The announcements and social media posts over the last couple of weeks have been coming in thick and fast, right?! It seems like some firms went into overdrive, which is fabulous for those who saw their name in print, but what about those who felt overlooked or let down? Might you be one of them.
I’ve been there myself. I remember once being told I couldn’t get a promotion because my peers weren’t moving at the same pace as I was and I couldn’t be promoted in isolation (I kid you not – that was actually what I was told!) A couple of weeks later, one of those peers got the promotion I had asked for …..
So if you’re one of the many who missed out this year, I feel your feels.
And whilst you might find it challenging to hear or accept, being passed over for a promotion isn’t necessarily personal or a reflection of the level of work you’re doing for your employer. Sometimes, decisions are the result of budget limitations, office politics, staffing levels, other employees with a longer tenure at the company, or other factors. But sometimes they’re not and its time to move on.
This month I’d like to offer those of you who didn’t get a promotion 6 things to do if you didn’t receive the nod.
And if you did receive a promotion – congratuations!!! – but please keep reading on, so that you can exercise that EQ muscle of yours to understand how others may be feeling right now.
- Feel your feelings
Being passed over for a promotion sucks! You’re likely feeling disappointed and demoralised. Your get up and go might have got up and gone. Give yourself some time to process all of your emotions. Tell a friend and let that person buy you a cup of coffee and listen to your story. It can be easier to accept a difficult situation when you have an understanding listener to help you handle the situation.
A problem shared can be a problem halved, as they say.
- Assess the why
Why are you feeling like you are feeling? Think through what’s behind your feelings, whatever they may be. Would this promotion have been your dream job or just a better title? Or is your disappointment due to not getting a salary bump or positive feedback?
If you’re happy with the type of work you’re doing, but want more money, it may make more sense for you to switch firms. If the promotion would have required you to have new, different skills that you want to develop, you might look for ways to add those skills to your toolbox.
Go to the third perceptional position of an outsider looking in. Did you deserve the promotion? If you’re doing the work that’s in your current job description—but aren’t going above and beyond—it may make sense why you didn’t get promoted. Or if you asked in an entitled or arrogant way and didn’t provide a solid case for why you merit a promotion, that might be a clue as to why you did not get it.
Dig deep, my friend.
- Stay Professional
If you want to complain, cry, or moan, do it with your friends and family. At work, and in conversations with your manager, do your best to keep things professional. This situation has the potential to be awkward for everyone, and your graceful response will be appreciated.
Being rude or surly certainly won’t help your cause.
- Ask for their why
Try to reach out to your manager to see if they can offer feedback about why you didn’t get the promotion. Find out what you can do to make yourself eligible for one in the future. It’s possible that you’ll just receive unhelpful platitudes in response. Often, people are uncomfortable sharing critiques. But, it’s also possible you’ll get actionable insight. Maybe you’re missing a core skill that you weren’t aware of. Or perhaps your work in one particular area needs improvement?
Ask and see what ye may find.
- Don’t Make Comparisons
If you don’t get the promotion and a colleague does, it can be particularly hard to cope. Resist the urge to make comparisons to others around you – take this one from me first hand! This won’t get you any closer to a promotion and will make you seem petty if you bring it up to your manager.
Be better than that.
- Plan, plan, plan!
Do you get the sense that a promotion might be on the cards for you at a future date, or does it seem more likely that you’ll always be passed over at this firm? If it’s the latter, it might make sense to refresh your CV and start looking. Even if it’s the former, you might want to establish a time frame for making changes that will make a promotion more likely, then set a date for when you want to meet with your manager again and make the request.
Or feel free to call me to see how professional coaching might help you to set yourself up for success.
What are you waiting for?
Not all coaches are the same – I’m a member of both the International Coaching Federation and The Institute of Coaching McLean/Harvard Medical School. Plus I’m a signatory to The Life Coaching Academy Code of Professional Conduct, a copy of which is available upon request.
For a confidential free chat about my mentoring & coaching services, please contact me via any of the links below, or call me on +61 418 923 396.