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How to Respond when a Promotion is Rejected

Have you ever had a promotion rejected? The experience can hurt your ego and your work. However, you can come through the experience a better person and gain the respect and admiration of your colleagues. Although it may take time to get the desired result, remain calm and keep a positive attitude.

Keep Calm

Keep your cool despite any anger or disappointment you feel. Understand that you cannot change the situation whether the process was fair or unfair. Do not rant or complain; your co-workers may act sympathetic, but it will only make you look like a complainer. Avoid sulking or over-reacting as this will affect your reputation. If you must react, acknowledge your disappointment, don’t let it affect your work and move on.

Don’t Assume

Promotion decisions in a company often follow due process and work to the best interest of the company. Do not assume there were favours or personal interest in the decision making process. Analyze the promotion and perform a candid self-assessment to identify personal weaknesses that may have affected your chances of promotion. If you still feel you were a better candidate, ask your bosses for a review of your work. This will give you an honest critique and highlight areas you may need to improve to advance your career.

Set Personal Goals

Missing a promotion is a hard-hitting experience that can upset your planned professional goals. However, it does not spell doom for your career. Assess your current position and reassess your plan to advance your career without the position you lost in place. You can choose to refocus your energy on personal development or create an exit plan that will help you advance your career in another organisation. Do not make hasty decisions, consider alternatives and weigh the pros and cons before settling. Your focus should be on personal development.

Change Your Focus

Focus on the positive experiences you have had at work and work towards improving your performance. Look back at all your achievements and take pride even though they did not earn you a promotion. Ensure your bosses take note of your good work and strive to align your personal goals with the company’s growth goals. Talk to your seniors for advice and mentorship on different ways you can improve your performance at work.

Remain Positive

A positive attitude will help you get through the hurt and rejection you feel in the early stages. Pay attention to your work and focus on accomplishing tasks. Appreciate that you still have your job and concentrate on doing your best.

Walk Away

If you believe the promotion process was unfair, and left you hurt or may affect your work, walk away. Plan your exit and make a formal resignation. Speak to your superiors about your decision. However, do not make a hasty decision. Take your time and discuss your exit strategy with mentors or trusted friends.

A rejection for a promotion leaves you hurt and feeling angry. However, it acts as a revelation for your career. Do not be quick to make decisions in anger. Concentrate on your career path and re-strategise to ensure you achieve your goals even by a different path.


Image: iStock

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