In the old days, you could simply say, “I quit!” when the promotion you felt you deserved went to someone else. Today, the response to being passed over for promotion isn’t as clear cut. For a moment, let’s assume that you need to keep your job because there is little in the way of job openings in your field. Here’s how to best respond when you’ve been passed over for promotion.
- Take time to grieve. Yes, it’s certainly is disappointing to be told the job you thought was yours, no longer has your name on it. Go home, scream and even cry. Then come back to work prepared to get on board.
- Congratulate the person who received the promotion. This will provide an opportunity to open up the conversation regarding what may be in store for you as you move forward together.
- Seek feedback. Ask the decision maker to provide you with feedback you can use to improve your chances of future promotions Resist the temptation to correct this individual regarding her “wrong assumptions.” Instead, listen and use the feedback that you believe will be most helpful.
- Take action. Receiving feedback is one thing. Doing something with it is another. I know people who were passed up for promotion because they didn’t have the education required for the position that was posted. That was several years ago and many still haven’t done anything to change their situation.
- Help your boss get promoted. The quickest way to your next promotion may indeed be through your new boss. Be her “go to” person and do all that you can to help her get promoted. Don’t be surprised when she names you as her replacement.
Being passed up for promotion is never easy, but if you follow these steps you’ll stand a good chance of hanging in there until such time as there are more options available for someone with your skills.