“How do I objectively assess why I’ve been passed over for a promotion – is it me or the company?”
Being passed over for a promotion can feel like a tremendous setback, especially at this stage in your career when promotion opportunities are fewer and less frequent. If you’ve hit (or exceeded) all your numbers, it can be difficult to understand why you didn’t make the cut. Put your emotions on the backburner and turn an objective eye towards why you were not promoted.
Promotions to the executive leadership team are based on future potential, not just current performance. Some common reasons within your control include:
- Lacking the right hard skills to do the job (e.g., analytical skills)
- Lacking the right soft skills to do the job (e.g., leadership or teamwork skills)
- Difficulty taking or applying constructive feedback
- Lacking initiative (e.g., slow to identify problems and/or propose original solutions)
In some cases, it’s not you but the company. Perhaps the company feels they need fresh vision, leadership or change management expertise to shift business directions and they don’t believe you’re in a position to provide this guidance. Or, perhaps you’re in the wrong environment for your skills. As discussed earlier, if you’re a big ideas person but the company needs a taskmaster, you’re setting yourself up to struggle.
Written by Audra Gaswirth
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