Passed Over for a Promotion…and Happy About It

As I said when I started this site, I want to be very open, honest and transparent with you about my life and financial situation. That’s because I want you to be comfortable here, and view this as a place you can share without fear of judgment or scorn.

In that spirit, I want to talk about a recent “setback” that happened to me at my day job.

I put “setback” in quotes because to me, I don’t really view it as a setback. Let me elaborate.

Back in August I was asked by the chief of staff of the government agency in which I work to interview for a major promotion. Without getting into details, the job would have put me in a supervisory position and responsible for approximately 200 people. I would be responsible for a budget well into the millions. I would also technically have become a public figure, open to lawsuits and also responsible for the actions of my employees. It would have come with a 50% pay raise, and I would have been making a significant amount of money.

I knew the job was available, but I purposefully did not apply. I’m not sure why, because it is a good job, a great career stepping stone, and I feel that I would have been a great candidate. Something was keeping me from going all in with this.

Without applying, I was asked to interview anyway. This made me happy because I actually thought I would have a chance to get it, and know that I got it because they wanted me to have it. I wasn’t about to bug them and pester them about why I was the best.

The interview went well, in my opinion, but was followed by months of waiting. I never did the follow up that career coaches tell you. I didn’t send a letter thanking my boss for the interview. That is how I know, deep inside, that I really didn’t want it.

What I am trying to say here is, don’t be afraid to follow your heart and reject things if they don’t seem right.

For me, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the extra responsibility and dependence people would have on me. In the last year, I’ve made a lot of realizations in my life. Money is not the most important thing to me anymore. My time is. And this job would have, at first, taken a lot of my time.

I am also trying to transition out of my current job into something easier. Every other year I am required to work 6 months of intensive schedules, over 100 days in a row without a day off. It is very stressful and was damaging to my mental health and family. If I would have taken the promotion, I would have been locked into this organization for the next 6 years, on top of the 8 I have already put in.

This promotion simply did not fit with the direction I want to take my life in. I’m more interested in becoming self sufficient and self employed. Becoming the boss for 200 people does not fit with that dream.

For once, I feel like I am following my dream.

It’s not easy being passed over for a promotion, especially when conventional wisdom trains everyone to feel sorry for you and treat it as if it were a bad thing. My wife, for one, is disappointed.

But I’m not.

This is how I know I’m truly on the path towards building a life that I want, not one that other people want, or one that society tells me I should have. I have everything I need, almost everything I want…except time. I don’t have a good retirement fund built up, but I’m working on that (mainly be redefining retirement to be what I want, but that’s for another post.)

If you have any stories where something happened to you that was supposed to be bad, but turned into a blessing in disguise, please post in comments.


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10 thoughts on “Passed Over for a Promotion…and Happy About It

    • hello,

      This is my first time at your website. I thank you for the article. I used to work for the federal goverment too. I worked out of the U.S. State Department buidling although I worked for another agency (in US foreign aid). I am now in the private sector and work about 60 hours a week routinely. No one at my company can last if they only worked 40 hours. I asked for a few days off during Christmas about 1 month ago, and was denied my request. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but upper management’s because they needed everyone to send in billable hours to maximize the company’s earnings. Anyway, the goal is to be self-sufficient in some ways, not to work for someone and continue to be a serf. I understand why you feel the way you do. I hope your dreams of 100% self-sufficiency is reazlied soon. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. By the way, I have decided to start blogging. I have much to learn. My first blog will most likely be about my experience with a short-sale that I am currently doing. This is my first SS and probably my last but I have been up to my eye balls in sinking real estate since the fall of 2004 when I owned 12 properties at once. This is not to brag but to share the magnitude of what I had to deal with. Thank you for letting me comment.

      • Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. I know how you feel when the expectations are that you work until you drop; you wonder if anyone there puts their own health and families first. I am glad to hear that you are starting a blog. Your experience sounds like it could help a lot of people. On Wednesday I am publishing a post on how to roll out a new blog and the things you should do before you publish your first post; I hope you are able to read it. Thanks again for stopping by.

  1. Whoops, hit post too soon!

    I’ve definitely held back from expressing interest in moving into other positions because I didn’t want to work the shifts associated with the role.

    At one point a former boss also recommended me for a move into a different position to the higher ups (which didn’t fly, and which I was glad about because it wasn’t really what I wanted to do). I kept doing what I was doing and eventually an opportunity opened that I honestly did want, and eventually received.
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    • That goes to show that things happen for a reason. I don’t know if it’s fate, but it’s certainly something. Thanks for stopping by!

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