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Dealing with Being Passed Over for Promotion Without Looking Bitter

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 18 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Promotion Interview Presentation Bitter

It is very hard to stay positive and happy when you have been passed over for promotion, however, you will need to learn how to because it will help make it more likely that you will win the promotion next time.

Other Potential Promotions

If you work in an organisation when potential promotions come up quite often, you will be able to prepare yourself for the next possible opportunity. If you were required to make a presentation or be interviewed for the promotion, you could ask the interviewer for some feedback. Be careful how you word your request or you may look bitter. You could try an email that says you would really like some feedback on where you could improve so you can prepare for the next opportunity. Don’t say ‘what’s he got that I haven’t?’ or you will be passed over for promotion next time, too.

Preparation is Key

Ask yourself honestly if you did everything possible in preparation. Did you practice your presentation? Did you take some time to understand what the promotion involved and how you would have been able to achieve the objectives? Have you been hitting your targets for a number of months? It can be too easy to think that we are ideal for a particular promotion but in reality there may be a better candidate.

When you have your feedback and have understood what areas you could improve on, set about putting these actions in place in plenty of time before the next chance. This will work in your favour because you will have shown resilience, determination and an understanding of yourself.

As long as you act in a positive manner, do not criticise the person who did gain the promotion and continue to achieve your targets, how you have handled the situation may in fact make it more likely you will considered in the future.

No Other Potential Promotions

If you work in a company where promotions do not come up very often and you had your heart set on this opportunity, this may be a time to reassess. Your first port of call should be to gain some feedback about why you were not given the promotion – areas you could improve, comments you made or points relating to your performance.

You can then use this information to decide whether or not to stay with your current company or look for an alternative. At least armed with this information you can work on the points raised. If you learn from the situation, you can develop your skills and offer them to a new organisation.

Some companies have a far greater staff turnover at more junior levels because staff feel like the people above them will not leave until they retire. They can see that by staying in their present company they have gone as far as they can. If this is your situation, work out if it suits you or not. If you are looking for career development, you need to look elsewhere, but if you are happy where you are, appreciate your stability.

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