Companies love to dangle the carrot of promotion over worker’s heads, calling it “growth” and “development” when, really—if they were being honest—they would be calling it “we desperately need this task to be done, but we don’t want to pay someone to do it.” Still, it’s almost impossible not to get suckered into the scam of doing extra work because if you don’t play the game, you’re not going to be promoted anyways… But the question stands: If they’re the type of organization that is likely to pull this type of thing… do you want to be working there anyways?
The answer to that question is probably no, but unfortunately, a lot of workers aren’t in a situation where changing jobs is an acceptable risk, needing to provide for a family and service a mortgage. This leaves them in a place where they can’t just up and quit and puts them at the mercy of their employer and the local job market.
Really, the only solution in these circumstances is to try and get something in writing first before agreeing to take on extra work and before “temporarily” filling a vacant position.
This worker shared their story of how their coworker quit after a year of doing their previous boss’s workload under the promise of a promotion that never eventuated. The pair had agreed to share their boss’s responsibilities temporarily when their boss left. However, their boss was never replaced, leaving the pair with increased responsibilities and duties with no increase to pay. Their coworker, thinking they were working towards an eventual promotion, continued to take on more projects and responsibilities, eventually cracking under the insane pressure and turning in their notice. Now, the worker who shared their story has also turned in their notice, leaving the company scrambling to replace what was once a three-man team.