A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Voluntary demotion

Post 1

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

Has anyone here ever deliberately asked to be demoted or to returned to a role, previously held? I'm on secondment to a higher grade position, but I want my old job back!smiley - wah Am I crackers?smiley - weird


Voluntary demotion

Post 2

Bald Bloke

Yes
I've known a few people who covered a higher grade job on an "Acting" basis who decided they didn't want it permanently.
If it's not working for you then have a chat with your boss.


Voluntary demotion

Post 3

Bald Bloke

So No you're not crackers.


Voluntary demotion

Post 4

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

Well not for that reason anywaysmiley - winkeye


Voluntary demotion

Post 5

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire


Voluntary demotion

Post 6

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

oops- blank response. It would be saying 'no' to more money (a bit), but in my view the extra responsibility and workload doesn't justify the modest increase. One must be happy at one's work- afterall it takes up the lion's share of most people's lifetime.


Voluntary demotion

Post 7

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

The alternative has a name, The Peter Principle, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their "level of incompetence".


Voluntary demotion

Post 8

Orcus

There's a well known phenomenon in large business organisations to promote people just beyond their level of competence - ending up with whole swathes of their personnel incompetent at their job. It is difficult to get rid of as demotion tends to be seen as constructive dismissal.

Hence leading to a disfunctional business.

The other difficulty is that people tend to overestimate their own abilities and be defensive about their own limitations and so self-recognition of this is rare. Which is a shame as the best way out of this would be people to recognise their own limitations and presumably also recognise that the source of their current unhappiness is that they are in a job they can't do very well or don't like.

I would say smiley - applause for choosing this way and I think the company might appreciate the recognition also. PLEASE don't get me wrong... I am NOT saying that you're incompetent in your new position. I am speaking generally and actually I think that someone who thinks alongs such lines is a very valuable employee as they clearly have some nouse and self-awareness. I hope your company would respect such a decision.

Can't say I've done this but I agree you must choose what makes you happy.

The only caveat I'd maybe say is that perhaps give it a bit more time. A more advanced role might need the ability to delegate and manage others to mitigate that extra workload? In time you might find you cope much better with it... perhaps?
Also, what are future promotion prospects like? You may get to move on to something even more 'lucrative' and less distasteful at some point.
I have no idea what it is you do here, so this last bit is perhaps just food for thought and may not be applicable.


Voluntary demotion

Post 9

Orcus

Ha cross post there, forgot its name while I was writing...thanks for that smiley - smiley


Voluntary demotion

Post 10

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

Sometimes people work above pay grade as acting directors or assistant directors, or whatever. That happened to me for six weeks. I enjoyed getting the extra money, but was happy to return to my old job.


Voluntary demotion

Post 11

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

I would completely agree with your post Orcas. I see a lot of it in my organisation (a local authority unsurprisingly). Rather than wait for the right candidate no matter how many post advertising cycles that may take, they will pick the best from those who applied, even if the best is not that great, or there is only one applicant for one post!

That's how I got my secondment. I only applied because I was told the post was more or less mine if I wanted it and the application and interview was a formality. It felt churlish not to apply for a 'done deal' and to turn down extra money and I may have ended up enjoying the job (though I had serious reservations of my competance for the role). I also didn't want to appear completely lacking in ambition after not applying before when similar secondments have come up.

Now a few months in I have picked up some things and know that I'm not totally useless in the role. But that said, I know I will never be as competant as others in the team who carry out a similar job at the same level. This is for several reasons, one of which is that I'm just not that interested in the role and it's hard to do well in a job that bores you! Also, unlike others at this level, I do not have educational qualifications or an employment background in the primary function of the role. I have a degree, but not in a hugely relevant subject. I was told that didn't matter, as long as I had a degree smiley - erm


Voluntary demotion

Post 12

Hoovooloo

You're not crackers.

