What to Do When Passed Up for a Promotion

Cecile Peterkin
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So you think you've done your best at work, you set the right goals, you kept your focus, and still, you got passed over for a promotion. You have every reason to feel disregarded and frustrated. Now you're just wondering if there’s any chance you could move up in the company, and if there is, what you would need to do to get noticed.

Keeping your composure after not getting the promotion you think you deserved is very hard to do. However, there are things you can do to avoid getting depressed and losing faith in yourself and your abilities.

Stay calm and cool. No matter how much it hurts, it’s not a good idea to storm into your boss’s office and complain about not getting something you feel you deserve so much. Even if it’s clear that decision was wrong, you shouldn't verbalise it as this could even cost you your job and your career. If you need to let all your frustrations out, find someone to talk to who’s willing to listen to all your sentiments. Just make sure this person isn’t affiliated with your company in anyway.

Avoid making drastic decisions. Any person who’s experiencing something negative will not be in the right state of mind to make decisions. After missing the promotion, you may even think of quitting your job. Don't make any hasty decisions here. Focus on doing an even better job. Deciding quickly could cause you to do something you will regret later on.

Do a self-assessment. Things happen because there are reasons behind it, so you should figure out what made the management think you were not the right fit for the higher position. Was it because you lacked experience? Maybe it was your inability to get along well with coworkers? There will always be something you can improve on, which could, later on, help you get the position you've always wanted.

Have the right attitude and stay professional. The company doesn't owe you a promotion, so don't act as if they deprived you of something. Just keep your focus on your work, do your best, and show them, through your actions, that you deserve their trust because you have the knowledge and skills that can help develop or grow the company.

Find a mentor. If you’re having trouble accepting the fact that you did not get the promotion, it could be the best time to find a mentor or a personal coach. Your coach could be a great help as you try to figure things out and move on from your recent failure. A career coach could also guide you and teach you how to plan your next move in order for your career to advance.

Being passed over for a promotion can be tough to handle especially if everyone thought you were a sure thing. Allow yourself a short period of time for a pity party and then pick yourself up and move on. Don't harp on it with coworkers or managers or you will be seen as a negative person and that could lose you the chance of another promotion possibility down the road.


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