Surviving Through a Missed Promotion

Are you disappointed to find you didn’t get a promotion you rightly deserved? No doubt, the prospect of losing an expected promotion is disheartening and humiliating for a lot of people. While your being dejected over not being promoted is natural and understandable, you should nevertheless spare a thought about the factors that kept you from getting that promotion. Instead of pinning blame on your boss—or your circumstances— you should take a stock of your own failures and weaknesses and try to improve them in the future. As the famous author of The Blame Game puts it, “It’s possible to reframe these setbacks as disappointment rather than devastation,”

Here Ben simply emphasizes that failing to get a promotion can be a blessing in disguise: it gives you the opportunity to learn from your past mistakes and not to repeat them in the future. A little bit of introspection is in order.

Here are the pointers that would help you get the promotion you deserve.

1. Be persistent

Firstly, do not handle the issue petulantly, impulsively or emotionally. Understand feelings of disappointment and anger are likely to happen but do not wallow in the feelings. Instead of suppressing, try to feel the emotions that come up. You may feel some relief.

2. Gather others’ perspectives

Once you’ve had a chance to calm down, find out why it happened. If possible, talk with the decision maker. Make sure you just listen and don’t get defensive. Remember there are always reasons, even if they aren’t justified or valid.  Take this as an opportunity to learn about yourself and your place in the company.

3. Act instead of complain

Complaining will only make the decision maker defensive and angry. It might further justify their decision not to promote you. Try to solicit their help by saying something like, “How can we work together to make sure I get promoted in the future, and then act upon their advice. If you are told that you lack certain skills or expertise in your subject, hone them through training or a lateral job move. If you are considered slow to act or overly controlling, work on changing that perception.

4. Draw up the experience

Use the experience of not getting promotion this time to your own advantage by learning and improving your shortcomings. Keep them in perspective and try to see it from a different angle. Perhaps there were good reasons you didn’t get the job and you now have the impetus to work on improving your skills and gathering new experiences. Maybe you were complacent and this is an incentive to start focusing more.

5. Keep your network active

After suffering a setback like this, expand your network so as to explore new avenues and opportunities. Send out resumes in search for prospective job positions. Keeping your network open and active will help you find the next opportunity better suited to you.

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