I've not asked for demotion, but my mum did. She worked at the tax office for decades. After a while - and I mean decades - the stress started getting to her. She requested a job change to the grade below - same office, same colleagues, but less responsibility, less stress. She worked at that job for a few years and definitely felt better as a result, but eventually crap management and some newer, less affable colleagues started getting to her.

One day she told me she was just going to quit and get a job on the till in Asda or something - she was literally going to go in the next Monday and tell them to stick their job. I sat her down and gave her a talking to about sticking it out - the sort of talking to she'd have given me twenty years before. She agreed she'd stick it out for a bit.

Six weeks later she rang me and told me they'd announced they were seeking volunteers for early retirement, with generous top ups to pensions to encourage people her age to go sooner than they might otherwise have done. She was overjoyed, and my smugness still hasn't worn off fifteen years later.


Voluntary demotion

Post 13

Rev Nick - dead man walking (mostly)

I never have, but I worked with a chap who did. He served two years with our Airborne unit, and on leaving, was given the customary promotion. He didn't want to be a worker/supervisor - too much time spent riding a desk. He preferred to be a repair bench jockey. The hierarchy told him, "try it, you'll like it".

After 2 years, he had had enough and wrote a formal letter requesting a demotion. It took some time, and much confusion at higher levels, but it was approved. He and I got more drunk than I had ever been that night . . .


Voluntary demotion

Post 14

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

Perhaps there is a certain nostalgia involved too. Surely most people would, given a time-machine, love to return to an old job they have fond memories of, even if only for a day or two..

Given the chance to return to an old job you enjoyed for real, especially if a significant amount of time has elapsed, must be quite a nice thing; I can therefore have a good idea of how your colleugue must've felt Rev smiley - smiley

On the other hand... I once returned to a company I had left a year previously, in a different role. I stayed a few years, but it never stopped feeling just *wrong* somehow. Hard to explain, but it felt a bit like stopping a film halfway through and going back half an hour to rewatchsmiley - erm. As much as it was nice to be back in a familiar company with familiar staff and familiar policies, it did feel a bit like a backwards step; I had closed a chapter in my life, rightly or wrongly, and it just felt plain weird to reopen the book, albeit at a different chaptersmiley - weird

I am a bit worried that I may feel the same if I return to my old job, even if it is with a company I haven't left.


Voluntary demotion

Post 15

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

Can you live on the lower salary? Would you lose any percs?


Voluntary demotion

Post 16

You can call me TC

smiley - petunias I just *knew* this was a winnoch thread (again!)

I did what your Mother did, Hoovooloo - backed out before the management ground the place into the dirt. There was (yet another) changeover going on and, although they were not laying anyone off this time (having reduced the work force by 1/3 a couple of years before), they were pleased to let me go. The deal wasn't brilliant, but I was glad to be out of it. The fun part is that the lady in HR who arranged it all has since been laid off herself!

And now to Winnoch's problem. My Dad did something similar. He was a sales rep. Had been in sales all his life, and was then promoted to Sales Manager. As I have seen in other companies since, those who are sales people through and through are useless at "managing" and office work in general, and don't enjoy it.

My Dad hated it so much he left the company and went back to being an Agent, his own boss, having to pay all his own expenses, but back on the road and selling stuff again.

On the other hand, as an ex-minion, I would be very happy to have a boss who knows the nitty gritty of the job, and isn't just plonked in the position of manager above me because he/she has just left university with a degree in Business Studies or Economics or something totally unrelated to the every day goings-on. It would be so nice to be told to do something that is actually relevant to one's job, is plausible, doable, and gets the job done.

As I see it, you have two alternatives:

1. Take the higher paid job, just do the boring administrative work and decision-making that is expected of it and be miserable. Turn your attention to pleasing those above you in the pecking order.

2. Take the higher paid job but turn it into a hands-on management vocation - turn your attention more to those below you in the pecking order and try and make their job more worthwhile for them, if necessary take any training on offer for people-management and make the most of the fact that you *know* what they do all day. Motivate them. In the long run that should produce better results and you will be in the more senior management's good books.

That is my smiley - 2cents as seen from the minion's PoV.


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