What You Say To Someone Who Has Gotten A Promotion Or A
New Job: Sample Letter or Email
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
Be very careful about what you say in a message to someone who has just been promoted or moved to a new job. You do not want your letter or email to sound like you are stunned that it happened. Whatyousay.com in fact did find such a recommendation in a book of sample letters. Not good advice.
Here’s why. You don’t want to say you’re surprised–because the recipient of the message may think that his or her promotion was long overdue, and that it took far too long to be recognized.
On the other hand, if you know that the promotion has happened quickly, you can safely say something like, “I just heard the news. That happened fast! But it doesn’t surprise me.”
One other caution. Try to find out if the new position is really a promotion, and not a lateral move or demotion. If you discover that it is a demotion, you will have to decide whether to even send a message. If you do send a message of congratulations, you must word it very carefully. If you say it well, the recipient just might take comfort in believing that the world doesn’t really know the true meaning of his or her unpleasant experience.
The point is, don’t just fire off a message. After you fire, it will be too late to take aim.
Also, don’t mix messages. Save your wise words of specific advice about how to be successful in the new position. That can come later, if asked for, or never.
Here’s an example of a letter of congratulations that you might send if you know that the change is up, or way up:
I just got the good news!
But I’m really not surprised. Your talent and hard work have been recognized. In fact, all I can add to your achievement is praise.
My hope is that you will find fulfillment and joy in your new position. After all, it’s not getting what we want that brings peace so much as it is wanting what we get.
There’s one thing you can absolutely count on–my warmest best wishes and support.
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