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Declined Promotion

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Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2011, 19:31
There has been some recent shake-ups in my company with a lot of management leaving within the last couple of months. Recently, I was offered a promotion after one assistant manager ad left the company. While it would have looked good on my resume/application, I could not in good conscience take the position while knowing that I had intentions of leaving for business school.

With all the recent departures at my firm, clients have been juggled back and forth between account managers who would leave shortly after taking over those accounts. Clients have begun to communicate their dissatisfaction due to the high turnover of their points of contact. In knowing that I didn't have the intention to stay at the company, I declined the position to avert further angering clients and putting the company in a hole.

Now in preparing applications, is this something I should mention or will adcoms see this as not seizing the opportunities in front of me?
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2011, 20:11
That was an awfully generous thing for you to do if you haven't been accepted anywhere yet. I suppose there is a chance that admissions could see it as you not seizing an opportunity (it kind of strikes me that way), but I think the fact that you were offered the promotion is more relevant. It means someone trusted you to step up during turbulent times in your company, and I think that's exactly how you should present it. Whether you want to go into what you did with that promotion offer in your application or not mention it unless a school asks you about it in an interview or something is entirely up to you.
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2011, 04:15
dr0xlunltd wrote:
There has been some recent shake-ups in my company with a lot of management leaving within the last couple of months. Recently, I was offered a promotion after one assistant manager ad left the company. While it would have looked good on my resume/application, I could not in good conscience take the position while knowing that I had intentions of leaving for business school.

With all the recent departures at my firm, clients have been juggled back and forth between account managers who would leave shortly after taking over those accounts. Clients have begun to communicate their dissatisfaction due to the high turnover of their points of contact. In knowing that I didn't have the intention to stay at the company, I declined the position to avert further angering clients and putting the company in a hole.

Now in preparing applications, is this something I should mention or will adcoms see this as not seizing the opportunities in front of me?


Since you didn't take the promotion, I'm not sure how you would fit it in your application in any natural way.

That being said, I think the effect would be neutral; It's a plus in that it shows your dedicated to going to business school and that you were respected enough to be offered it, but since you declined it you dont have any new responsibilities, and you're not making more money.

It's vaguely like, under employment history I don't mention all the companies that offered me jobs, only the ones that I accepted.

Only my opinion though, I'm just a fellow applicant.
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2011, 04:37
Well it sounds like a story that would fit well with the "Tell us about a time you turned down an opportunity. What was the outcome? Would you make the same decision now?" essay question.

What's done is done and you can't go back and change it now. However, I think this is a case of a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. There is no guarantee that you will get into b-school this year. Yes, you intend to leave for school, but that that doesn't mean you will. As someone who has turned down many opportunities because I didn't INTEND to stick around, I know that you can often find yourself in the same exact place a year later with no progress made. I understand your concern for your company and its clients, but sometimes you have to think about what's best for you. And I don't even mean that from an application standpoint (though it doesn't hurt), but moreso from a professional development angle. Fall 2012 is still pretty far away and that's 9-12 months of learning and new experiences that you won't have. Even though I'm applying to school (and very much so want to get in and actually GO), I'm still taking job opportunities from my present employer. As long as we are our employees at our company we deserve all of the benefits that come along with it. You earned that promotion and unless it locked you into a longterm contract with your company, you have every right to take it and leave a year later. JMHO.
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2011, 08:51
Sometimes being "noble" isn't the best man... honestly, like Cheet, I'm taking all opportunities. I actually am in line for another promotion come spring time and I expect to take it even with intent on leaving by August... for all the work I put in... the added pay for the 4 or 5 months is something I could definitely use
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2011, 11:54
Just chiming in to support the OP's decision to decline the offer. It's the kind of thoughtful decision that many Americans wish was more commonplace in Corporate America. You sacrificed individual opportunity to act responsibly for the customer and company, and that's to be applauded vigorously.

If you have long-term goals or character traits which emphasize corporate social responsibility, I think there's a possible essay tie-in here. If you're light on resume promotions, you could mention this in the optional. But I suspect that if this is indicative of your character, it'll shine through your essays and interviews.

Cheers and good luck!
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2011, 17:48
I think it's probably the right thing to do as well, however, I'm not sure that it really matters for the purposes of your application. Unless you're in a profession where the admissions committee will know when you should've been promoted (ie promotions are typically on a schedule), I don't really think you need to mention it at all. Just show in your app that you've had increasing levels of responsibility. If you were asked for some reason (which I can't see happening), you could then explain yourself.
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2011, 12:01
you could also possibly turn this into an ethics decision. You could have very easily enriched yourself and put your company at risk in the future. However, you decided to do the ethical thing and turn down the promotion at the expense of your career.
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2011, 15:57
The ethics angle is a bit of a stretch; what you did was altruistic, but (at least as you tell it) it was the only "right" decision. Ideally, ethics questions should involve picking between two "wrong" answers; not simply doing the right thing.

Its not as cut and dry but reminds me of the kid who wrote in his HBS app that he had the opportunity to cheat on his income taxes many times but didn't. Boy was that a fun application. He posted it online for everyone to see, wish I still had the link.

All that said, I'd have taken the promotion. For starters, you aren't yet admitted - and you may not be. Second, you could have easily worked out a transition plan if and when the admit showed up with at least 6 months notice. Thats ample time to manage expectations with clients.
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2011, 16:16
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Re: Declined Promotion [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2011, 21:21
I appreciate all the input guys. I feel good, personally, about my decision. Whether or not the decision was the right thing to do from an application stand point remains to be seen. I understand that I may or may not get in to business school (hopefully it's the former), but I don't really have any intention of staying at my current position anyway as I have been in the same company since graduating college. It's time for me to move on.

In any case, good luck to everyone else with their apps!
Re: Declined Promotion   [#permalink] 25 Oct 2011, 21:21
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