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3 things to do if you didn't receive a promotion

By Jana Angeles | 09 January 2020


Getting promoted has a lot of benefits. It may mean a title change that offers more responsibilities, or a salary increase for all the hard work you’ve contributed towards the company. 

You may have given your last performance review a good effort, highlighting all your achievements you’ve accomplished for the past year but still get overlooked for a promotion. 

It can be disheartening to experience this, especially when you consider yourself a seasoned professional who is willing to go above and beyond in your job. You may have experienced career envy as you see your colleagues get promoted.

It’s important to not take it personally when you get passed up for a promotion, so it’s worth looking back and evaluating what you can do to prove that you deserve one.

Here are some things you should do if you didn’t receive the promotion you were after.

What should you do if you didn’t receive a promotion?

  1. Get feedback from your boss.
  2. Consider studying a qualification.
  3. Look for another job. 

1. Get feedback from your boss.

employee and boss having a meeting

LinkedIn influencer Alex Malley says, “If you learn early in your career to soak it up, to learn to respect people you don’t like, I can ensure people that promotional pathways will expand very quickly.”

As mentioned by Malley, one of the key aspects of being successful for a promotion is to be open to learning opportunities and have an interest in developing your current skillset. By being a “sponge” when it comes to absorbing information, it shows your willingness to learn, as well as your ability to adapt to the current work environment. 

Working efficiently with your colleagues can also show that you’d be worthy of a promotion because of your positive attitude in collaborating with others when it comes to solving problems and working on tasks that require group effort.

Getting feedback from your boss about your performance review is helpful because you can take part in a productive discussion on what you should focus on to improve your chances of getting a promotion next time. Receiving feedback from them is important because they can guide you on what specific projects you should work on or what skills you need to focus on developing.

These are the questions you can potentially ask for better guidance:
  • What do you want me to achieve in the next 3 months?
  • Do you think I should undertake learning opportunities to improve my chances of a promotion?
  • How can I best use my strengths for future projects?

2. Consider studying a qualification.

Melanie Haniph from TopResume writes, “If you want to get promoted, you'll need to possess the skills and knowledge required to perform a more senior role. Without these skills, you could be putting your career in a holding pattern.”

As you can see, having the motivation to learn can put you in a great position where opportunities can be endless. This can mean taking the time to learn new skills and boost your knowledge, and this can be gained from studying a qualification that is relevant to your role or industry.

Professional development is important because it provides a foundation for ongoing learning and it can help you be engaged with your job. When you’re doing the same tasks over and over, you may find that you’re stagnating in terms of growth because you’ve grown bored and no longer find the role as challenging and interesting anymore.

Studying a course can help you step away from the routine of your job as it’s mentally-stimulating to learn new information and undertake tasks that are different and unfamiliar. Not only that, a qualification can also have some long-term benefits that add value to your professional and personal life too.

It also gives you a sense of purpose when working towards a qualification and can help you keep motivated to complete the assessments, helping you gain knowledge and skills relevant to your job. By simply taking the opportunity to study, it gives you a head start in building your credentials as a professional

However, should you decide to move on from your current job, having proof that you have studied can help you stand out from your competition because:
  • It shows your enthusiasm for gaining new skills and knowledge.
  • You are open to undertaking learning opportunities and professional development.
  • You have the desire to progress in your career, keeping up with the relevant trends within your industry. 

3. Look for another job. 

job interview concept

When you’re overlooked for a promotion, it can be difficult to find motivation to continue your current job. You may have had a fair few challenges along the way but oftentimes, have felt that your role no longer makes you feel happy or rewarded.

These are some of the signs it’s time to change jobs:
  • You no longer feel challenged.
  • Your workplace culture is toxic.
  • You don’t want to take on more responsibilities.
  • You don’t see yourself growing with the company.
Sometimes being overlooked for a promotion can be a blessing in disguise because it may be a sign that it's time to look elsewhere. Even if you’re earning a good salary with plenty of work benefits, it’s not worth compromising your value to a company that isn’t interested in investing in your career development.

One of Upskilled’s students, Karly Stephens, completed the ICT80115 - Graduate Certificate in Information Technology and Strategic Management and while she was working full-time as a network administrator, she no longer felt that there was growth in the company that could offer her desired career prospects, which became a deciding factor in her studying a qualification and launching her own business.

She says, “The course helped expand my knowledge in areas I needed to pursue a different job path. Not only were the skills I acquired helpful at the time but the course has been a great asset for the new business.”

Losing out on a promotion doesn’t mean your career is in jeopardy. It sometimes means that you need to think outside of the box and consider other opportunities that are out there, such as a new role or starting a new business venture.

Looking to move up the career ladder?

If you’re someone that is interested in moving up the career ladder, consider studying a course with Upskilled. With a large variety of qualifications in business, community services and IT, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your skillset and knowledge while also being able to enjoy the flexibility of online learning. 

Get in touch with one of Upskilled’s education consultants on 1300 009 924 and enquire on a course today and see how studying can help you with your career. 
 
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