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I’ve been working hard this year, but I’m concerned I won’t get a promotion at the end of the year due to covid (we’ve had severe pay cuts/furloughs at our company). Any advice?

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Yes. Prepare yourself for not getting promoted.

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Honey, we’re all working hard.

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A promotion in normal times doesn’t happen just cause someone works hard. I know that sounds like tough love but it’s true. It’s about more than that. Have you contributed to growth? Stepped beyond your level etc? Then at least you should have some examples to point to as to why you are deserving if you decide to pursue a higher role elsewhere. Focus on building the case beyond hard work. It will benefit you if the opportunity comes up internally after all, or help with a move.

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Since when was working hard the criteria for promotion? I'd reposition this around something of value, like money.

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It’s one year. There will be many more. Millions aren’t able to pay rent or get food. Count your blessings.

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Negotiate for more when you do get your promotion next year.

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It’s true that promotions may be unlikely. Yes, you should prepare for it but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take the disappointment and sit with it. If it’s truly going to be a deal breaker for you, start job searching. Although at a much smaller scale, hiring is still happening. Good luck!

Your only option is to find another job and try to leverage it to get a promotion but you’ll have to be willing to walk away. But even with that there are no guarantees. Unfortunately it’s the reality of the business now.

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