After lot of browsing in websites how to cope up with something i have witnessed lately decided to give it a shot on this forum to may be guide in my best ways:-

I am a database administrator for over 10 years in the industry now. I have been in this new firm for last years and this year was crucial as I was nominated for a promotion based on all the stuff i have delivered over last 4 years:

All the peers supported and were expecting me to get the promotion but as per the first round, people from higher authorities in management took my interview and declared me as 8-5 job person no matter how i hard them explain about my achievements over the call.

It was a shocker to my manager as well and we discussed to get a one to one discussion with MD of the company who finally decides. Promotion for this year is anyways gone and asked to focus for next year:-

Here are few questions:-

What questions should I be asking the person at that authority and at big position?

How should I go about discussing the efforts i gave over 4 years which is visible to so many of my peers and have been supporting just ruled out by the group who just showed up on interview day?

I got disappointed with the feedback of 8-5 majorly and not because it got rejected. I understand the things it goes in cooperate world but how should i now start a healthy conversation with the MD so that it does create a negative impression after all this hard work?

Edit - I am expanding that 8-5 comments as mentioned: Per the group there was nothing extra-ordinary i have done which has helped firm saved lot of money, new features or my work which shows that I can actually be a leader.

Also what i explained to that group- May be it sounded more technical and not sure how to portrait this- In 4 years i did lots of automation which has helped people in moving from XL reporting to say fancy visual of PowerBI. Great database performance recommendations which has helped an application struggling or bending on its knees since last year to a situation where its almost 6 months and it has been running smooth. Have conducted training and brain storming sessions etc.

Please advise, thank you!

  • If the ones who don’t know vote you down then move on.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 31, 2020 at 19:34
  • @SolarMike: Correct, that's what i have done and focusing for next year. But as this got escalated now i have 1:1 with MD and he gave me 15 mins to clear things up and probably looking for someone to guide me wisely how to make or strike a conversation with him so that i am not the victim again next year
    – Newbie-DBA
    Oct 31, 2020 at 19:46
  • @JoeStrazzere:" Just updated my question
    – Newbie-DBA
    Oct 31, 2020 at 20:50
  • 1
    You're never going to get what you deserve there... look for something else, sign your contract in this new place and then resign from your current position and refuse any counter-offer they might propose. Their loss, not yours...
    – Laurent S.
    Nov 1, 2020 at 9:48
  • 1
    "An 8-5 job person" if I understand that right, sounds like a big red flag. In any field its not what hours you put in that matter but impact you have. In tech, this is especially so. its a common mistake non technical people make. They place value on the person that puts out the fire but not the one who prevents it. Nov 5, 2020 at 14:42

2 Answers 2


The key phrase, as you noticed, was "8-5 job person". This phrase explains everything.

In any corporate organization, the nature of the work can be divided into two camps.

  1. Line Work: Bringing in the money, customers, or designing and determining the product "lines" of the business. The people who do this are sometimes called "rain-makers"

  2. Cost-center Work: Support for the line work. The people in cost-centers perform the functions needed to sustain line work, but don't perform the actual line work. An IT person (unless the org supplies IT services) is very much in the Cost-Center camp.

You can think of the Line work vs Cost-center work as a quotient where Line work provides value and cost-center work is a cost. so...


It's reductive to think this way, but that's how many business people see the two types of work. They want to "maximize" the numerator and "minimize" the denominator. If you happen to be in the denominator, you're constantly facing an impulse to reduce costs, reduce head-count, to do things faster and cheaper. If you're in the numerator, you're constantly facing pressure to bring in more, find new markets, new revenue streams, more customers.

There's a strong incentive to reward line work, because it's seen as direct way to encourage "bringing home the bacon". As such, bonuses and raises are easy to justify to money people because the ROI is obvious.

On the other hand, cost-center work like IT is seen as a target for cuts and outsourcing. If you do your job "too well", you can easily precipitate the termination of co-workers because "they're not needed" and your reward is more work. Raises/bonuses are seen as a necessary evil to keep you from jumping ship at the worst possible time.

If staying in the org and getting promoted is important to you, I think it's important to frame any argument for your raise/promotion in terms of "bottom-line" financial vocabulary and your market value. That's what they understand. That's why they see you as an 8-5 worker and not a rain-maker. Alternatively, you might be happier in a place where your services are the line work of the business.


If other people got promoted, they may have provided more business value than you above their salary. You may have delivered value to the business on par with your salary. You may already be well paid(I don't know) and you have delivered exactly the value typical of you salary level. BTW I am speculating because I don't know your salary, what I do know is you have delivered the kind of value that would get an annual salary a bit over 100k outside of Sydney Australia in a capital city in Australia. The point I am trying to make is it is hard to quantify without more information. You can quantify it yourself by applying to better paid jobs and seeing if you can get them

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