Hearing that you have been passed up for a job promotion can be very disappointing. The truth is that your boss is probably just as uncomfortable delivering the news as you are receiving it. Usually we end up walking away wondering why we were not chosen for the promotion. The following reasons can be insightful as to why you are being passed up:
1. Lacking the skills required for the position. Employees commonly have misconceptions that promotion decisions are based solely on their performance in their current position. Although this is certainly considered, this does not necessarily mean you will succeed in the new position as well. The key to getting ahead is to become familiar with the job requirements of the position that you want, and determine the skills that you will need to improve on in order to succeed in the position. Tell your boss that you are interested in moving up the ladder, and ask for their advice on how to get there.
2. Lacking the necessary soft skills to do the job. You will need to have mastered some soft skills such as dealing with people, leadership and business communication.
Develop the soft skills that you will need in order to succeed in the position that you want. Then, show the skills by volunteering to lead a presentation or by mentoring a new employee, etc.
3. Not handling constructive criticism well. Your boss is only telling you how to improve your work performance, and this is crucial information when you are chasing after a promotion. When you receive feedback, resist the urge to defend yourself. Instead, take the info and see what you can learn from it.
4. Lack of professionalism. How you behave and dress, your ability to maintain confidentiality, your participation in office gossip are important both in the company of coworkers as well as management. For example, you should not take out your frustrations about problems in the work environment to the break room, but instead look for a solution.
5. Not taking initiative. Becoming a problem solver shows that you have concern for your career as well as the long-term health of the business. Do not simply document problems that you see. Analyze them, and find ways to participate in developing a solution.
6. Thinking like an employee, rather than a manager. If you act as though you are only showing up for work to receive your paycheck at the end of the week, it is unlikely that you will be on the list of candidates for a promotion. It is a good idea to express your own interest in things that happen in the workplace.
Being passed up on a promotion should not be the end of the world, but a great learning opportunity instead. Review these reasons, learn from the past, and keep working towards the promotion that you are wanting.