Say no to quiet promotion … Tips for protecting your career

Quiet promotion

Author: Anja van Beek, Agile Talent Strategist, Leadership & HR Expert and Executive Coach (

Imagine yourself performing excellently at work, and your bosses are extremely pleased with your results. They are so delighted that they asked you to take the lead. You are thrilled because this shows that your career is on track, and you are advancing in your field.

Everyone is aware that promotions are difficult to obtain.

Depending on the size of the company you work for, there might not be a formal career path to follow, and it might take a while to advance into a position of power.

But what if it turns out that your promotion was a ‘quiet promotion’?

When you are asked to take on more duties without receiving additional compensation or a promotion, such as managing a team, this is what it means.

‘Quiet promotion’ is also a term used to describe a situation where high-performing employees are punished for their success by being given more work and responsibilities, instead of being recognised and rewarded for their contributions. This can lead to burnout and decreased job satisfaction, which is why employees need to be aware of the signs of quiet promotion and take steps to avoid it.

Quiet promotions, like quiet quitting, are a troubling workforce trend that speaks to a lack of communication and leads to high turnover rates. To avoid quiet promotions in your company, select leaders carefully, delegate wisely, and establish clear roles and expectations.

Regrettably, quiet promotions are common.

A quiet promotion, defined as an increase in workload without a pay raise, was reported by 78% of surveyed employees, according to the employer review website Job Sage. Additionally, 67% of employees had additional work after a co-worker left the company.

Here are some tips to help you avoid being quietly promoted:

  • Communicate your expectations − Make sure that your manager knows what you expect in terms of recognition and rewards for the additional work you have taken on and your hard work. Be clear about your career goals and what you hope to achieve in your current role.
  • Manage your workload − Keep track of your responsibilities and make sure that you are not taking on too much work. Be mindful of when you are being asked to take on additional projects and assess whether you have the capacity to do so.
  • Negotiate for recognition and rewards − When you are offered additional responsibilities, negotiate for recognition and rewards that are corresponding with the additional work you will be doing. This could include a title change, a raise, or other benefits.
  • Seek out mentorship and support − Find a mentor or support network that can help you navigate the complexities of your job and provide advice on how to avoid being quietly promoted.
  • Speak up − If you are being quietly promoted, it is important to speak up and inform your manager about your intent and expectations. Explain the impact that the additional work is having on your performance and well-being, and work with your manager to find a solution that is fair and sustainable.

In conclusion, avoiding quiet promotion requires a combination of proactive steps, effective communication, and the ability to manage your workload and negotiate for recognition and rewards. By taking these steps, high-performing employees can ensure that their hard work is acknowledged and rewarded, and that they are not punished for their success.