I have been in limbo for a promotion at work for a long time, and I’m not being given any clear answers. Reading between the lines, I’m assuming this is a “no”.
I was hired into a job and it quickly became apparent based on the responsibilities and the expectations that my title was not inline with my industry, experience, and even other people doing similar type roles at my company. I performed exceptionally my first year. At my performance review, I mentioned that I would like to obtain a new title. I asked if there was an appetite for another individual at that level in the company, and if so, what is my development path to reach it. I was told that yes, there was an appetite, and then given some very subjective goals they would like me to hit (completely unmeasurable goals). I took this in good faith and continued to work hard. At least quarterly, I checked in with my boss and showed him how I was progressing. I was met with indifference - no encouragement that I was trending in the right direction, but no feedback that I wasn’t either.
At my 2nd annual review, I once again received exceptional marks. I brought up the conversation of a promotion again. I was prepared with the goals he had requested previously and what I had done to achieve them. This time I asked what else we needed to demonstrate. I was told that we would discuss it “later”. No feedback, no timeline. It felt like a very soft no. I was a bit discouraged but left the review still feeling valued by the company, and decided I would more actively pursue the topic in one on ones.
2 months later, we had a significant event where I rose to the challenge and led the organization out of the catastrophe, saving the company millions of dollars. I met with my boss and said that hopefully this demonstrated that I was operating at the level that I was asking to be titled at. I decided to take a more aggressive approach and asked if they were now prepared to address my title. My boss said he was thinking about it, but it isn’t the right time to have this conversation. I asked when we could revisit. He said 30 days.
I waited a month and a half and brought it up again. I again got the messaging of “not a good time”.
At this point, I feel like I’m being blown off and there is no intention of promoting me. If there are gaps in my performance, I would be fine being told “no”, but I haven’t received a single piece of tangible feedback in my tenure at this company of things they expect of someone at that level. If I was told that I was deficient, I would be fine with the “no” as long as there was a development plan to help me get to that next level. Likewise, if the company does not want a person at that title, I want that feedback as well. I would probably move on, as career progression is important to me. If I had to guess, I would assume this is what is happening. My manager is kicking the can down the road because he knows I’m going to hit the market if I can’t advance.
At this point, I’m ready to move on because I am not feeling like there are any options for me here. Before I start looking, are there any other methods I should pursue to get a clear answer on the promotion?