everyone was vying for limited promotions and recognition. Everyone seemed miserable.

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How Can I Tell My Boss I Have Too Much Work To Do?

A question to the Workplace Doctors about feeling overworked but not knowing how to tell the boss. 


Question: I want to speak to my boss about him giving me too much work. I have been pushy about proving myself by initiating a lot of projects (inside and outside the bounds of my job responsibilities) and sprouting ideas–all of which have been very successful in a very short amount of time. However I feel that as a result, now my boss entrusts me with a little too many responsibilities (it’s too early to ask for a promotion, by the way).

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Ask for a Promotion?

I’ve been at my job for a year now and I want to ask my boss for a promotion but I’m not sure how. Because it’s a fairly new and small company, there have not been any previous employees of my same title to look to for examples of how it’s done (i.e., moving up the ranks). There is one person who has moved up the ranks, but she’s made it clear to other people that she’s not going to give away the secrets to her success.. All she says when they ask for suggestions about changing their title is “Talk to the boss”. My work is solid and I’ve achieved a lot of results and accomplishments on the job over the last year. There are no formal evaluations. There have been a FEW low lights (personality related), but overall I get along with everyone on the job. Should I drop hints that I want a promotion or should I be direct and ask my boss about “opportunities for growth?” (He’s too busy to ask to go to coffee so any talk will be in his office).I have been quantifying my work so that I can show results of my work over the past year to my boss. I don’t want to appear too eager and ambitious, and I’m a bit wary of how the environment might be if I ask for a promotion and am told no and then have to continue to work there.. But I do want to try and want to make sure I do it in the right way.

Signed, Want to Try

Dear Want to Try for Promotion:

Don’t hint! Don’t gossip with coworkers about a raise or your status as apparently you or some coworkers have with the one who got promoted. Doing that conveys an impression of dissatisfaction and jealousy.

Rather, request an appointment and an evaluation. Since yours is a small company and there is no formal evaluation system, a boss should understand that you want to get a reading from him about how well you are meeting his expectations. Other than a brief cordial greeting once you enter his office, I think he will respect something like, “I’ve been here for about a year now and I would like to know how you see my work.” Or, “I think you would like to see what I’ve compiled on my assignments.” Bring in the numbers and any quality indicators of projects completed and suggestions of what you see ahead.

See your boss as a career adviser. Then if he says, “Not now”, you can get a idea of when and if. And if the “when and if” provides ample prospects for you in your small company, you need not feel uneasy about continuing to work there. Also follow up conversation should give you some sense about what to expect as to promotion. If he provides nothing tangible, you can decide if you want to pursue what’s next, possibly, by asking, “What do you see for me next? Or “To get promoted, do you want me to ask for one?” Or “Have I taken on the responsibilities and accomplishments that merit promotion?” Or “Have I earned a raise?”

Talking about what you see that might cut waste—wasted supplies, time, and money—and innovations are the kind of attitude and talk a boss likes to see in you. My signature sums that up: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Will you tell us if these thoughts make sense and/or spark other ways to answer your concern for promotion and then what you do? You don’t owe us for these thoughts, but they are intended to help you on your career path and we will appreciate an update.

William Gorden


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How To Repair A Bad Opinion By A Boss?

A question is asked about how to repair a bad opinion by a boss, based on something that happened in a meeting. 



I’m mid-level in the advertising business where it’s important to be a go-getter. My company recently met with a collaborating company to discuss a joint-ad campaign. However, their terms were not favorable to us. I was more familiar with the account than my boss—he was at this meeting to finalize the terms of the deal.

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Not Promoted Due To Reprisal for a Harassment Complaint I Made in the Past

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to show that being passed over for promotion is reprisal for a harassment complaint made eight years ago.


Eight years ago I filed a sexual harassment complaint against my manager for making unwarranted physical contact with me and it was my word against his. The end result was that he was removed from the office and given the option to retire, being that he was eligible.

I have been with the company for 21 years and have been a model employee, never call in nor do I have any disciplinary action in my file. I have applied for many positions for the last eight years, only to be denied. I have detailed (acted in positions) in several departments, received a good report upon completion and then denied upon interviewing for upward mobility. Some departments I have detailed in more than once.

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Lying To Excuse An Absence

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about lying to explain an absence: How to I do more that apologize that I lied?

Today I was to have orientation for work, and there is no interview process, just to make it clear. Anyways orientation was at 6:30 a.m.to 2:30 p.m. I totally forgot about it, and I woke up at 7:00 a. m. and then I remembered I was missing it. So out of nervousness, I emailed my HR representative and said I had a death in the family and I couldn’t attend today. They replied saying it was okay and that they would reschedule.

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What Should I Say About New Job?

Question for Ask the Workplace Doctors regarding telling current boss about a new job: “My boss doesn’t want people to leave and has given bad references to keep them here. What should I say about a new job?

I have had an up and down relationship with my boss. I finally found another job and I plan on giving notice soon (upon written receipt of the offer of the new job). However, I am wary of saying where I am going.

My boss has made clear that she does not want employees to leave. In fact, when former employees left, she put in calls to the new employer to question who the references were (specifically at the organization). Almost every employee states the new employer’s name upon resignation (most of these employees had good relations). My office is really gossipy and my fear is that by withholding this information, it’s going to create more gossip and a “search” to find out where I am going.

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Stressed, Overloaded, Overwhelmed

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about stress: What should I do to cope with the load before me?

I am currently up for a promotion at work. I am finishing up my Bachelor’s degree and working full time. However, I am feeling very overwhelmed. I graduate in May so I only have a few more months before I am “free” of school. How do I address this situation with my employer without hindering my advancement opportunity?


Dear Overwhelmed:

You are not alone in feeling overloaded. Why? Because we require too much of ourselves; often we carry a full or over load of courses in our hurry to be “free” of school while working part or as you do work full time in our determination not to be trapped by school debt. In addition, we may have car, credit card and rent payments! That leaves little to no room for exercise or personal life. In short that’s not a way to live and to live long.

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Career Advice For A College Grad

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about career advice for a college grad: 

I am a 23 year old university student. I am currently a senior and have hopes of graduating by next fall. I have had numerous part-time jobs in the past, but have not worked for about a year. Some of the jobs include working at a window installer and a restaurant.  The problem I am experiencing has to do with communicating with future employers about my past work.

One of the questions I have concerns my resume. How should I list the contacts for these jobs? Or should I even mention working at these places? What other things should I put on my resume?

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