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How to Recover After Being Denied a Promotion

How to Recover After Being Denied a Promotion

Don't let your emotions take over!

Larry Buhl | Monster

Be Visible and Proactive

The more people who know about your capabilities and ideas, the more likely you’ll move up. Especially if you’re a low-key workhorse, begin to let your light shine. That means building cross-functional work teams when appropriate and updating your manager’s manager on your accomplishments.

Be Honest with Colleagues and Supervisors

Jane Cranston, an executive career coach and managing director of, says it’s OK to admit you’re disappointed — just don’t be whiny or petulant. “You should also inform your coworkers that you didn’t get the promotion and that you’re looking forward to working with the person who got it,” Cranston says. “And don’t bad-mouth the person who got the job over you, even with a thinly veiled insult.”

Do Some Soul-Searching

“Ask yourself if you really wanted the job, and if you did, why,” Cranston says. “Some reflection could open you up to new possibilities and jobs you hadn’t considered.”

Both Whitcomb and Cranston urged using the setback as a chance for personal and professional growth. “It’s hard to look at the big picture, but it’s important to try,” Cranston says. “Maybe they did the right thing by not promoting you. Don’t think that life is out to get you but rather that life is giving you an opportunity to learn. That takes a lot of humility to accept.”

This article was originally published on

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