How to Recover and Stay on Track for Advancement
by Clea Badion, Robert Half International
Business is improving for your employer, and you're certain you'll receive the long-delayed promotion you've been coveting. But when the announcement is made, you find out a colleague was given the opportunity to move up. You've been passed over. What do you do now?
When a promotion is awarded to someone else, it stings -- especially if you thought you'd positioned yourself well for the next rung on the career ladder. But instead of letting the situation throw you off track, keep the following tips in mind:
Go ahead, let yourself be disappointed. It's perfectly normal to feel frustrated and angry; just make sure you express those sentiments outside of work. This is not the time to run to your supervisor and demand a full explanation of why you didn't get the position. Instead, talk to members of your professional network who may have experienced similar setbacks, and seek support from friends and family for help managing your disappointment.
Above all, be professional. Remind yourself that a wide range of factors can influence promotion decisions, including internal politics or job requirements that you were unaware of. No matter how you feel, demonstrate your professionalism by congratulating the individual who was awarded the position and continuing to work hard.
Get the facts. After overcoming your disappointment, set up a meeting with your supervisor and ask for an honest explanation of the decision. Find out why, specifically, you didn't get the job and whether or not you were close to receiving it. You may discover, for example, that your boss was unaware that you sought a higher-level role. Or perhaps you are missing a significant qualification. Then, ask what you need to do to receive a promotion in the future and work with your manager on devising steps necessary to reach this goal.
Make a plan and get your boss' support. Using your supervisor's feedback, work with him or her to establish a plan to earning a promotion. You should have a clear idea of the requirements to move to the next level and steps you must take to do so. Make sure that your boss agrees that once you receive the training, you'll be first in line for a promotion the next time one arises.
Alternatively, after meeting with your manager, you may decide a promotion isn't right for you. Perhaps the responsibilities are different than you imagined, or the sacrifices too great. In this case, consider why you wanted the promotion in the first place. You might need to reassess your career goals or look for other ways to achieve them.
Make sure you're visible at work. No matter what you decide to do, keep in mind that hard work and excellent reviews aren't always enough to get ahead. It's also vital that the people you work with, especially your supervisor, know the value you bring to the firm and how you can help the company move forward. Provide your manager with regular status updates so he or she is aware of your accomplishments. Other simple steps, such as speaking up during meetings and getting to know others throughout the organization, can help you establish a solid reputation and build your internal network.
Missing out on a promotion can be extremely disappointing. However, by using the opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and reassess your goals, you'll keep your career moving forward.
Robert Half International is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 360 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, please visit roberthalf.com. For additional career advice, visit workvine.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/roberthalf.