It’s disappointing to get passed up for a promotion, and it’s frustrating when you believe you earned it. But if you find yourself in this position, don’t let it get you down for long. “Getting passed up should fuel your competitiveness and light a fire under you,” says LaSalle Network CEO Tom Gimbel.
Gimbel recommends you take time to reflect and consider:
- Where did you fall short?
- Why might you have been passed over?
- Did your performance merit the promotion?
- What did the person who got the promotion have that you didn’t?
- Did you do enough to sell yourself to the decision makers?
Then, if you’ve carefully considered all these questions and still believe you were the best person for the promotion, sit down with your manager to talk about how you’re feeling. It’s important to wait to have this conversation after you’ve fully calmed down from your initial disappointment. You need to go in with an open mind and calmly explain why you believe you were the best fit for the role and backup your assertions with examples and metrics. Then ask what you need to improve on or do differently to earn the promotion next time it’s available.
Be prepared to get feedback—some of it harsh. Don’t get defensive. Just look for ways to take action on the feedback, so you can improve yourself.
If your manager can’t—or won’t—explain why you didn’t get the promotion or provide actionable feedback, it’s time to consider whether you’re a good fit for the organization.
— Adapted from “The Real Reason You’re Not Getting Promoted at Work,” Tom Gimbel, Fortune.