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Question:  “Although I am considered the lead supervisor in my department and have practically run the place for the past year, the company recently chose someone else to be department manager. An executive who is new to our company made this decision. He didn’t offer me an interview or make any effort to get to know me. I am having trouble accepting the situation and feel very resentful. How can I get past this?  And when I talk with this executive, how do I convince him that I would have been the right person for the job?” — Passed Over

Marie's Answer: Why on earth would you try to sell him on your qualifications now? The time for that was before he made his decision, not after. To improve your career strategy, consider these suggestions:

•    Rather than wait for the new executive to make the first move, you should have told him about your interest in the department manager job. Management often overlooks people who passively hope to be noticed.

•    Don’t insult the executive’s judgment by criticizing his promotional choice. Instead, talk with him about your career goals and ask for his advice. If you’re lucky, he may become a helpful mentor. 

•    Going forward, take a more active approach to managing your career. Identify positions that appeal to you. Get to know the people who influence hiring decisions.  Ask for feedback about your leadership style and make appropriate changes.

At this point, you need to put your disappointment behind you and focus on the future. If advancement opportunities in your company seem limited, then start exploring greener pastures.  For more Office Coach advice on promotional pitfalls, see Nine Ways to Kill Your Chances of Promotion.

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