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What to do if you’re passed over for a promotion

You put your heart and soul into your job with the hopes of receiving a promotion one day. However, when the time comes, you're passed over in favor of another employee.

While there are legitimate reasons this could happen, it shouldn't stop you from taking action. Here are some things to do:

  • Keep your emotions in check: This isn't the right time to become angry or reckless. Stay calm, keep positive and assess the situation from many different angles.
  • Find out why: Once you've reviewed the situation, consider why you may have been passed over for the promotion. There may be a very good reason for this, such as the position wasn't a good fit for your skill set.
  • Talk to your supervisor: If you feel that you should have received a promotion, talk to your supervisor about your feelings and the reason you were passed over. They may not be able to share everything with you, but it'll at least give you a better feel for what's going on.
  • Keep up your hard work: Don't give up on your job just because you were passed over for a promotion. Keeping up your hard work will put you in better position to reach your goal in the future.

If you have reason to believe you were passed over for a promotion as a result of discrimination, don't hesitate to dig around. You may find evidence that you missed out because of your religion, race, age, disability or sex.

If you suspect workplace discrimination, learn more about your legal rights and the action you can take.

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