In the career world, most people are proud to share with friends and family, and sometimes even acquaintances, when they get a new job title or promotion. The word demotion, on the other hand, is usually a word that most of us try not to use because it suggests that something bad happened at work: either we got in trouble or failed in some other way. Although the word has bad connotations, there are some situations in which a demotion is actually the right choice. While a demotion certainly signifies a change, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your career advancement. Sometimes, a demotion is the result of recognizing that you need a change, and that your current job is not the right job for you. Although a demotion can signify negative job performance, it doesn’t have to. Here are five reasons you actually might want to consider a demotion.
1. You are too stressed
Stress is a common occurrence in the workplace, but if you are feeling stressed regularly and it is affecting your health, personal well-being, or relationships, it might be time for a change. Many workers feel that they have little control but many demands, and this stress has been associated with increased rates of heart attack, as well as other disorders. Twenty-five percent of people currently view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives, and forty percent feel that their job is very or extremely stressful.
Although career promotion is a good idea for most people, if you are finding that a higher level job is causing you an unhealthy amount of stress, a demotion might be a good thing. Taking a demotion doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t take a different promotion later.
2. You need more time with your family
Entry-level jobs can be extremely time-consuming, so getting a promotion to any particular job category doesn’t automatically mean you will be spending more time working. However, if you feel that your job is leaving little time for time with your family, and particularly if your constant hours are causing a rift in your family life, it might be time for a change. This a conversation you should probably have with your spouse first, though.
Some people feel that getting more money is worth missing out on time with family temporarily; many jobs have seasons of heavy workload. If your job has required many hours for a long period of time, and doesn’t seem to be letting up, you might want to consider a demotion. Even if the hours are not hurting your family relationships, you might just want to have more opportunities to spend with them.
3. You aren’t the right fit for your job
Many people take jobs and then realize that they probably won’t work out. Whether your new job requires skills that you don’t have (and can’t acquire, like personality related skills), or you just don’t enjoy your new tasks, you should consider a demotion if your job isn’t the right fit. If you can tell that you won’t be able to do a good job (regardless of the reason) you should really step down before your boss finds a reason to fire you because you are not completing your job effectively. Most bosses will understand if you want from a behind-the-scenes job to a supervisory job, for example, but you don’t feel that you have the right social skills.
If you decide you should ask for a demotion, schedule a meeting with your boss, write a letter requesting the demotion, explain why you want it, and make it clear that you still plan to do your best until a replacement is hired or trained.
4. You have an issue with your boss or subordinates
This is a tricky one, but if you acquired a new boss when you moved to a different job and you know that the two of you can’t possibly work peacefully or effectively together, you may want to request a demotion before you are forced out. Some personalities just don’t mesh well, but of course you should do everything possible to make your new position and new relationship work if you can. If you really don’t feel comfortable with your new boss, request a demotion as soon as possible, and be sure to be respectful when you do it. Don’t say you don’t like your boss; find a different way to request the demotion.
If you find that you have a difficult time delegating responsibilities or correcting issues that involve your subordinates, you also might need to step down from your position.
5. You want to avoid a relocation
If your department is moving, most companies will do their best to allow you to keep your job (or a similar job.) However, you might have to move in order to keep your current position. If your company is moving slowly over time, and certain jobs are staying where you are currently located, taking a demotion might let you stay where you are. In this case, you might not suffer a salary decrease; if you take a demotion in order to stay where you are currently living, you most likely will only suffer a loss of title. If you are near retirement, you might really want to stay near home and avoid starting over at a new location; a job demotion without a salary decrease might be the answer.
Particularly if you have a deeply rooted social life or family, you will probably want to do everything you can in order to stay where you are. That might require taking a demotion at another company just to stay in town.
While the word demotion used to signify a defeat, that isn’t always the case anymore. Sometimes it just signifies a change. In many instances, a demotion will leave the worker feeling happier, less stressed, and better matched to their position.