Moving on after missing that promotion

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in Your Office Coach

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.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mohan M prasad October 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I can truly empathize with your predicament. It’s difficult no two views on that.

However do not get into the paralysis of analysis within yourself. That can be self defeating.

Besides, it’s important that you meet up with the Executive for an objective understanding of the reasons that lead him to take a decision in favor of someone else and not considered you.

I think the key in this dialogue is that you should make sure that the discussion leads to a ‘feed forward’ and you are able to come to terms.

The timing is equally critical. Please let the emotions of the disappointment dry out or else it can lead to an emotional reaction to a rational situation. That may not be perceived as a professional approach.

You need to get facts about your candidature as well as about the new appointee so that you can take an informed decision about where you need to go from here.

And finally, it’s not for you convince him that you are the right person and this track of a dialogue will not lead you anywhere.

Get across straight when you have overcome your emotional reactions to mental agony and talk straight.

Remember there has been life before this current assignment and there will be life after too. So do not go for the chat with the executive with a defeatist attitude.

All the Best !!

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