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How the Recession Affected My Promotion: A Case Study

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 12 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Job Career Company Recession

The recession has many far-reaching repercussions that can affect people that haven’t been made redundant. Although redundancy can be really difficult to handle, both emotionally and financially, the affects of the recession in the workplace can also be very disruptive.

For Steven Arnold, a 43-year-old training manager for a machine manufacturer, the recession has not only changed his day-to-day role, but also his career path.

Steven told us, “As a machine manufacturing company, the recession hit us pretty hard because very few of our clients were looking to invest in new machinery, so we were hardly selling any products. This meant, of course, that clients did not need training on new machinery, which is my role.”

What was particularly frustrating for Steven was the fact that, before the recession really started to bite, he had been in line for a promotion which would have put him in charge of the whole training department.

Dealing with Frustration

He continued, “I was very excited about the promotion because, as a global company, there would have been interesting travel opportunities and a greater possibility of working alongside our international suppliers. I was also keen to play a more key role in the way training was provided to our clients and had some great ideas to add value, such as developing a fast-response team and on-site training opportunities.”

Steven had not officially been offered the promotion before the recession. He knew that the company profits took a nosedive and with very little in the order book for the next six months at least, he knew that the role was unlikely to happen for some time. Rather than feel bitter about the lost opportunity, Steven decided to try to work out a way that would bring positivity to his team and increase his chances of gaining the promotion in the longer term.

“To be honest, at first I was just really irritated because my boss didn’t come straight out and say it – it was just implied that the promotion wouldn’t happen because there wasn’t the need for it," he explained.

"Although it made perfect sense, I would have been more respectful if they’d been honest. But, that aside, I decided for my own career progression that I would work on some new ideas. I also felt that it would make my promotion more likely when the global economic situation turned the corner.”

Ideas to Add Value

Steven’s plans to add value to his training department took some hard work, but his boss did appreciate the fact that he was focused on how the department could move forward. In a large organisation it can be hard to make sure you stand out, especially when times are tough, so Steven’s approach was very positive.

He concluded, “I found that giving myself a new challenge helped me to feel good about the job and not too frustrated at my lack of promotion. Also, when I realised that many people from the company, and other friends in different industries, were being made redundant, I realised that I was in a strong position to ride out the recession.”

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