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I’ve been with this great company for a while now and have been very happy and successful. Everybody is always telling me how great my numbers look since I’m in sales and I’m bringing in a ton of business with lots of happy clients. My numbers are always through the roof and everyone is always commending me at our monthly meetings. Recently, somebody in the company got promoted leaving the next position available for me. I was told several times by my supervisor that the position was guaranteed to me. I was very excited. He said that the same position was open in a further location that I could also apply for and that they would prefer me for. I told him I would consider it but then I made it known I want to stay where I am.

Now my supervisor’s boss, the manager, has said I will not be considered for my current location and will only be considered for the further location for a promotion( this would be an extra 1.5hr commute). I feel that since the position is open that as an internal candidate I should be at the very least considered. I would like some advice on how to proceed with this. I feel very undervalued and wronged because I was originally told this was my choice of what location to go to and I was told the position was guaranteed to me. How should I proceed to get the promotion I want in the location I want?

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    If your supervisor is not the final decision maker with regards to hiring for this position then he could not have guaranteed anything – sf02 Dec 18 '18 at 20:18
  • Was any reason given wither for their original preference or the recent dictate? There are definitely situations where companies want people to move around for solid reasons-- getting experience in different offices with different sets of people and challenges is very useful for people moving up the chain of command for example. – Justin Cave Dec 18 '18 at 20:18
  • Their reasoning is “this is the choice they are making”. But if both jobs are available then can they really tell me I won’t be considered for a specific location? Does anyone have any advice of what to say if I meet with the manager again? Does anyone think I should go to the manager’s boss since I’m not feeling valued as an employee? As a top performer I feel that I should get preference and I want to properly argue my point. Thank you! – David Dec 18 '18 at 20:41
  • I think they have already considered you by telling you that you won't be considered for that position. They have decided that they want you in the other position. – cdkMoose Dec 19 '18 at 17:30
  • "As a top performer", that may be exactly why they want you in the other position. – cdkMoose Dec 19 '18 at 17:33
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  1. Ask for a face to face meeting with both your supervisor and the manager
  2. Tell them clearly that the new location doesn't work for you since the commute is prohibitive. Add more data points if needed (need to get the kids from school, classes or club activities after work, family obligations, etc.)
  3. Ask them (politely) to help you understand why the position at the current location is not available to you.
  4. Listen carefully. If there are any rational arguments that you think can negotiated ask for some time to digest, gather data, think it through. Don't shoot from the hip, unless the answer is obvious
  5. If there are no good arguments (stone walling) or the arguments are too strong to work around, than pose the question "How do you think my career should develop over the next few years? What I can do to get a promotion at this location?".
  6. If there is an actionable answer, go work on this plan.
  7. If the answer is negative, evasive, or vague, you have to decide whether you want to live with the status quo for the foreseeable future or whether to polish your resume and look elsewhere.
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I was told several times by my supervisor that the position was guaranteed to me.

Bad form by your supervisor there - they shouldn't go around giving you guarantees of things beyond their power to deliver.

I feel that since the position is open that as an internal candidate I should be at the very least considered.

Despite the language the manager used it's pretty clear that you have been considered. It's just that it's a no.

I feel very undervalued and wronged because I was originally told this was my choice of what location to go to and I was told the position was guaranteed to me.

I sympathize, I really do - you've had the rug pulled out from under you and you're feeling justifiably annoyed by this.

How should I proceed to get the promotion I want in the location I want?

There's no sure-fire way of doing this - at this point your only real leverage is to threaten to leave (I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you are prepared to follow through!)

Their reasoning is “this is the choice they are making”. But if both jobs are available then can they really tell me I won’t be considered for a specific location?

They are absolutely entitled to make the choice they want, there's nothing that obliges them to consider you for a specific promotion or location.

Does anyone think I should go to the manager’s boss since I’m not feeling valued as an employee?

You can.. although going over someone's head is risky, very risky. You have nothing to indicate that they feel any differently from your manager. The only ways this is going to work are:

  1. They are unaware of the manager's actions here and disagree - slim chances but not impossible

  2. You threaten to leave and they overrule the manager to retain you - nothing to really gain over making the same arguments to your manager and letting them escalate it up the chain.

Even if one of the above happens - you need to be prepared that it's got a very good chance of making an enemy out of your current manager. Depending on where you'd sit in relation to them in the "promoted" position this might not be much of a concern, or they could be in a position to make your work life very, very miserable.

As a top performer I feel that I should get preference

This goes a long way to adding weight to the leverage of threatening to leave - but is of limited value on it's own. Suggestions or inferences that your performance might drop off if you don't get what you want carry that unfortunate whiff of blackmail to them.

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