What To Do When You Don’t Get the Promotion You Want

It happens to all of us.  You didn’t get a promotion you wanted and think that you deserved.  This hurts.  It’s frustrating.  But it’s not a career ender.  This article tells you what to do when you’re passed over for a promotion.


I like this advice.  I especially like the idea of using this disappointment as a learning experience.  Things don’t always work out.  When they don’t, you can choose to mope and get angry.  All this does is set you up for future failure.  Successful people always use failure and disappointment as learning experiences.

It takes courage to ask for the reasons why you weren’t promoted.  But these reasons can be very helpful.  In most cases they will point out some of your weaknesses and improvement areas.  Getting turned down for a promotion can be a good thing in the long run — if you are smart enough to use it as a catalyst for improvement.

Once you know your shortcomings you need to work to overcome them.  I was turned down for a promotion once.  I was told that the main reason was the perception that I wasn’t really serious about my work.  In my opinion, this wasn’t the case.  I was very serious.  But my playful personality had me tagged as not being so.  My lesson — turn it down, act more serious, come across with a little more gravitas.  I did, and I got a promotion in about six months.

Sometimes the reasons for not getting promoted say more about the company than they do about you.  When this happens, you might want to consider if you are with the right company.  In the last company I worked for, I was turned down for a promotion on the grounds that I didn’t have the right experience.  When I told the hiring manager that I had done this kind of work in a previous company, he said, “Maybe you did, but you didn’t do it here.”  That’s when I knew it was time to go.

I went — starting my consulting and coaching business.  That was in 1988.  In retrospect, not getting that promotion was the best thing that ever happened for my career.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  Now I’m going one step further.  I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success.  And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free.  Just go to  www.BudBilanich.com/join  to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals.  I hope to see you there.

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