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Promotion, but taking someone else's job

  • 12-01-2023 3:25pm
    Registered Users Posts: 12 theresapie

    I started my current job a year ago. My team is about 15 people, and our team lead has been in the company 10+ years and is by far the most senior and most knowledgeable, is incredibly helpful and has a ton of knowledge.

    Last year my manager asked me to consider the team lead position (replacing the current team lead). This year he has given me a deadline of end of January to let him know if I would accept it.

    I explained that I didn't feel great taking the other person's job and it could make the daily work situation awkward. He sympathised, but said that ultimately I need to think of my own career.

    I'm not sure if it's relevant, but the promotion has a very modest increase in salary this year (due to company's economic situation), but a proper increase in 2024 if I prove myself.

    I think I want the promotion, but I also don't want to "upset" relationships in work, especially being relatively new. I guess I can't have it both ways though.

    Not sure which way I should go. Has anyone been in such a situation, or have any advice on this?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭ Diceicle

    What is the plan for the current Lead? Demotion or retirement?

    How loyal are your team members to the Lead and how would they react to your perceived usurping of his/her job?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 theresapie

    Demotion. I have a small suspicion that he would actually be ok with this, or that he even asked for it, as he seems pretty burned out doing it for so many years.

    I don't know how the other colleagues would react. We're all in relatively senior roles so I would hope by now they know enough of the corporate world to understand how these things work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,287 ✭✭✭ victor8600

    Last year my manager asked me to consider the team lead position (replacing the current team lead).

    It's a difficult decision, you have to decide whether taking the position is good for you and the team, and take into account the management and the current team lead.

    Do you know why the management wants to replace the team lead?

    • It could be the lead cannot grow their career in the company and there is only way for them is to go. The company may have no higher position to offer the lead and the lead is not happy with the lack of the advancement. Please talk to the lead and try to see if this is the case. If it is, the decision is clear.
    • The management just tries to save a few bob by replacing the current team lead with you. In that case, if you take the position, it may be difficult to prove your value to the team.
    • You are significantly better (in the eyes of the management) than the current lead. Maybe you are more receptive to the management's ideas, or you generate ideas that the management likes. Think what you want to achieve with the team -- is you being in charge gets the job done better?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,281 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52

    I have my doubts about the last sentence, below, if you have to think about this when you boss offers you a slam dunk promotion, based on one years service in your current role.

    We're all in relatively senior roles so I would hope by now they know enough of the corporate world to understand how these things work.

    What are your person management skills like?

    As for this

    If you want the role, why not have an informal chat with the current team lead about it?

    no such thing as informal chats at work

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,643 ✭✭✭ gameoverdude

    One thing about the 2024 increase, don't believe it.

    Otherwise, yep. Go for it. At worst it'll look good on your cv.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,397 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus

    this, either they want you for the job and the salary that goes with it or they dont, dont fall for that line.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 theresapie

    Some very interesting takes here, especially what daheff said.

    I'm not naive about the salary increase - there's a chance they won't be in a position to do it next year either. But I am not that concerned about the money aspect - I already got a big increase a few months ago. Of course I want to be paid the going rate for the this job, but this is not a big motivating factor.

    I think the job would be good for my career (either here or in another company), and I think I would be good at it.

    Some other things to consider:

    1. I am not going to talk to the current TL about this. I don't know if they are aware their current job is in jeopardy.
    2. I don't know why he is being demoted. For all I know he could have asked for this himself
    3. Demotion is in name only, they will not get paid any less
    4. If I don't take this, my guess is it will be offered to one of the others

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,461 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    You've no choice and after a year no loyalty. But what management do to the TL they will do you, eventually. Sounds like cost cutting. Which is why a future increase seems unlikely to match the TL. It maybe the TL wants to step back.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,287 ✭✭✭ victor8600

    The involuntary demotion of the current lead could be very detrimental to the team's morale. The lead must go if you are taking their position.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,397 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus

    take the promotion but on the basis of the correct salary, maybe today it doesnt matter so much to you but it will in 6 months, especially if the newly demoted TL is earning more and enjoying the lack of responsibility he or she now has.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,461 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    If the lead want to step back they should make that known. But I can't see how they won't still end up doing much the same job given their experience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,714 ✭✭✭ almostover

    What are your career aspirations and why? Make sure you asked yourself this question before making your decision. Very easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of corporate life if you're not careful to reflect on why you're doing what you're doing.

    Look at the existing TL. To me, he's asked himself that question and has made the decision to step aside. Is he much worse off? You've alluded to the fact that he isn't from a financial perspective at least. He probably won't progress further in this company but maybe the work/life trade off of being the team lead was too much and he decided that taking a step back was better for his wellbeing.

    If you're taking this promotion for your career what are you using it as a stepping stone towards? The promotion isn't coming with much financial gain. So what's the upside for you? Is there a logical next step in 5 years time if you do well at the TL role? Do you want to make that next step? Does it fit in with your plans for life?

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,404 ✭✭✭✭ rob316

    Only question you should be asking is the increased work load of been TL worth the "very modest salary increase"? You said the current one is burned out.

    Don't fall for that 2024 shite either, 12 months is a long time in business

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,609 ✭✭✭ daheff

    if the ex TL is being demoted, but not taking a pay cut then i'd find it very hard to not be getting paid the going rate. Otherwise you find yourself in the position where the junior on the team earns more, knows more and has less responsibility than the TL. in my experience that never ends up well. backseat driving and all that. They could be setting somebody up for a fall here. be a bit careful

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 theresapie

    I suspect you are correct about the current TL.

