Here Are Your Next Steps If You’ve Been Overlooked For A Promotion

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You’ve work hard, showed up to work on time, and gave your best. Then that time of year comes around and you think its time for your promotion. But, instead that promotion is given to someone else.

Furious? Yes.

Puzzled? Yes.

With the help of entrepreneur and life coach Stacia Pierce and Lydia Frank, relationship builder for Payscale, we’ve gathered a few steps that will ensure you’re not overlooked for the next promotion.

Stay calm and don’t take it personal
The worst thing anyone can do is let their emotions get the best of them, then regret your actions later. Try to keep your mind occupied, so you don’t have to relive that situation, and the feelings that come along with it.

“Usually when you don’t stay calm it’s because you’re taking it as personal rejection,” Pierce says. “People tend to think when they get rejected for a promotion that there’s something wrong with them.”

Don’t vent to your co-workers
If you feel as if you’re going to explode or vent to the next person that stops by your desk, avoid the break room at all costs! Frank believes venting to your co-workers sows a bad seed in the company.

“Anything in your career, you want to try to keep emotions out of it as much as you can,” Frank adds. “Anything where you’re feeling kind of disgruntled, disheartened, venting to co-workers can have a toxic ripple effect in the organization.”

It’s all about going to the right person when you vent – your supervisor. And invite them to critique your work and the path to progress up the hierarchy. If they take the time to have a meeting with you, it’s for two reasons: they see potential in you and they want you to be better.

“Usually when people vent, they’re looking for feedback, like a pat on the back,” adds Pierce. “But, [people who aren’t your supervisor] can’t give you the proper feedback because they’re not in the position to give you the promotion.”

Try your best to look at your performance from an objective point of view
Perception is reality. And, while we may think we’re doing an amazing job at the task at hand, it can be quite the opposite in your boss’ point of view.

“Evaluate the performance of the folks that seem to be moving forward into leadership roles,” said Frank.

Remember: not all promotions are promotions
I was in my junior year in college and was news editor at my school’s newspaper, Pandora’s Box. I had been there for the past two years when, towards the end of the spring semester, we were gearing up for elections. Ambitious as I was, I was gunning for EIC. I’ve been there longer than my counterpart, been involved with different journalism organizations, and garnered experience from various internships, so I thought the position was rightfully mine. In short, I lost – bad!

Because the other positions were taken, they created the online editor role. I took advantage of it and gained social media experience over my counterparts, which has benefited me now more than ever.

Shake it off and set some goals
“Make sure you can celebrate your colleagues, the person that did get promoted,” Pierce said. “You can ruin your future opportunities by just talking negative. Don’t wallow!”

And while celebrating your colleagues, set some very specific goals for yourself. Pierce suggests that her clients grab a sheet a paper and draw three columns: “What do I want?” on the left; “What do I need to improve?” in the middle; and “What are they looking for?” on the other end. Taken together, you have a picture of what you need to do to move up.

Start looking for another job
Before you walk out the door or throw in the towel, Frank believes that it’s important to touch base with your manager and keep your options open.

“If you feel like your manager is not hearing you, that might be the time where you have to say, ‘OK, maybe this isn’t the best fit for me,” Frank said. “If you don’t ask the right questions, you might never get to that. You really want to make sure you’re very clear.”

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