Het klinkt als het ideale scenario: je doet je best op je werk, de baas merkt dat op en geeft je uiteindelijk promotie. Wat wil je nog meer? Nou, géén promotie. Want wil je echt gelukkig zijn, zo zeggen wetenschappers, blijf dan gewoon zitten op de plek waar je zit.
Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of the book “The Conservative Heart,” warns in a recent New York Times oped of a plight against today’s competent working class that often brings about workplace misery.
“Ambitious, hard-working, well-trained professionals are lifted by superiors to levels of increasing prestige and responsibility. This is fun and exciting — until it isn’t,” he writes.
Brooks explains that in most people’s careers there is generally a blissful period when their creative work and responsibility matches their skills and passion, but once they’re promoted out of this window, problems begin to arise.
“Those who love being part of teams and creative processes are promoted to management. Happy engineers become stressed-out supervisors. Writers find themselves in charge of other writers and haranguing them over deadlines,” he writes. “In my years in academia, I saw happy professors become bitter deans, constantly reminiscing about the old days doing cutting-edge research and teaching the classes they loved.”
Unsurprisingly, hating your new role can wreak havoc on you. Various studies have found job dissatisfaction can cause weight gain, lower your immune system, or even rob you of sleep. And researchers from the University of Warwick in England found that job promotions cause on average a 10% decrease in people’s mental health and allow up to 20% less time to visit the doctor.
In short, when the new job doesn’t feel right, it’s better to just say “no.” So why don’t we?
Brooks believes we are programmed to think that more power, money, and responsibility is always better, which is why people generally don’t stop rising when they are happy where they are.
Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of ”Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” would agree. As she previously told Business Insider, many people in corporate America are conditioned to think that without attaining fancier titles, they’ll stagnate in their careers.
“But that can be a myth. If you excel at your work, find reward in it, and have a good rapport with your colleagues and boss, you may well have a great argument in staying where you are,” she told Business Insider.
The next time you’re offered a promotion, it’s important to remember that this is an opportunity, not a reward — and to evaluate whether the new role is right for you.
“People do their best work when they’re content,” Taylor says. “To the extent you can demonstrate your ability to continuously deliver excellent results that match the goals of your employer, you stand a good chance of finding success as defined by you.”