Career Corner: You’ve Been Passed Over for a Promotion: What Now?

work team meeting

Losing out on a promotion you wanted can be crushing. Drastic thoughts might pop into your head, like do you belong at the company if they don’t think you deserve more responsibility.

Before you make any rash decisions, there are several things you should do to take stock of your future at the company.

The job site Indeed shared some of the first things you should do after getting turned down for a promotion, and here are the key points.

Give Yourself Time

Don’t make any decisions while your emotions are still raw. Cycle through your disappointment, sadness, or frustration, then look at the situation when you are calm.

Ask What You Need to Improve On

Getting rejected once does not mean you will never be accepted. Solicit feedback from your manager about what they would need to see from you to promote you.

Use This as Motivation

Most things you want in life will come with setbacks. Maybe this is just the wake up call you need to realize you have been coasting. Rather than throw in the towel, use this as fuel to improve.

Figure Out Where to Go from Here

If after talking with your manager you got concrete things you can improve on to get a promotion, that is a good goal. However, if that meeting yielded a sense that favoritism was responsible for who got promoted, maybe you genuinely should consider moving on.

Times of failure are good moments to reassess everything. Take an objective look where your desires of where you want to be in the company compare to their desires for you.

To read more details about each of these steps, check out the post that Indeed made by visiting here.


Wilmington University, the sponsor of DELCO Today — Career Corner, is a private, open-access institution that serves more than 20,000 adults, including those seeking advancement through higher education and traditional-age students who aspire to become successful global citizens.

One of the most affordable private universities in the Delaware Valley, WilmU is committed to the idea that finishing an undergraduate degree or obtaining a master’s or doctoral degree can be affordable and accessible.

The University offers over 200 accredited and career-relevant degree and certificate programs in flexible online and hybrid formats designed to accommodate adults of all ages who work full- or part-time or juggle demanding career, family, and personal schedules.

Learn more about WilmU here or register to attend one of the University’s webinars. You will find information about academic programs, flexible scheduling options, tuition, admissions, student services, athletics, and more.

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