You’ve been working hard, putting in long hours, and making sacrifices for your career. So it’s only natural that you would feel disappointed and even a bit angry when you’re passed over for a promotion.

But before comparing yourself to your successful colleagues, take a step back and consider what may have led to the decision. Perhaps your manager has observed some areas of improvement that you could polish. Or maybe there are other factors at play that are out of your control.

Regardless of the reason, it’s essential to stay positive and focused on your career goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re feeling disappointed after being passed over for promotion.

How to Move Forward After Being Passed Over for Promotion
1. Acknowledge your emotions.

Feeling disappointed, frustrated, and even a little angry is normal when you’ve been passed over for a promotion. This is an emotional time for you, and it’s natural to need some time to process those emotions. Give yourself a few days (or longer if necessary) to sit with your feelings before taking further action.

2. Talk to your manager.

Once you’ve calmed down, schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss the situation. Ask for feedback and be open to hearing what they have to say. This conversation can also be an opportunity to discuss your career goals and how you can best position yourself for future success. Ask about other possibilities that might be available within the organization, or explore other opportunities outside the company if that’s something you are considering.

3. Make a plan.

If your manager can provide constructive feedback, use that information to create an improvement plan. Whether taking on additional assignments to demonstrate your added value or pursuing further training or certifications, take actionable steps to help you close the gap between where you are and where you want to be — professionally and personally.

4. Focus on the positive.

You must show interest in what the interviewer says and be engaged in the conversation between you. The best way to do this is by letting them do most of the talking without seeming rude. When it is your turn to speak, be concise and to the point—don’t ramble on about things that aren’t relevant or interesting.

5. Conclusion: How to Move Forward After Being Passed Over for Promotion

It may seem like an insurmountable setback initially, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though it may not seem like it right now, there are great opportunities ahead! Take this article seriously if being passed over for promotion has happened more than once in your career. The odds are high that this article was written by someone who has been in your position. How do I know? Because I have been there myself!