Demoted? Here’s How to Bounce Back

A ‘demotion’ sounds so official, like a military officer getting the rank indicators ripped off a uniform. However, a demotion can be much subtler than that. If you were given added responsibility that you wanted, and then that responsibility was taken away, you were effectively demoted.

This kind of situation is quite common in the workplace. In a recent survey of HR managers by OfficeTeam, 46 percent said their company has demoted employees. The survey cited four main reasons why employees were demoted: unsatisfactory performance, a promotion that did not work out, elimination of the position and employee’s request for a lower position.

If you didn’t ask for it, a demotion can be a massive hit to your ego, career and finances. On the bright side, it might be a much-needed wake-up call that you need to step up your game, gain new skills or leave a failing business.

Your first thought may be to quit and start trying to find a different job, but that may not necessarily be your best move. Read below about the steps to take following a demotion.

Figure out what happened

The first thing is to figure out why your manager is taking this course of action. Perhaps it was a disciplinary action, or a performance-related concern. Or, maybe your position was simply eliminated.

If your demotion was triggered by a poor opinion of your performance, ask your supervisor questions about a timeframe for improvement, a transition plan, the new role and the possibility of getting your old job back.

Accept feedback

Think about the possibility your manager considers you an important employee and wants you to thrive in a job that better suits your current abilities. Find out if there are concerns about your performance or attitude or if there are ways you can expand your job abilities. Listen closely for helpful suggestions and be open to the possibility of a better job opening later.

Lean on your emotional support network

Don’t ignore the toll a demotion might take on your state of mind. You might feel discarded or unappreciated. Even if you are convinced that you’re fine, it’s never a bad idea to get support from friends, loved ones or mentors, especially those outside the workplace.

Make a plan

Look for a way to frame the demotion as a chance to bolster your performance and develop a plan for where you want to go with your career. Concentrate on identifying things you can do to get your confidence back.

If you decide it is time to move on, you’ll have to update your resume, start networking, research potential employers and start your job search. This is a great time to work with a staffing firm that already has connections with other companies.

At Labor Temps, we help talented people assess their career options. If you’re currently thinking about making a career change, please contact us today!