I've been offered a promotion as several people have left/will be leaving.

I've been looking for other jobs and have asked for some time to think it over. Unfortunately, I'll have to give an answer before the interviews have been completed.

Although I like the manager, I can no longer see myself remaining at the company, unless the salary is at £X.

How do I professionally decline the promotion? Although I could accept it and continue searching, I find it a tad unprofessional and it triples the notice period, which is unattractive to other companies.

  • So you do not have another job lined up yet? Are you close to some offers? Is the issue strictly monetary?
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 10:19
  • @Tymoteusz I have a 2nd stage interview shortly and 1st stage interview with another company. It isn't just monetary as I'd like a change of environment too.
    – Monstar
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 10:22
  • 2
    @JoeStrazzere I also don't want to raise the suspicion that I'm leaving, since they accept my leave.
    – Monstar
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 10:24
  • 1
    I think I'll close the question. I have a vague idea of how to respond. Thank you.
    – Monstar
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 10:42
  • 2
    "How do I professionally decline the promotion?" - why would you? This is capitalism. Put a price on it.YOu say yourself that you could see it with a salary of X - put that X (+10%) in - then there is no need to decline and the ball is in their court.
    – TomTom
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 12:19

3 Answers 3


There is no reason you can't request the salary desired and the reduction of the notice period in order to accept the promotion. Explain, in a professional manner, that you would require X salary to accept the role and that you find the extended notice period to be unacceptable since it effectively seeks to curtail (or at least hamper), your career and future employment prospects.

You don't need to explain or justify your salary request - although obviously if you can show it is in line with industry standards and further support your claim with examples of the work you have done to deserve it, you have a greater chance of success. Equally you don't need to mention you're already on the lookout for a new role - long notice periods can be considered unreasonable even by people who love their job and never intend to leave.

If your employer is unable to meet your request you can decline the promotion. There is more to life and work than salary and titles. Its perfectly acceptable to say something like "I appreciate and am honoured by your offer and the faith you have shown in me, however I'm afraid, in this instance, I don't feel this is the right move at the right time for me career-wise".

Your boss may read between the lines and see he/she needs to meet your conditions of they want to keep you. Otherwise, everything goes on as normal.

Nothing unprofessional or underhand about any aspect of it. This is just business - you need to do what's best for you and get the best deal you can.

  • Thank you for phrasing it that way, I'll likely go this route.
    – Monstar
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 13:48
  • I requested the £Xk salary. Though I couldn't get the data to prove that to be average, I said it would be very stressful and high pressure, due to.the circumstances regarding the promotion. I was told that salary wouldn't be approved so rejected the promotion.
    – Monstar
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 16:16
  • You can't do any more than that. If you don't ask you'll never get. The important thing is to keep it all cordial and don't burn any bridges in turning it down.
    – amcdermott
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 16:47

and have asked for some time to think it over. Unfortunately, I'll have to give an answer before the interviews have been completed.

No you don't, you can continue procrastinating indefinitely or until they have someone to take the job. Do not think they're not looking for someone, they would be silly not to. The implication when you asked for time is already that you're looking elsewhere.

  • That's a good point, as obvious as it is I didn't think of that.
    – Monstar
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 13:49

You say: "I will only be able to accept the promotion if

the salary is at £X"

The ball is on their side then. Also, they will probably need some time to discuss that, which will give you time to interview at other companies.

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