The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: When you get passed up on a promotion, what’s the next step? is written by Tom Gimbel, CEO of the LaSalle Network.
If you get passed up for a promotion, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself: Why? Take time to objectively evaluate your own performance. Where did you fall short? Why do you think you were passed over? Be brutally honest with yourself about your shortcomings. And take time to reflect. What did the other person have that you didn’t?
Look at the situation holistically. Did your performance merit a promotion? Think about what you could have been doing on a day-to-day basis to better sell yourself. Getting passed up should fuel your competitiveness and light a fire under you.
If you’ve answered all the questions above and you still feel like you deserved the promotion and have metrics to prove it, sit down with your the manager and explain how you’re feeling. It’s crucial to enter this conversation with an open mind and wait until you aren’t upset or angry (if you were), because that will definitely show. Explain why you thought you would be a great fit for the role, and back up your explanation with numbers and metrics. Then ask what you need to improve on to earn the promotion next time it comes around.
Be prepared to hear feedback, including things you may not want to hear. The fact of the matter is that you were passed up for a reason, and it may be because you are lacking in a few areas. Use this feedback to figure out how to make yourself a stronger candidate in the future. The people who really want to succeed will find a way to turn that frustration into motivation.
After this the meeting, the most important thing to do is figure out your next steps. No one is going to hold your hand. You have to own your career. Think about how you make yourself a stronger candidate. Take your manager‘s feedback and your own thoughts, and set new goals. Whether it’s taking classes, attending conferences or getting new certifications, getting passed up on a promotion can be a wakeup call. It doesn’t necessarily mean you were bad in your role before, but maybe you weren’t doing enough to get ahead.
However, if your manager can’t explain why you weren’t considered for the promotion, you need to evaluate if the company truly aligns with your career ambitions. Companies that are invested in their employees will provide tangible reasons and ways that will help you improve and grow. Companies should be setting expectations and outlining what it takes to succeed. They should want each employee to get better in their roles and progress. At the end of the conversation, if you don’t have a better idea of where you stand and what you need to work on, you either didn’t ask enough questions or the manager was giving you the run around.
Read all responses to the Leadership Insider question: When you get passed up on a promotion, what’s the next step?
How to get over a promotion you thought you deserved by Shadan Deleveaux, director of sales multicultural beauty division at L’Oréal USA.
How to move on after getting passed up for a promotion by David Reimer, CEO of Merryck.
You just got passed over for a promotion. Here’s what you do next by Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder and CEO of VaynerMedia.