Employer Promises: Knowing the Ones They Don’t Plan to Keep

employer promisesEmployer Promises are often these ephemeral things we are handed and that we hold on to with trust in our eyes.

The band Naked Eyes had a great song back in the 1980s reflecting on promises. In particular, here’s one salient stanza that many people working can relate to:

“You made me promises promises,
Knowing I’d believe,
Promises promises,
You knew you’d never keep”

So what happens when an employer strings you along with promises of better pay, a promotion, or more benefits?

It can quickly become a tired old tune. Some employers actually do follow through on promises. Unfortunately, many do not. And employees are promised the world. “If you do this, then the future reward will be _______.” The future comes and goes. And you are right back where you started, with no promises fulfilled.

Next Steps for a Frustrated Employee

You do have a couple of options. Giving an employer the benefit of the doubt, you could opt to gently remind them of the promise they made. Don’t want to rub their nose in it, of course. That’s where the reminder comes in.

Other times, the employer doesn’t care about you. They make empty promises that they know that they will never keep. Sometimes, bosses  will say anything to get you out of their hair and make you go away for a while. They hope you’ll forget, and this request will become a non-issue. That’s a critical management failure. Once you’ve reached that stage, then you KNOW exactly where you stand, so move on.

When Employer Promises Remain Unfulfilled

Great employers invest in their employees, follow through on their promises, and encourage greatness. Bad employers push you aside and see you as disposable. “If you don’t like it, leave,” is the attitude. “We’ll find another qualified person somewhere else.”

That right there, my friend, is your invitation to leave, and leave you must!

If promises don’t pan out (give or take some wiggle room to account for economic conditions or internal restructuring), then don’t wait and hope for them to come to fruition under a cloud of frustration. Channel your energy into finding another opportunity that appreciates the assets you bring to the table, and then make it happen.

After all, your best guarantee for the fulfillment of employer promises is championing your own career.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Pathfinder.




Dawn Rasmussen 3About the Author: Dawn Rasmussen, CMP is President of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, a provider of results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Dawn is also the official “Get the Job” columnist for One+ Magazine distributed to over 26,000 meeting professionals worldwide and Talentzoo.com, a job resource site for creative and marketing professionals. Dawn is a recognized career expert on Careerealism.com – a top 10 world-ranked career advice blog. Follow Dawn on Twitter!



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