Ways to Bounce Back when you are passed over for a Promotion

Category: Training and Education | Date: | Total Views: 1067


The time for the most awaited upgrade in your life, a PROMOTION! You have given 100% effort at work and even positioned yourself for a promotion. You later find out that you didn’t get promoted. The reason you get for getting passed over for the promotion - “The time wasn’t right.” 

This news comes as a shock and you are disheartened. A flashback occurs, you remember all the late night shifts, going above and beyond and even missing out on your cousin's wedding for the sake of work.

You want to quit your job and start shooting out resumes to get the best job available. But stepping out because you suffered a setback may not be a good decision for your career. Many people get overlooked in their job but come back stronger and more successful. 

To spin it around and cement your name for the promotion next time, follow the steps below and continue winning at your job. 

Recovering from rejection

First and foremost understand that your emotions are valid. Rejections do not feel good and it is important to acknowledge the pain it has caused to get over it. 


Before you take any other steps, consider these steps:


Give yourself time to grief

You might be overwhelmed with emotions of anger and self-pity, making it difficult to process the situation. Although you might want to take some serious steps for your professional development it’s important that you step back and cool off as decisions made during anger can be poisoning. 

Try shifting your negative emotions by venting out your anger and frustration in a notebook, journal, or laptop. Note down every piece of emotion you are feeling: resentment, unappreciated, discouraged, anxiety, rage, etc. This major occurrence could be a wake-up call that there is more that you can be doing for your career. 

Ask for feedback

After expressing your emotions and engaging in self-reflection, it’s time to get some answers on why things didn’t go as you had expected. There is no need to beat around the bush and drop hints to co-workers to get a scoop on what happened. The best way to do it is to go straight to your boss and ask why you were passed over for a promotion.

Many employees shy away from asking the decision-maker directly and miss out on getting concrete honest and productive feedback. However, a professional move would be to get some insight into the areas you can improve and find out how you might best position yourself for the next promotion. 

Plan your next step

After talking with your boss, if you believe there was a justifiable reason for not getting the promotion, not over office politics then it’s time to work on the feedback you have received.  Figure out the ways to improve on things you may be lacking, and attain new skills or experiences you need. 

If you seem to be lacking in demonstrating, proper delivery, and conveying a clear message learn to improve your presentation skills. When you receive genuine feedback, you need to listen to it and be sincere about your work performance. Make sure that you improve on the factors due to which you were passed over for a promotion to get a better shot next time. 

Take this as an opportunity 

Not getting the promotion is not going to destroy your career but it doesn't mean you become self-satisfied with what you have either. Not getting a promotion can help you give a new perspective and rethink your career choices. If it wasn’t for the inevitable situation, you wouldn't have asked for an assessment from your boss and couldn't have figured out the areas you could improve on. 

However, if you feel that the feedback you have received wasn’t reliable and unusual, then you are probably right to consider a job change. This is why it's important to go to the bottom of things. 

At first, getting passed over for a promotion may seem like something you can never get over. But, by learning as much as you can about why this blockage occurred and by staying persistent, you can turn this experience around into something positive that will land you a promotion next time. 

Reasons you might have been overlooked for promotion

The best thing to do is identify areas of improvement is to ask employers for feedback. However, if they refuse to do so, you will have to dig deeper into yourself.

Here are some possible reasons:

You need to improve your soft skills

While hard skills are job-specific, most employers tend to look for similar soft skills. You may be a fantastic programmer. But if you work in isolation avoiding interactions with your colleagues, it shows that you are not a team player. 

You would need to develop your soft skills like communication and leadership skills to be considered for a promotion as higher positions require more than technical knowledge. 

Your performance review was not great

Employers will look for each and every aspect of your work before considering you for promotions. If you had some setbacks, talk with your manager about how you can improve. 

If you nail the next performance evaluations, you’ll be more appealing for higher-level roles.

For more career tips and advice, click here.


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