• Linda R. Taliaferro

Passed Over Again? What To Do Next

Here's the scenario:

You're confident that you're ready to move to the next level in your career. You've put in months of effort, made the necessary adjustments based on your manager's feedback…and perhaps even completed courses to upgrade your skills.

Yet when the position finally opens up, someone else gets the job.

Sound familiar?

While it's natural to feel disappointed, it's essential to know that there are steps you can take to keep your career moving forward.

If you've been passed over for a promotion, this doesn't have to be the end of the road. There are critical next steps to consider that will help propel you toward success.

Identify the gap.

Instead of ruminating on your certifications and wins, focus on the growth opportunity - the missing link that took you out of the running. There's a good chance that yours is the same as the one I had years and years ago:


Back then, the 'being' part of me wasn't my focus. I figured, "I didn't come to work for that." I had yet to make the connection that who I am personally is who I am professionally, and it might be the same for you.

If you peel back the layers, you may very well discover that this is why you were passed over.

It's important to note, however, that if you've made the extra effort, and you're confident that your EQ and executive presence are great, but your shoulder STILL isn't getting tapped…then you may be in a toxic environment and it might be time to move on to the next opportunity. But first, make sure to do the necessary digging to help you determine your next move.

Are you getting in your own way?

Another aspect to consider has to do with your own personal issues. For me, it was related to my childhood. Childhood bullying, my parents' divorce, having a strict mother…these painful experiences from my past had taken a toll on my confidence.

So I kept my head down and focused on my work. I didn't want the attention, and I didn't want to be seen. Therefore, I didn't show up.

Everything changed for me when I realized that I was hurting my chances by hiding and not building professional relationships. I began to make authentic connections and allowed people to get to know me for who I am.

Try doing a self-assessment to see if there's anything beneath the surface causing you to hold yourself back. Are you building relationships and allowing people to see your value? Do you come across as arrogant? Are you approachable? Do you have poor listening skills?

It will take deep introspection to get to the root of the issue. Nobody's perfect; we all have things we can learn and grow from, and there's so much value in allowing ourselves to do so.

Do the work.

This is why it's vital to have mentors and accountability partners who can provide 360-degree feedback. Engage with a coach or somebody who can help you analyze your journey thus far, assess it properly, and help you implement actionable steps to improve your outcome down the road.

Be open to the feedback you receive. Then, allow yourself to be vulnerable so that you can be your best self at work, fully and completely. The aim is to leave no doubt in anyone's mind that you are the next best person to lead that initiative and be promoted into that seat.

When I did the work, I was not passed over again. Never again. And I guarantee that you'll get out of your own way once you peel back the onion, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and quit drinking your own Kool-Aid. When you implement these tools, you won't get passed over again.

If you suspect that your lack of confidence is hindering your chances of getting tapped for the next promotion, check out my FREE Workplace Confidence Guide. It will help you identify your roadblocks and help you make the right moves to claim the success that awaits on the horizon.

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