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 Sarah Kauss, CEO and founder of S’well.
We all want to ‘win‘ in the workplace. And if we’re working for a good employer, he or she should want us to win, too — both as an individual and a team player. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that we always advance at the same pace as our colleagues or as quickly as we would like. So if you ever find yourself being passed over for a promotion, don’t let the disappointment stop you from seizing other opportunities.
Start by showing that you care about the recent outcome and engage in a healthy discussion with your manager. Gather your thoughts around how you feel and why you thought you deserved the recognition. Then have your manager explain their reasoning for the decision and ask for advice on what you can do better next time. Use this advice to set goals that will help ensure you’re moving in the right direction or possibly reassess your role and responsibilities altogether.
Also, be sure to request honest feedback frequently to show you’re ready for new responsibilities and willing to continue improving upon old ones. Whether weekly, or monthly, be sure to sit down with your manager – with goals and successes in hand – to make sure you’re working toward the same North Star. Outside of the office, talk to mentors, your professional network and people you trust to be on the lookout for your best interest.
Frank conversations can prove you’re hungry for more, while also unearthing new opportunities, even when it looks like opportunity just passed you by. The path we envision for ourselves may not always be the path that will get us to where we really want to be. As Pattie Sellers once said, “the most successful people I know don’t think of their career as a ladder. But rather, a jungle gym.” If you don’t focus solely on climbing up, you may stumble upon a new, more rewarding career or a big idea that allows you to be your own boss (like me!)
At the end of the day, the most productive thing you can do is use your current situation to your advantage. Focus on what skills you’re adding to your resume right now, the conversations you’re having with new or trusted contacts and where these opportunities can take you. Even if you feel like you just lost, these steps will inevitably help you win again and again.
Read all responses to the Leadership Insider question: When you get passed up on a promotion, what’s the next step?
How to bounce back after a missed promotion by Edward Fleischman, chairman and CEO of The Execu|Search Group.
The real reason you’re not getting promoted at work by Tom Gimbel, CEO of the LaSalle Network.
The worst thing you can do after getting passed up on a promotion by Mike Guerchon, chief people officer at Okta.
Does a missed promotion mean it’s time to quit your job? by Carol Leaman, CEO of Axonify.
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.