How to recover from a career setbackChen Wan Lim
You have performed well throughout the year, achieving and even exceeding all the key performance indicators set out by the company. You have even gone above and beyond what you are required to do – your clients agree and have given positive reviews on your performance. However, during the year-end assessment review for a promotion, you were passed over. Perhaps you were eying to be a part of a coveted project by working hard all year round; only to find a less deserving colleague getting the part instead. It can be hard to accept the fact that you have been passed over. However, like all challenges in life, it’s not how many times you fall but how many times you get up. Here’s how to recover from a career setback:
Keep calm and carry on
First things first, make sure that your emotions are kept in check. Do not resort to a public emotional breakdown and do not make a public outburst. While it is perfectly normal to have mixed emotions including sadness and anger, do not let the negative emotions take control. In addition, you do not want to seem as going against the management’s decisions and direction by publically objecting another person who was promoted or protest against the decision.
Analyse the situation
Look for a good time to speak to your superiors quietly after you have your emotions in checked. Sit down and discuss about the decision of not to promote you or to pass the opportunity to another person. Discuss about your contribution, overall performance and suitability for the new role. It could be the case where you thought that you were ready but the management thought otherwise. It could also be the case where the company just cannot afford to award you with a promotion due to undesirable financial circumstances. Whatever the reason may be, get to the root cause and understand it.
Look at your options
After you have discovered and understand the cause on why you have been passed over, evaluate your options on whether to work on your shortcomings in hopes of still getting that promotion, aim for other goals or even to look for better opportunities elsewhere. This is the time where you reconsider your existence within the company and to recalibrate your professional goals.
Formulating a game plan
Now that you know the cause and your next course of action, it’s time to formulate a game plan to bring you there. Devise a plan to cover any shortcomings you might have that have hindered you from getting promoted. This could include getting the necessary trainings to enhance your skill sets or getting involved in more projects to gain more experience. It could also be to look elsewhere for any new openings which require a person with your skills.
In the next few weeks and months after your setback, reflect on what happened, how you handled it and the remedial steps you took to rectify the situation. Also evaluate the effectiveness of your action plans and decide if you will still need to do some adjustments to help you achieve your goal of getting back on track for a promotion. Little adjustments along the way are usually required to ensure that you leverage on every possibly opportunities.