The rise of ‘quiet promotion’ in media – and what you can do about it

The rise of ‘quiet promotion’ in media – and what you can do about it
Mediatel Jobs

We’ve moved from ‘quiet quitting’ to ‘quiet promoting’. But how can you tell if this has happened to you?


“I got into the media industry for the money”… said no one ever.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you’re looking for a lucrative career, you probably won’t find it in the media. Yes, it’s fast-paced and exciting, you get to share your ideas, write impactful stories, meet remarkable people and even travel the world.

There’s also nothing quite like the rush you feel when you see your very first byline or credit, or when you’re complimented on something you’ve worked hard to create. However, remunerative it is not.

This can mean, as you’re rising the ranks or looking for a promotion, that you might be asked to take on a little (or lot) more than what it says on your job description. Your manager or editor may suggest you should be more of a “team player” or accept more responsibilities because it’s “a great opportunity for growth”.

But, before you know it, you’re doing considerably more work than your colleagues and you’re on the same salary. Congratulations (not really) — you’ve been quietly promoted.

Yes, in the grand tradition of “quiet quitting”, “quiet thriving” and even “quiet firing”, we now have “quiet promoting”: the not-so-new phenomenon where employees are given escalating amounts of work without receiving a pay increase, or even a title change.

How can you tell if you’ve been quietly promoted?

1. You’ve been asked by a manager to take on work that is clearly above your position.

2. You have more work than your colleagues who have the same title as you.

3. You’ve had to absorb work that was done by a co-worker who left and wasn’t replaced, and had a position above you.

If any of this sounds familiar, there are some things you can (that is, should) do to ensure you don’t feel manipulated or taken advantage of.

It’s time to speak up and advocate for yourself. But, before you barge into your manager’s office demanding a pay rise, do your homework. Gather any documentation you can to show your increased performance and responsibilities, and any positive feedback you’ve received while doing so––think of it as preparing for a performance review. Leave your emotions at the door and deal with facts only.

You might get pushback initially, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it another go at a later stage. If your company doesn’t have the financial means to provide additional compensation, there are other options.

Ask for more flexibility in when or where you work, an extra week’s holiday, or other benefits so that it doesn’t need to come down to only financial compensation.

However, if, at the end of the day/month/year, you’ve asked for more compensation or a new title for your extra work and have been told no repeatedly, it may be time to take your experience elsewhere. You deserve to be compensated fairly for your work, so don’t settle for a quiet promotion without proper recognition.

Here are three great open roles in media — find your dream job right now.

Creative strategy director, Bauer Media Group, London

In the role of creative strategy director at Bauer Media, you will work at a senior level alongside the other creative strategy directors, the creative strategy manager and creative strategy executive, the radio content directors, radio and publishing specialists, publishing editorial teams, the planning team and other internal and external stakeholders.

You’ll generate market-beating responses in line with clients’ needs, working from brief to pitch and ensuring the smooth transition into delivery, finding the right audiences, hitting the right tone and working with the content teams to create engaging campaigns that inspire action.

If you have relevant experience as a strategist or in a senior partnerships role, then, you’ll find all the information you need here.

Content editor, Evoke, DMG Media, Dublin

Evoke, part of DMG media, is Ireland’s premier website for all things fashion, beauty, entertainment and lifestyle, and it’s looking for a journalist for the role of content editor.

The right candidate will be responsible for editing content and assigning stories, as well as writing punchy and eye-catching headlines. They will be equally adept at covering witty and serious news stories, as well as showbiz, fashion and lifestyle content.

If you have a minimum of three years’ experience in a newsroom, strong writing, editing, photoshop, word press skills, social media management, and a good understanding of SEO, you can apply for the role here.

Content strategy and operations ecosystem manager, TikTok

TikTok is seeking a content ecosystem manager for its Content Ecosystem team, sitting within the Europe Content Strategy and Operations team.

The goal of the team is to integrate various content-understanding resources, provide solutions based on the team’s business direction and project requirements, build internal content understanding annotation and process, produce analysis reports, and serve internal projects and business development.

If you have a BA/BS degree or equivalent practical experience, and a proven track record of operating independently, demonstrating creativity, strong attention to detail, and managing multiple projects simultaneously, this could be the role for you.

See the full job description here.

Browse the Mediatel Job Board to find your perfect role in the media now

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