It is a devastating feeling when you’re passed up for a promotion that you were dreaming of. You’ve worked your socks off to prove you’re the man/woman for the job but it was given to someone else. Before you slide into despair here are 7 reasons why you were overlooked for the promotion and what you can do next time to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
1. You didn’t sell yourself
Modesty is not the key when you’re bidding for a promotion. You have to be able to convince your boss WHY they should increase your salary and give you more responsibility. If you’re not able to sell yourself in the right way they will give the role to someone else. Before your internal interview think of a list of reasons why you deserve this promotion, things you’ve done in the past and your future plans for success for your company.
The opposite is not being modest enough. Your boss and interviewer needs to feel confident that you’re a team player and that you will work together with your colleagues to meet and exceed your goals. Be careful about taking solo credit for things that were a team effort or wasn’t even you. Not only will you annoy your colleagues which will make them reluctant to work with you in the future but you likely won’t get the promotion you want. It is more attractive to be gracious about your team and how you have strong leadership skills, essential qualities for role of greater responsibility.
Office politics is a deal breaker. It is petty and trivial and tells your boss that you’re easily distracted rather than focused on working hard to achieve your goals. Be the bigger person and steer clear of office drama, nepotism or passive-aggressive behaviour. You’ll thank us for it in the long run.
4. Under prepared for the interview
There are many benefits to internal hiring and the main bonus is that you’re already familiar with the company, their values and the hiring committee. You will already have a good idea about what they are looking for in a candidate. However the worst thing you can do is take the interview too lightly. At the end of the day it is still an interview and you have to make yourself shine. Internal interviews are often tougher as they already know you so make sure you come prepared with examples of how you’ve outperformed your colleagues (without throwing them under the bus).
While this list of reasons you didn’t get the promotion is overall accurate, it’s written for a broad audience in no specific role or industry. The best way to find out why you were passed over is to ask the people who interviewed you. It is important to know why so you can better prepare yourself next time or try to improve in areas you were lacking. Think of the experience as a positive stepping stone rather than a failure. With the right mindset and preparation… the next one will be yours.