Since I started my current role, since my hiring, my manager and I agreed on a set of extra, more senior tasks, for a bigger, "parallel" team. These tasks were done unofficially. I manifested my will to officially perform those seniors tasks for both teams. The manager of the bigger team was positive and wanted to create a new role for me to allow me to do so. I wrote my own role description and shared it with both managers. The role is exactly what I have been doing for the last year, there are no divergences in it, but it is more senior (as it incorporates officially those senior tasks!)

My line manager told me that now I can still perform those tasks, but I have to strictly do them from his team, and I have to go through a specific internal process for 1-2 years I want to be promoted to the role I wrote (which is what I do today, and what I would be doing in this setup). The manager of the bigger team wants to maintain a good relationship with my current manager, and she is not discussing the matter at all right now.

Question: Is it common in a corporation to perform unofficially in a senior role for 1-2 years to deserve to be recognised for work you have been doing for 1-2 years, or is this a red flag and I should leave?


As mentioned in comments, that sounds like a major red flag: you are in a situation, working above pay grade with unclear and long-distance "carrot" of a promotion to level of your current responsibilities.

In general, corporations tend to avoid "unofficial" situations like that. That protects employee from being over-worked and without reasonable compensations/support, as well as it protects the organization from people who would sue for unreasonable work conditions.

The power dynamic right now is heavily against you. when I talk about compensation and support, it doesn't only mean more money (which is good), it also means more resources and some protection. Right now, there are number of bad situations that can happen to you, for example any combination of:

  1. Your boss unofficially assign you task X. You for whatever reason do a bad job, your boss blame you for going over their head, you suffer
  2. Your boss gives you a task, but provides zero support. Since it is under the radar, there is nobody you can ask for more people, time, resources. You work yourself crazy and suffer
  3. You work for 1-2 years, waiting for promotion and recognition, but your current boss get promoted/fired/resign and there is nobody left to recognize your contribution. You are stuck and worked extra for no reason
  4. 1-2 years are turned into 2-4 years "due to unepexected circumstances"
  5. You receive extra load given "how well you performed so far" and of course that is a new condition for the promised promotion

TL;DR: try to outline your responsibilities and regularly review your job description. No need to go crazy, but keep it as a yardstick for expectations.

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Promotions are, really, about Organizational Values.

If your organization is bums, be a bum.

If your organization is professional, be that.

There's no way around it, it's based on your abilities and it's easy to over qualify.

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