Have you been passed over for a promotion despite outstanding performance and excellent reviews?

Advancement in career is a natural goal for any professional who has met their KPIs consistently, displayed initiative, and added value. If you believe you have proved your competence, dedication, and leadership in your role, it is frustrating not to be picked. It makes matters worse if you get vague feedback and feel everyone else except you is getting ahead. You may start feeling your management is arbitrary and even political.

It’s crucial to allow yourself time to process your emotions. This is not a time for impulsive actions, complaints, or accusations. Venting your frustrations or speaking ill of the person who got the promotion will worsen the situation. Remember, your management may use your behavior as a justification for their decision not to promote you.

Enlist your boss’s support. Tell them you are disappointed and want to work with them to get promoted in the future. Seek their advice and mentoring and take action on it. This proactive approach can help foster a supportive relationship and demonstrate your commitment to personal and professional growth.

Understand the requirements of the next level – Figure out the expectations from the next level role and understand the skills, leadership traits, experiences, and qualifications required for the position you’re aiming for. Look for ways to bridge identified gaps and acquire the expertise via training, coaching, or experiential learning through a lateral job move.

Know how you are perceived – What do the people who will work with you in your new role think about you? People like to work with those they know, like, and trust. If your stakeholders in your future role are indifferent to you or do not think you have the skills, influence, or gravitas to do the part, you will likely not get it. Therefore, network strategically, manage perceptions and find ways to build bridges with people you will work with in the future.

In conclusion, doing good work and believing that your performance is there for everyone to see will not help you get ahead in your career. Securing the promotion you want requires a proactive and strategic approach. Take charge to strengthen your leadership, nurture your network, and establish your presence in your senior management.


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