If you have been waiting to hear about a promotion and had been expecting it to be your name called but….  you walk into work that morning and your colleague is chosen for the promotion over and above you – how do you deal with that? 

The natural feelings for anyone would be frustration, disappointment and a sense of being overlooked – you may even feel humiliated about not being chosen for the promotion. You also are filled with dread about going back to your team and just getting on with your work again… that’s a tough place to be while the dust settles on the news. It would stir up all sorts of emotions in anyone. 

It’s a game changer in your mind – do you decide to look for another job, do you try and carry on as normal, do you moan about what’s happened to anyone who will listen? You certainly do need a plan for how to overcome it. 

The best thing to do is to give yourself some time to calm down, get some good productive feedback on the decision so you have a clear mind and then work out your plan to come back stronger than ever and then bounce back. 

You may want to focus on these key areas: 

Keep your emotions in check – of course, you’ll feel disappointed and frustrated when being overlooked for a promotion. If you want to vent about it, my advice would be to talk to your manager, a trusted colleague away from your desk or ideally someone outside of work who can be impartial about the matter. Don’t make a rash decision to leave your job after finding out that you missed out. Take stock! 

Reflecting and analysing why you weren’t selected for the promotion is therapeutic. Again, thinking about it calmly and with a more neutral stance from your initial reaction will give you some time to just work out what you could’ve done differently and to reflect on the process. Being able to self-analyse will help you to bounce back quicker.  

Book a meeting with your boss (face to face or over the phone where necessary) to discuss the topic. It will give you some answers and help to get you back on track and driving towards the next promotion opportunity. Make sure that your manager knows that you’re keen to progress and that you would like feedback and a clear plan of what may be required to be considered for the next step up. So, get that meeting booked in and take charge of the situation so you can be in control of your next move. 

Put any negative energy to one side and congratulate the successful colleague.  It’s absolutely time to take a deep breath and swallow your pride and start building that positive relationship with the promoted person. Be sincere! 

If you have decided that you want to stay in your current job, then you must work hard to not be demotivated for any longer than 1 day! You can’t dwell on the outcome for too long, it will not do you any good and could impact how you perform in your role.  

Get up, dust yourself down and get right back to work!