How to handle being passed over for a promotion

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There’s nothing quite like the crushing disappointment of being passed over for a promotion that you were convinced was yours – but that doesn’t mean it’s a lost opportunity. Career strategist Linsday Broder has some advice for anyone keen to get over the set-back.

Host yourself a pity party   

It might sound sarcastic but Broder insists everyone who gets passed over should let themselves feel however they like – at least for a little while.

“Let yourself be angry. Cry a little. Feel despair for a bit. Let yourself complain, whine or whatever feels right to you,” she says. “Giving yourself time and validating how you feel is a necessary step in the healing process.”

Accept the situation

Spend some time wallowing but don’t dwell on it forever.

“It's time to accept what has happened. You can't undo it,” says Broder. You can't change what is, but you can control your responses to the situation. Knowing this will give you the power to make new choices and decisions that will lead you to the next part of your professional journey.”


It’s essential that you do this both internally and externally.

Ask yourself – were you really that much of a shoe-in or did you read the situation wrong?

“Pretending you've done nothing to bring on this situation is only going to prevent you from future success,” says Broder. “Be honest. It's very important to look in the mirror and face reality so you can learn from any mistakes you have made.”


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