Are you wondering what you should do because you didn’t get a promotion and your boss is an idiot? You probably want to scream, smash your desk, cry, slam every door in sight and punch your boss in the face so bad it hurts. I know exactly how you feel because it happened to me! Getting turned down for a promotion wrecked my life for a while, but thankfully I got my life back and much, much more. Have faith that you can too. Even with your current emotional rollercoaster, believe there is hope. There is always hope and ways for things to get better.
I learned a lot when I was rejected for a promotion and my boss screwed me over. Since I know all too well how hard it is to go through something like that I put together some tips to help others like you who wind up in the same boat. Never surrender!
1. Ask questions until you start to get some answers. My manager wanted to get away with giving me a one sentence answer as to why I was denied a promotion. Seriously? Don’t let your manager get away with that! They owe you an honest, detailed explanation. Stay strong and ask direct questions. It’s the only way you will get answers and have a chance to learn what really happened. You can also try asking HR and other people on the promotion committee if there is one.
2. Stay calm and collected in public. Unexpected bad news is tough to swallow. If you’re flooded with emotions you are totally normal. It’s your boss that’s the idiot for ruining your expectations of getting a promotion. When I was rejected I had to go ball my eyes out in the bathroom. It was awful. If at all possible, try to keep your emotions in check in front of your boss and colleagues and don’t make a public scene.
3. Find a private place to vent and vent some more. Cry, slam a door, sob some more, and yell a ton of obscenities somewhere outside the office. After meeting with my boss and crying in the bathroom, I took a long walk because I was really upset. The last thing I needed was to be at my desk and have to answer a call from a client or try to appear as if everything was normal. Get yourself some privacy where you can let out all of your emotions. I said more obscenities at home in the weeks after my rejection than I had in years.
4. Reach out to a loved one. It helps SO much to talk to someone you love when you go don’t get a promotion. Go to your number one supporter and let everything out. Listen to their guidance and let them build your confidence back up. It’s easy to forget the big picture when you’re feeling upset, and your loved ones can help you refocus and channel your emotions into your next move and something productive.
5. Analyze the last 6-12 months and get the back story. Once your emotions have simmered down, analyze all the things that happened over the last 6-12 months. Read through your performance reviews, review your list of accomplishments and failures, and get the back story that led your boss to his/her decision.
6. Plan your next move. The positive side of not getting a promotion and having an idiot boss is that it can be extremely liberating. You have every right to fight for what you deserve, to start applying for new jobs and find ways to get what you really want. Just make sure to engineer your own layoff instead of quitting. Put together an action plan, beef up your savings, start diversifying your income streams, and get a plan B and plan C in place.
7. Get your documents in order. Smart managers know that documentation is important with any type of promotion, layoff, firing, or significant event. Keep track of all the meetings you’ve had/have with your boss. Log every accomplishment, milestone, and goal, and make sure you also have in writing in your most recent review that you want to get promoted. Don’t be your own worst enemy by not making your boss clearly aware that you want to get promoted. And remember, if you are a victim of any type of discrimination, you will need as much documentation as possible.
8. Update your resume and network. Get your resume updated asap and start brushing up your interview skills. I have a list of helpful interview tips and common interview questions you need to master, for your reference. Get back in touch with classmates, former colleagues, and friends who may be able to help you land a better job.
9. Circle back with your boss. I recommend going back to your boss after you’ve had a chance to vent and cool down in private. Make sure to tell him/her that you’re disappointed and why, ask questions, and find out what you need to do in order to make the next round of promotions. You may not like their feedback, but if you don’t reach out, they will think you don’t have any concerns. Open communication can help you avoid getting screwed over again.
10. Curse and move on. It’s so hard to be denied a promotion especially when we believe we’re doing everything right. It really sucks if your boss is an idiot. Like it or not, if you want to feel better you have to take some form of action to move on. Don’t let your wound fester. Stand up for yourself and get your confidence back. Remember, even the most successful people in the world had to overcome a lot of rejections. Start to line up your next moves and move forward. It will get better!
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Untemplaters, what will you do if you are denied a promotion? Have you been rejected for a promotion in the past? What was the outcome?