6 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get That Promotion

Many of us have been passed over by a promotion at some point in our careers and it Never. Feels. Good.

You may feel bad, sad, or mad.

Your boss (if he or she knows you were going for it) may feel bad, sad, or mad.

The person who didn’t select you may not quite know what to say beyond “someone else just had better qualifications.”

…and now you all need to move forward together as if it didn’t happen?

Sometimes it’s even worse and you have to now report to the person who DID get it!! I mean, let’s just be real—going for a promotion and not getting it is plain old yucky.

Well, leader friend, we’re going to let you in on a little secret: while your boss, the hiring manager, the person who did get the job are busy avoiding you, I can tell you who they ARE talking to…US!!!!

We can tell you, from experience, that this whole situation is one of the top five roadblocks every leader and HR manager encounters (and can’t quite figure out!).

…so they call people like us—the leadership coaches and consultants—to dave the day.

So we thought, you know what? Let’s do the talking here! Let’s say the things they won’t say!

Below are 6 reasons why you didn’t get that promotion.

#1 They DO know what they are doing

You and others may be sitting there doing the armchair judging on why they picked the wrong person. And sure, a small percentage of the time this is correct. But really, those in the position to select and hire someone have a rationale that is meaningful and you really do need to trust them.

#2 You might not be fit for the job

Sure, you might check all of the right boxes. You may have been waiting for three years. But the truth is, It is not just about the job or the work that needs to be done. The person selected has to work well with All. The. Peoples.

First, the person selected has to work well with the boss. We can’t even begin to tell you how many people we’ve worked with where the relationship between them and their boss is not working out. And guess what? The boss usually wins.

This is a fact and it happens at every level and to all kinds of smart, hard-working and well-intentioned people.

Second, the person that is the right fit for the role will also be someone who can work well with everyone else—members of the team, customers, as well as all of the other people the team needs to interact with.

Hold up the mirror and check out your reflection in this area—do you really qualify across the board?

#3 You might lack pace and efficiency

Have you considered pace and efficiency?

If you take forever to get your work done, the hiring manager may not see that you are able to take on more. More importantly, they might be right.

Dig deep and really ask yourself, am I working at an optimal level most of the time?

#4 You might not be flexible enough

Managing people and workload requires a nimble nature. Sure, you have to be able to get stuff done, but you also need to be able to flex according to the needs of the day and the priorities of the week. Those who process one task at a time, who get frustrated easily with others or with interruptions, might in fact be most happy staying right where they are.

#5 You might not want the promotion for the right reasons

Are you in it just for more money? Are you in it for a better title? People know these things. People who get promotions are usually the people who have some passion about doing the work of that position. Find your passion and live it—the titles and the pay will follow.

Last but not least…

We’re not even going to give this last one a number because it is the silent unspeakable, so we’re going to pretend we never said it.

Sometimes, yes, someone else was the winner for reasons that just aren’t right. Your choice now is to get on board or find a new home. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to stay in a role that you are not onboard with working for someone you are not in agreement with. Move on and find a better spot where you can thrive. It’s a win-win, trust us!

Alright—now that we’ve covered the basics, you probably want to know what the heck to do about it! How do you live in this stinky situation?

Listen, we know you might not be loving what you’re reading. And frankly, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we promise that these conversations are happening behind closed doors.

So…what now?

First and foremost, you need to take a look in the mirror and really ask yourself the difficult questions to figure out where you fell short and go from there.

But also, have trust in the decision that was made. Seek to understand. Be honest with yourself. Don’t lose faith in yourself. And lastly, remember that this isn’t the end-all-be-all—you can still get to where you want to go. Also, stay tuned for an upcoming article that will help you map out your next steps!

Best of luck to you, and contact us today if we can be helpful!