is a promotion always good news?

A reader writes:

I have been at my current workplace for 2.5 years, and I’ve had 3 raises and 2 promotions during that time. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, the thing is, I worry that these promotions are largely circumstantial and that taking them on might cause me problems in the long run. The first promotion was caused by a colleague who quit at a crucial time, and I inherited her job because I had worked on all of our department’s projects with her. The second promotion (last week) is caused by a general restructuring of the company. I was the most convenient employee to move into this new role because it overlaps a bit with my current role, so presto change — another promotion.

Both promotions created sudden changes in my job description with new responsibilities, just at the moment when I had started to feel comfortable in the old position. I was not even asked if I wanted the new mandates– both times, it was a fait accompli (which I find really strange).

My concern is that I might not have gained the experience necessary to succeed in my current role, which will now include partial managerial responsibility. I only worked for a little over a year in both my previous positions. I don’t feel that’s given me enough experience to be able to handle all the different variables that can arise in my line of work. In so many ways, I feel like I am being asked to run before I finished even learning to crawl.

How do I make sure that I don’t fail at my new position? I’m really excited about the potential I see with this job, but I also feel overwhelmed with all this new responsibility that I never even asked for and frankly would not have asked for until a few more years had passed. When people are promoted to quasi-managerial roles, how much experience is it common to have?

You can read my answer to this question over at the Fast Track blog by Intuit QuickBase today. Three other career experts weigh in on the answer as well.

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