Turned down for a promotion - what do I do now?
February 8, 2010 6:11 AM Subscribe
My boss strongly and repeatedly encouraged me to apply for a promotion, then gave the job to one of my coworkers. What do I do now? If I try to find another job how do I explain why I am looking?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A few weeks after our department manager left, the department director asked me if I was going to apply for the manager position. I hadn't planned to apply (I didn't think I was qualified), but the director told me she thought I would be a great fit and would bring a lot of valuable skills and talents to the position. She also mentioned that other leaders in the organization that had worked with me thought I was a good choice for the promotion.
I thought about it and continued to discuss it with her over the next few weeks (always receiving strong encouragement), and then applied for the position. She never promised the position to me, but made it clear that I was her preferred candidate for the position.
The selection process involved three interviews with various groups over a couple of months. After the "team" interview with my colleagues, the director shared that my colleagues preferred the other coworker. Her discussions with me about the manager position shifted from "you'll be fantastic" to "the team is looking for a more relational leader." The more "relational" coworker was selected for the position.
I feel blindsided and taken advantage of in this process. I have taken on several high-profile, large projects since our manager left, and I feel that all my hard work and good reputation in the organization have not been recognized. The director is telling me there will be other opportunities to move into a leadership role, and that I should just keep working hard and good things will happen. But there really isn't anything else in sight right now.
What is the best way to handle this disappointment? I have been careful to be professional and gracious, but I am really angry and hurt. Moving into a leadership position is an important part of my career goals. I like my current job, but I don't want to keep working like crazy (nights, weekends) in the hope that "something" will come up eventually. What can I do to make this situation as good as possible for me? Should I just be making an escape plan?
Bonus question: If I do apply for other jobs, how should I explain why I am looking? I have been in this job a year (the coworker who was selected has worked here 10 months). Before that I was in a job that was way too simple for my background and education, and I got out in 5 months. The rest of my work history is pretty stable - 4 years each at 2 different places.