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Are you really
promotion material?

Fill in this short survey to find out:

  • 1. Have you requested a promotion in the last year?
  • 2. Have you ever been rejected for a promotion?
  • 3. Have you ever been offered a promotion?
  • 4. Has a co-worker at the same level ever been promoted instead of you?
  • 5. Has there ever been a position you applied for and didn’t get?
  • 6. Are you hesitant about asking for a promotion for fear of your boss’s response?
  • 7. Have you ever left an organization because you were passed up for promotion there?
  • 8. Do you know if your work environment values you and your work?
  • 9. Do you think that you deserve a promotion?
  • 10. Do you promote your work and yourself at work?
Get your results directly to your email:
** Please answer all questions **

4 Ways To Turn Promotion Rejection into a Positive Experience

There is no doubt that getting rejected for a promotion is no game. It is truly frustrating and devastating. If you spent a lot of time last year preparing those career goals of a manager you’ve been researching and dreaming about, then it makes sense that failure can make you second guess yourself. In truth, it puts a big dent in your confidence, and this may affect your chances of a promotion.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen this year.

Don’t let any setbacks derail the career goals of a manager and while you can’t change what has happened in the past there are four things you can do this year to ensure that your future career takes off like no other.

Before we look at the four essential points on how to handle promotional setbacks imagine yourself this time next year sitting in the highly-prized corner office; your career, your confidence, and your future all heading towards your ultimate goal. Those setbacks are just a dim memory of the past.


Sounds good, doesn’t it? Imaging your success is one thing; turning it into a reality is another. And this how to get started:


1. Be Patient and Wait 

When you are ushered into your boss’s office and given the news you didn’t get the promotion your first response might be to ask why, and that’s only natural. You work hard and you are dedicated to the success of your company. You prepared your application well, and frankly, you believe you deserve the promotion. But, your boss didn’t.

So, why you’d like to know why you were rejected, now is not the time to ask. Your boss might be expecting an adverse reaction from you (see point 2 below). They will be expecting you to be angry and disappointed. This means that your boss will be on the defensive and may sugar-coat the answer. This is not good for either of you.

You need the truth, and your boss needs time. Wait a few days or a week and make an appointment to discuss where you went wrong. Make a list of questions beforehand, note the answers and make sure you become the person who is ready for that next promotion.


2. Use Reason and Logic to Guide Your Behavior

If you have experienced rejection in the workplace you will know there is a whole range of emotions you go through. Rejection usually leaves us feeling angry and disappointed. It can also lead to frustration and some pretty poor behavior.

Whatever you do remain in control of your emotions. Don’t storm out of your boss’s office, and slam the door behind you. This is an irrational behavior and your boss will not think kindly about you. They will also believe that they made the right decision and that you weren’t ready.

When you do receive the bad news, block those negative feelings and think towards the next promotion. Remember there is something in this experience that you can learn from and use to your advantage next time.


3. Prepare for Rejection

This might not be part of your game-plan, but being prepared for rejection can really help your chances of promotion in the future. All bosses are different, and how they deliver the bad news will never be the same. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare what you are going to do or say.

As we discussed above, letting your feelings guide your behavior is not a good idea, so what can you do instead?

It’s important that your boss understands that you are willing to learn and change. Explain that you are shocked and disappointed, and that you will need time to review your options. Prepare at least three positive things that you like about your job and tell your boss these are the reasons that you have stayed with the company so far.

Always leave these situations on a positive note. It will help your boss think highly of you next time a promotion opportunity arises. As well, it is worth noting that you still have to work in the same place and that behaving in a positive way will make that much easier.


4. Congratulate the Person Who Did Get the Promotion

Being a good sports can be difficult in any situation, however, it is worth doing if you want to be promoted in the future. When you do find out who got the promotion make an effort to shake their hand, and congratulate them. Sure, you might not feel like it, but there are some good reasons for doing this.

One, you may now have to work under this person and you don’t need an enemy in the senior ranks. Instead, you need an ally and perhaps a friend who will help your chances of future promotions.

Two, you also don’t want your boss thinking badly of you. This will also harm your chances of promotion in the future if they believe you and not mature enough to handle a senior position.



Remember, the quicker you regain your composure and turn rejection into a positive, the quicker you are going to be ready for that next promotion opportunity.


And always remember:

Great managers are made. Not born. 

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