{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How do you keep a positive attitude & momentum going when you've been trying for a raise & promotion for several years & have made zero traction? Every year leadership changes & I have to start over trying to prove myself & I'm just so f'ing sick of it. I never get juicy projects, I'm always stuck on grunt work that I knock out of the park but never get any recognition for because it's not going to Cannes. Has anyone said promote me or I quit & had it work out? No women or POC CDs at my agency.", "post_id": "5ef9063f1c01a0001a53ac77", "reply_count": 40, "vote_count": 24, "bowl_id": "5976222cab932800101a9ca4", "bowl_name": "Women in Advertising" }

How do you keep a positive attitude & momentum going when you've been trying for a raise & promotion for several years & have made zero traction? Every year leadership changes & I have to start over trying to prove myself & I'm just so f'ing sick of it. I never get juicy projects, I'm always stuck on grunt work that I knock out of the park but never get any recognition for because it's not going to Cannes. Has anyone said promote me or I quit & had it work out? No women or POC CDs at my agency.

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Honestly... After several years of this pattern I’d advise cutting bait and finding a place that recognizes your talent. What is keeping you there for so long after what you’ve described? Would be great if you could bank on your company valuing loyalty but it’s not always the reality. Don’t be a victim of sunk cost fallacy. But as others have said, never threaten to walk if you aren’t ready to deliver on that. With many agencies on freezes right now counters may be even harder to come by. If You do go down this path I would go armed with documented achievements, goals hit etc. Good luck!

likesmart

There was one year that I had three different managers and was aiming for a promotion. My biggest advice is to get a list of things that will bump you to the next level. For creatives, it may be types of projects, leadership, examples of innovation, cross- department collaboration, PR, etc. Then keep a tracker in excel or google sheets. Update your list when you end a project or every month that maps back to each of the bullets that you need for that promotion. Continuously share this list with your manager and your peers to get feedback and their advocacy. You can also use this list to write a business case for your promotion. Having it in writing makes leadership accountable, but remember that advocacy is on you.

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I did that. Then multiple people at multiple agencies have openly admitted to me that promotions and raises are not really merit based. You’re better off getting an offer from somewhere else to get the money you want.

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I lived this. In bad times I was told to hold tight, in good times I was told “they’re busy now we’ll promote you in 3-6 months.” In the end I just quit, and told my boss that her lack of balls in follow through was the reason.

likeupliftingsmart

All of my promotions and salary bumps have been from leaving my agency and going to another one. It’s hard to get the $$ and title you deserve unless someone else sees it in you. Shouldn’t be that way but unfortunately that’s how it’s worked for me. Both times my bosses have begged me to stay and offered to counter but I was so over it that I just left.

likesmart

My partner and I asked for a promotion. We were promised the promotion and a week later we were told that because we had received a small bonus 6 months before that we couldn’t receive the promotion (she said it was an agency policy that the finance department enforced). I said at least give us the title, we can wait for the pay raise. She spoke with the CEO and they kept being evasive. I said I’m quitting unless we get the promotion promised us. They gave it to us. We got the title that week and pay raise 3 months later. I would only recommend threatening to quit if you are really serious about it. You have to be willing to walk away. It sucked getting it that way but I’m still glad I did and I would do it again if I had to.

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I definitely have the financial cushion to walk away. (Sorry, not trying to sound like a braggy a-hole. I’ve just had good luck in finding steady employment and I’m more of a saver than a spender.) I just feel like they’d call my bluff and it'd be sad.

I have, essentially. I posted in another thread about my experience but I essentially kept being told I had to hit certain “checkboxes”. When I asked what they were or for a job description I was told “doesn’t exist.” On the cycle I was (previously) told I was up for promo I was told “no budget, don’t expect anything”. I had a very blunt convo with my manager that if I were to wait another 6 months (after already being delayed) it would affect my career growth and experience with the company. It was too long to be at one agency at my level without promo. I had shown loyalty but it’s a two way street.

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Thanks, Senior AD1. I did exactly what you’re saying a year ago and still got the old "not in the budget" excuse. I think it’s time to make my own luck.

I quit. Freelanced for a while and landed somewhere with a better title and a fuckton more money. Know you’re worth it, come at it from that perspective. Pretty bad sign that your place has bad numbers on women & POC, so that tells you something.

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That’s the move

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Yup. I don’t have any sound advice but can feel your frustration. I’ve so been there. And it’s painful. I fought very hard to no avail.

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Fair point RGA, that can certainly make it more prevalent

uplifting

Are you me? Literally been busting my ass and have changed who I report to three times and not a single one advocated for me to get a raise because they hadn’t been with me long enough

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Same. I ended up quitting too. Start looking and find somewhere else that appreciates you.

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Got to do what is best for you. Had that happen at a company that wasn’t winning new biz. I was the only person in the entire country that does what I do and after two years, no help hired. No raise. No promotion. Loved the people there but had to make a move. It didn’t seem they’d have the money to get me help anytime soon. I was also hired under impression my team would grow. Years later, they reached out to see if I’d be interested in coming back to resume my old position with potential for growing team...but from prior experience, it would just be empty promises. So I declined and now still looking. It’s been a while.

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I’m sure declining was a hard decision but it sounds like a smart one.

I’m in the same boat, am embarrassed to say how long I’ve been here, with still no raise no promotion, work more hours and extra jobs and still nothing, only to get ever year it’s not in the budget.

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Of course, but it’s not so easy finding another gig because of A.) the current situation and B.) I’m not 20 something.

likehelpful

I was in your situation, couldn't take it anymore and left. I got a 50% raise and way more opportunities at an agency that actually values my time and input. What keeps you there (other than the obvious COVID job market concerns)?

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I was in such a similar situation at my previous agency. After years of trying to get promoted, taking unsexy projects to prove myself, and watching men get promoted around me, I sensed I’d developed a reputation only among higher-ups as a agitator and was eventually laid off during the very first COVID layoffs. I know it’s because I was loud about my ambitions and It’s honestly made me scared to keep looking for work in the same city. I just have no idea the best way to respond in these kinds of situations and I’m so scared of it happening again if I’m lucky enough to find a new job.

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Leave. Beginning of story, end of story.

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This sounds like my entire career, sadly. At least we are not alone.

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Don’t have much to add but I feel you 😞. I feel slightly better knowing I got the job with the senior title, paying way more than I make now...before it went away due to Covid. Gotta keep trying, we deserve it

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Move on. Companies don’t appreciate good workers anymore. Your just a number.

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That’s easier said than done in the current job market. Now is not the time to quit without a job.

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Do folks advise leaving if you don’t have stuff lined up in this market?

The process of looking can help you understand how marketable you are, and whether all the hard work is really translating to the portfolio / resume.

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