Career Concepts


So, you’ve put in a lot of hard work and played by the rules only to get passed over for a promotion. What now?

It’s perfectly normal to feel angry and hurt; however, you don’t want to let bad feelings get the better of you. Don’t lash out at supervisors, your co-workers or the company. A more useful approach is to channel your frustrations into something positive, like what is outlined below.

Be professional

Being angry and unprofessional in this situation won’t endear you to anyone. In fact, it may actually reinforce the idea the company made the right decision.

Being professional should start with offering congratulations to the person who received the promotion. You can go a step further by offering to help with their transition into the new job.

Taking this approach strengthens your professional reputation, as opposed to a bad attitude that will damage it.

Find out why

Part of your coping process should include figuring out why you were passed over for a promotion. After your feelings have settled, arrange for a meeting with the people behind the decision to learn why you were passed over. When setting up this meeting, it’s important to make the other people comfortable with telling you the truth. Reassure your supervisor and others that you aren’t there to argue or start trouble; you just want honest feedback.

Have questions ready for your meeting, so you can figure out how to address weak points or lack of abilities. Try to get your employer to advise you on a course of action and ask about the company subsidizing some professional-development classes. Ask for scenarios that made your superiors doubt your capability to handle the new position.

At the end of the meeting, request a few recommendations on how you can boost your value to the company.

Take action

After you find out why you didn’t get a promotion, you might want to double your efforts to make sure you grab the next promotion opportunity that comes up.

Or, you might realize you’re not considered management material with this company and even a Herculean effort would not result in a promotion. To go to the next level in your career, you may have to find a new job with company that has better prospects.

People who have been employed by just one business often face a similar predicament: stick it out in a familiar setting or take a chance on the unknown. However, expanding your career experience is a plus, and other businesses will value your talents. People get caught up in the idea of failure but getting passed over isn’t failure. It’s an experience you can learn from.

At Career Concepts, we work with ambitious professionals who are looking to take the next step on their career path. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you.


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