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Dry promotions are on the rise – this is what you need to know

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If you feel like you’ve been recently given a ‘dry promotion’, experts weigh in on what you need to know – or do next. (Credits: Getty Images)

Your grandparents may have had a job for life, but UK workers are now firmly in their job hopping era, following the USA’s lead.

There, government data has found that American adults have held down an average of 12 jobs by the age of 55.

Workers aren’t just job hopping: they are also switching careers, according to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). It says that “Employment experts predict the rapid pace of change in employment will mean individuals will need to become lifelong learners to prepare them for multiple career changes during their working lives”.

WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 found that two-fifths of the core skills workers have today will be disrupted by technological change by 2027––AI is just one example. Half of all workers’ core skills will need to be updated every five years, the report also found.

Nowadays, many Brits aren’t climbing a traditional career ladder, with a consistent and strong upward trajectory. Instead, they’re embracing “squiggly” careers, aka job paths with twists and turns, offering the ability to explore many different areas and roles.

Thanks to an employment environment where recent layoffs have come in their tens of thousands across the UK tech and finance sectors, workers are also now less likely to idealise their job or the company they work for.

And with lots of additional pressure on employees in the face of rising economic uncertainty, the cost of living crisis, inflation and fears of a looming recession, many workers want to make hay while the sun still shines.

Promotion prospects

For lots of UK employees, that looks a lot like getting a job promotion. After all, if you work hard, smash your goals and meet (or exceed) expectations, surely you should be a shoe-in for a better title, more responsibilities and of course, a 10% to 15% pay rise.

Like many things in life, it just isn’t that simple.

There can be many reasons why your company isn’t offering promotions, ranging from a lack of available opportunities, to restructuring, cost-cutting, or a strong bias towards external candidates.

And something else that is on the rise is “dry promotions”––aka your boss giving you a new title and more work, but no additional cash. According to a Korn Ferry report, 37% of firms handed out dry promotions last year.

That’s an increase from 32% in 2021, and is “a trend that is likely to continue,” says Brian Bloom, vice president of global benefits and mobility operations at Korn Ferry.

So should you accept one? Your boss may explain that this is a way to reward and recognise your abilities by giving you a professional development opportunity, but it won’t be surprising if you see things a little differently.

All isn’t lost if this is the only route to advancement you’re offered. Weigh up whether it will genuinely help your career advance, ask if there is anything your boss can offer, like more holiday days, a better pension contribution or monthly expenses.

That might be enough for you to take a dry promotion, with a clear eye on the future, but if you think you need to make a move to a new company in order to progress, then you’ll discover thousands of opportunities with employers all across the UK on the Metro Job Board. Discover three of those below.

Aviva is seeking a UK Stewardship Portfolio Manager with a track record of outperformance in both UK mid and large-cap stewardship investment to join the company in asset management. The Sustainable Stewardship approach focuses on social, climate and nature, assessing both positive and negative alignment to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an emphasis on bespoke engagements.

AI company Cohere is looking for a Strategic Account Executive (UK public sector) to work closely with customer prospects as a trusted advisor who deeply understands their challenges and goals, and will tailor solutions to drive impact for their businesses.

You’ll collaborate with the Product and Engineering teams on strategic motions to deliver solutions to large enterprise customers, and will need 10 or more years’ of experience managing full-cycle B2B solution sales motions with large enterprise, F100 and public sector customers.

Technology services company Version 1 needs a UK Public Sector Account Manager to showcase their abilities in customer management, contract management, opportunity management and sales support. This role will be part of a successful, growing team focused on selling digital, data and managed services offerings across UK&I public and private sectors.

You’ll need 10 years’ experience working in a similar role, along with 10 years’ experience in working in a technology services and solutions environment, with proven expertise in this area.

For thousands of roles all across the UK, visit the Metro Job Board today.


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