Are you playing the game, or just getting played?

You’ve Been Overlooked for a Promotion

Have you ever applied for a promotion, but didn’t get it? It can be tough, but it is possible to get through the experience with your ego intact, as well as garnering respect from others for your calm and considered attitude.

Calm down to begin with. While you may feel a raging torrent of anger and perhaps a sense of unfairness at being passed over “after all you’ve done”, this won’t endear you to anyone witnessing a meltdown and it won’t make things easier for you. You cannot change what has happened. And while feeling disappointed is natural and expected, making it known that you’re upset and devastated about missing out will make others feel uncomfortable and could reach the ears of those in a position to promote you next time, causing them to wonder if you’re able to handle difficult situations. Most of all, don’t sulk, behave petulantly or act as if something you were entitled to has been “stolen” away from you. All of the responses will cause others to think less of you.

People won’t mind you saying “This is disappointing, I really wanted it.” That’s expected. What they will mind is hearing you complain and whine about the rejected promotion endlessly, dissecting the interview process and insisting that you were hard done by.
Distract yourself from harboring and focusing on negative thoughts. Indulge yourself in things you enjoy.
Spend time with those who love you. They’ll reassure you of all your good points!

Assume nothing conspiratorial. You don’t know the often mundane reasons behind why one person is chosen over another for a promotion; many are very close decisions based on someone else having slightly more knowledge or experience of a particular area than you may have, rather than this being about your personality traits. Assuming favoritism or lack of liking you may or may not have any basis in fact but once you start thinking in such a negative manner, you’ll present a very negative attitude that can harm your future chances.

As much as you may not want to, try standing in the shoes of the interviewer. It isn’t easy making the right choices for positions in an organization; a lot of things have to be taken into consideration. And it’s even harder for an interviewer who knows you but thinks you could do with a bit more experience; they know you will be ready some time soon but not just yet and they also know that the decision will be disappointing.

Focus on the future. This time you didn’t get what you aimed for but you can surely make things better in the future and increase your chances of getting a promotion next time. See this as a learning opportunity to help you get over the disappointment. Think back over the interview and application process. You’ll know deep down where things could have been improved, where elements that could have been better were highlighted during the process. Start focusing on the things that you need to do to improve your chances and take action.

Believe in yourself. You have it in you and you can change the way things are. If there is any one who can make a difference to your situation it’s you!
Tell yourself that you need to take steps so that things improve in the future and you get what you deserve. Prepare yourself for action.

Do a thorough analysis of all the work you did during the year. What were highlights of your performance and, in particular, focus on areas where you felt you couldn’t achieve what was expected out of you. Did you have a clear list of goals you were expected to achieve? Did you have the resources, expertise and training you needed? These are all things that can be actively improved upon.