Being denied a request for promotion is not easy to digest. It’s like having the doors to professional success slammed shut in your face, your hopes dashed. First, it’s not easy to raise the subject of promotion or even a hike in salary. When you do so expectantly, and after having given the issue thought, a refusal can be a real spirit dampener that may affect your zeal at the workplace.
What’s the way out? Here are six decisive steps to take to pick up the threads and actually give yourself a much better chance at getting promoted the next time.
You cannot immediately rise above the situation. You’ll need time to bounce back. Use the time to reflect but not to complain and wallow. Negative feelings do not serve any purpose. Discuss the whole thing with a friend or colleague to vent your feelings and unburden your heart
Self-assessment of the issue will yield answers for the way forward. How important was the promotion or raise to you? Do you have a backup plan? How realistic is a job hop at this juncture? What was the feedback that you got? How much of it do you agree with?
If you’re comfortable with the type of work you’re doing and your title, then shifting jobs to a better-paying employer is optional.
If the issue is about getting promoted, then work towards it in the same organization because getting promoted may need skill upgrades and learning new skills. Your best chance of achieving this is with the existing employer.
Ask yourself dispassionately if you genuinely deserved the promotion. Could it have been that the employers had a genuine case in holding back your promotion? Are you pulling your weight in the company, or are you too relaxed and laid back, satisfied to do the bare minimum and take home the paycheck?
Work harder. Get noticed. Don’t let this setback affect your professionalism. Keep conversations professional. There’s no point in carrying emotional baggage from the episode to the office every day. Your superiors don’t owe you a promotion if they’re in the right or even otherwise. Politeness and a stiff upper lip will serve you best. An outburst or whispering about how you were treated will only be counterproductive. Gracefulness will always be appreciated.
Request your manager to provide you with feedback on what he or she thinks you were lacking in. Contrast this with your self-assessment. Chart your way forward based on what the boss tells you. Ask for an honest critique that allows you to act on it. It could be that you need to develop your skills in multiple departments or upgrade in a particular area.
Comparisons are odious at the best of times, and more so when a colleague gets promoted and you don’t. These won’t help. Compare objectively, if you must, to understand what went wrong for you and the steps you need to take.
Regardless of whether your promotion was denied outright or only delayed by sympathetic management, you need to do your best to stay relevant and in the scheme of things. Set a timeframe in which to achieve certain objectives. There’s no alternative but to upgrade and reinvent, more so when you need to present your best self for a promotion or a raise.
It is worth noting that having your request for promotion turned down may not always be a comment on your abilities. It could be because of budgetary constraints or other reasons. This perspective can help you plan your path toward career growth.