Trusting each other on career decisions is essential for a relationship as it fosters mutual support, respect, and understanding of each other’s goals and aspirations. But what if someone seems to push you in a direction you don’t want to go?

A Redditor approached the forum and asked, “Am I wrong for saying no to a promotion?”  

Here is the story for you to decide.


The Original Poster (OP) is a software engineer; her husband works in construction management. Having grown up in a financially-challenged environment, OP feels she is now in a much better financial position. 

She earns $120,000 per year, while her husband makes $80,000 a year. From previously counting every penny on a tight budget, OP no longer worries about buying the necessities of life.

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What Happened At OP’s Workplace?

OP’s boss offered her a Program Manager position at work but said her salary would be reviewed at the next review cycle. 

OP decided to speak with the person who had that job then and the person who had the job before him. The current person said he was screwed over for a raise, he took the promotion when the implied one was coming, and it never came. 

And the person before him was making less than he was currently making in the role, and his requests for raises got rejected.

That night, OP discussed her day with her husband, expressing uncertainty about whether to accept the promotion. After some discussion, her husband suggested she take it to enhance her resume. 

The following day, OP asked her boss about the promotion’s salary. He stated that HR would determine it during the next review cycle. According to OP, this usually meant the absolute minimum they could get away with. OP realized that the role was valued at 150-180k on the job market, making her severely undervalued. 

She began to think that accepting the promotion would be foolish.

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What Did OP Do?

OP informed her boss that she appreciated being considered for the role but was uncomfortable accepting any position without clear employment terms, including compensation. The boss explained that his hands were tied as HR would only renegotiate in the next quarter.

Upon declining the promotion, OP went home and informed her husband about her decision. To her surprise, he was angry and felt they should have discussed that together. 

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What Happened Between Them?

OP mentioned to her husband that she was aware of the state of her job and the financials weren’t favorable. She also noted that taking the promotion would result in her having double the workload with no benefit. 

However, her husband argued that having the Program Manager position on her resume would provide leverage to negotiate for higher pay in other management roles.

OP expressed that she preferred being an individual contributor and was interested in something other than management. However, her husband responded with frustration, accusing her of being self-centered and not considering their financial future. He felt that her decision to decline the promotion was influenced by a reluctance to take on a more challenging role.

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Her husband argued that it was typical to accept additional responsibilities and then have a salary review. Still, OP needed to realize it because of her age and lack of experience in being promoted due to job hopping. OP is 27 years old, and her husband is 33 years old.

OP countered by stating that it was an outdated way of thinking to work tirelessly without proper compensation in the hopes of being rewarded. She explained that she had already tried that approach at her previous jobs, resulting in quitting both of them.

She added that it merely conveys that you are undervalued and easily fooled. Her husband disagreed with her and thought she was too idealistic and naive.

OP asks, “Am I wrong for declining the promotion?” 

What do you think? Was OP appropriate in declining the promotion? Or was OP’s husband inappropriate in getting angry at her?

This article originally appeared on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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