If you’ve been passed up for a promotion, you know the sting. It can be especially demoralizing if you feel like you were a shoo-in or if someone you think is less qualified gets the job instead.

Promotions can be complex and confusing, and while most employees (79%) know what they need to do to get promoted, sometimes that next step doesn’t happen right away.

What should you do if you didn’t receive an internal promotion?

According to the Indeed editorial team, you can take a few important steps to maintain your motivation and move through your disappointment. We highlight their guidance in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Process the emotions. It can hurt to be rejected, especially for an internal promotion. The Indeed post recommends finding time outside of work to express your emotions. Maybe talk to a friend, go for a run or journal. These are all healthy ways to release your emotions.

Thank your boss. A simple thank-you note to your boss shows humility, grace and commitment to the company, the post says. It also shows that you care more about your overall career development and relationships within the business than one single opportunity. Mention your appreciation for the opportunity and what you learned in the process of applying and interviewing.

Ask for feedback. It’s also wise to ask your boss for any feedback on your performance and application. This can help you do better on your next application and gives you some insight into new goals for your workday. This way, you’ll be well prepared when the next promotion becomes available, the post says.

Look into other opportunities. Express your interest in growing with the company. Make sure your boss and other leaders know you’d like to be considered when new opportunities arise. The Indeed post recommends regularly asking about other promotions and voicing your desire for growth.

Reflect on your goals. Are your current goals still accurate? The post suggests thinking about what the promotion offered that you don’t have in your current role and what changes you’d like to experience. A little self-reflection can help you ensure you’re still on the right track professionally.

Establish a timeline. So, you didn’t get this promotion. What next? According to the Indeed post, you should set an ideal timeline for when you’d like to expand your role, get a raise or gain more responsibility. Having a deadline can inspire you to work hard and keep you accountable for your growth.

Invest in yourself. Read PPAI Magazine and PPAI Newslink. Keep current on industry news and trends. Look for ways to grow your knowledge and expand your skills. Doing so can help you create a more competitive application the next time you apply for a promotion, the post says.

Give yourself a shoutout. The next time something good happens, don’t keep it quiet – let your co-workers and boss know about it. The post recommends celebrating your successes regularly.

When you don’t get promoted, keep in mind it may not be personal or a reflection of the quality of work you do for your company. There could be any number of reasons for getting passed over, from budget limitations to employees with longer tenures. Let yourself process the emotions and learn as much as you can from the experience. In this way, you’ll be turning a disappointment into a positive.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: The Indeed editorial team, composed of writers and researchers who cover insights and trends in the worlds of work, recruiting and HR.