    From my side, I think I'm being lead towards a people management role. I expressed interest in this during my interview, and have since been put on a number of "HR Management" courses, and I suspect this TL role is a stepping stone to that. Current TL did not want to do this so I guess he got as far as he could.

    This thread has been extremely helpful and made me think of this in a new way. I need to seriously think about this, and talk to my manager to try to get some more information if possible.

    I think even though in theory I don't care about the money that much, from people's comments here I should make this a deciding factor. If they can't offer the increased salary in 2023 then I probably shouldn't take it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,714 ✭✭✭ almostover

    You state that you're being lead towards people management. Is that a long term career aspiration for you? If it is then it may be worth overlooking the financial shortcomings of the team lead role, for the 1st year anyway, and use this as an opportunity to test drive being a people leader. If that is the case then I would ask the question of your management as to what your options are in two scenarios.

    1. The test drive goes well and you want to pursue a career path in people management. This may mean a few more years at TL level first in which case I would insist on the appropriate pay rise after the test drive period.

    2. You don't like the TL role and realise the people management path isn't for you. What's your exit path? Can you do what the current TL has done?

    Try to make this situation a win-win for yourself. Your employer needs someone to step into the TL role, so you can dictate the terms to an extent. Make it work for you! Could be a good opportunity to work out your long term career aspirations without taking on much personal risk.

  • Registered Users Posts: 699 ✭✭✭ thefa

    As others have said, you need to play a bit of hardball on the salary if you decide to go for it.

    With the potential for tougher times on the horizon, you need to get as much guaranteed up front. It will be your baseline for future increases so even more impactful if you end up going up the ladder later on which you say is a possibility.

    Also factor in tax. The net pay of a modest increase might be inconsequential for the additional responsibilities and stress.

    They seem keen on you taking it and avoid costs of going external. Back yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 theresapie

    Here are the actual numbers:

    Current salary - 80k

    "Modest increase" - 85k

    Actual salary for TL - 106k

    Current TL is in the position for many years so would probably be around the 120k region with the annual increases he has gotten.

    I am not going to notice the increased salary, if anything I'll increase my AVC and savings. I don't think my day to day spending will change.

    But I fully take onboard that I need to take a tougher stance on this.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,714 ✭✭✭ almostover

    Ya they're taking advantage of you with that. Need to play hardball with them if that's the case. They need you more than you need the TL role.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭ Furze99

    Talk to the current team leader first. If they are pissed off, it'll likely make your life very difficult, a poisoned chalice. But if they are genuinely amenable and that's known by others, that'd be easier ground. But are you also jumping over other peoples heads who might have expected promotion??

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,397 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus

    thats 20k you are leaving on the table, put it all in your pension if you want but make sure you get it, the reason you go to work is to get paid, it’s important to enjoy it too but don’t lose sight of why you are there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 699 ✭✭✭ thefa

    They are taking the mick with a 6.3% increase, 21k/20% below the going rate you mention.

    People can be getting a few percent increase in annual appraisals on their current role with some companies.

    For a decent promotion, I would be thinking 15-20% minimum which would still land you well below the going rate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,497 ✭✭✭ Manion

    There is a difference between roles and seniority. I don't know if this is a tech role but in tech it's not uncommon for a team lead not to be the more senior or even highest paid person on the team. Folks are suggesting you're getting screwed over by no being on the same pay grade as a person whose been leading a fairly large team for quiet some time.

    Also it's not that odd for people to step back from leadership roles, especially if they can continue to contribute on an individual contributor track. In general once someone is earning X they cannot be forced to accept a lesser salary due to demotion, so my default would be to assume this person will continue with their existing salary.

    Tbh it sounds like they might have hired you with this change in mind. In a couple weeks time you may be the lead for this person and you'll also have to manage the communication around the change to all other people. Sooner or later you're going to need to have a conversation with them around it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭ Kurooi

    If they're talking about demoting the current TL then they're gonna. Whether you take it or not.

    And then someone else will take it, or they will hire externally. Consider how you feel about those outcomes. Your job is about to change, things are going to be awkward. Regardless of the decision you make, the world moves around you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 theresapie

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,497 ✭✭✭ Manion

    OK well to double down on a few things then, and obviously every situation has it's specific but having worked in tech (and I make a distinction here to working in I.T more generally such as the I.T department of a business) for a couple decades at this stage, team lead roles can be vary significantly. I noticed from your description that even though this person was the team lead for your team that at least you (an I assume all the team) have a reporting manager who isn't the team lead. This is absolutely typical in tech where a team lead is seen as a stepping stone on a management track and maybe more about coordination and day to day running of the team, ensuring delivery etc. Positional seniority tends to be much less of a thing and you are far more likely in a role like team lead to have to nominally manage people who are more senior to you as the role is more about deciding what gets done, when it gets done, and who is gets done by then being a decision maker.

    You shouldn't view this as taking someone's job because by the sounds of things you're not, you're simply take responsibility for an aspect of someone's current role, an aspect they may be perfectly happy to move on from. Again this is super common, happens all the time in more fast paced environments and doesn't reflect negatively on them.

    I'd be less worried about this one persons take and more about if the expectations of the role have been made clear to you. Being a TL for a team with no line responsibility but significant accountability can be challenging.

    Post edited by Manion on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,871 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    The ‘prove yourself’ line is a load of hokey bôllocks in fairness.

    the manager has essentially asked you to do the job by requesting you to apply for it. They see you as a preferred and valid candidate…

    any pay rise should be commensurate with the responsibilities and expectations of that position from the get go.