What To Do After You Didn’t Get That Promotion
When you’ve worked so hard and have your career goals of a manager set in stone, it can be devastating when you are rejected for a promotion. This can be even worse when you have been rejected over and over again.
While you can’t change what has happened it is important that over the next few weeks and months you don’t compromise and ruin your next chance. After all, the career goals of a manager never run smooth, and may take a variety of paths.
It’s important to keep in mind that rejection may not mean what you think it does. Perhaps you aren’t as ready as you think you are. Rather than get angry and frustrated with your boss or disappointed in yourself it is necessary to dig deeper to find out what the rejection really means.
There are many things you can do to ensure that the next promotion is a shoe-in, but in the meantime make sure you follow these pointers.
Stay In Control
Don’t assume that your boss and others in senior positions have got it in for you. This will lead to ill feelings and situations where you might lose control.
Understandably you may feel angry when you first hear the news that you didn’t get the promotion. However, storming out of your boss’s office, and slamming the door behind you isn’t going to help you. Making a scene that embarrasses your boss, and also makes you look foolish will only damage your career advancement chances.
Instead, calm down by taking a walk or getting yourself a coffee. Don’t rant or rave to anyone. Try to put yourself in your boss’s shoes. Did they offer you some advice or pointers that you need to take on board? Do you know of any areas where you need to improve? Perhaps you just aren’t ready.
Taking action based on reason, not emotion is the best way to stay in control and ensure you are ready for that next promotion.
Be Honest but Reasonable When You Hear the News
When you are told you didn’t get the promotion you are going to go through a whole range of feelings. These may go from shock, to disappointment, frustration and even anger.
This is normal and to be expected, especially if you have worked hard towards preparing yourself for the interview. Your boss may be expecting you to lash out, too, so it is a good idea to be calm, but honest.
Tell them that you are shocked and disappointed. But, also remind your boss that you have well defined career advancement goals and that you are going to ensure that you won’t be overlooked next time.
Your boss might be feeling uncomfortable and you may not get a straight and truly honest response. As well, they might be focused on introducing the person who did get the job, and may not have time for you.
Now might not be the time to ask for advice, so make an appointment with your boss in a week or two to discuss how you can prove you’re really ready for that next promotion.
Congratulate and Applaud the Person Who Did Get the Job
While this might seem like a bitter pill to swallow, being generous and even kind is the best approach.
Let’s face it, no one likes a bad loser. It just isn’t a good look.
Your boss will be looking to you to see if you are really promotion material, and if you are bad mouthing the successful candidate it will only confirm to your boss that indeed you weren’t the right person and you have a long way to go before you are.
Find Out Why You Didn’t Get the Promotion
When you do have the next meeting with your boss approach your boss in a calm and controlled manner and ask them why you didn’t get the promotion. Listen carefully and take notes if you have to. Don’t get into an argument with your boss by disagreeing with what they are saying.
Instead, act on what you were told.
Ask for specifics on how you can improve your skills or what you need to do to demonstrate you can handle more responsibilities. Being proactive, however, will make your boss think more positively about your career advancement in the future, and if you take on board and improve you will be in a much better position next time.
Develop a plan for becoming a better candidate for the promotion and then determine when you could reasonably try again.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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