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I Was Passed Over For Promotion, Should I Quit?

You didn't get the promotion. And now you're trying to figure out if you should quit.

Because, f%$# this job anyway, right?

Before you make a decision that you're going to regret, I'm here to help you decide if leaving is the right decision to make when you didn't get promoted at work.

Last week, I gave you five steps of what to do when you have been passed over for promotion, and I promised you this post to figure out if you should quit your job or if you should stay where you are.

You're trying to decide if you should stay in your role and wait for the next opportunity. Or if you're going to be better off to quit and look for a new and better one. So naturally, you did what anyone would do in this situation...

"Google...tell me the answer!"

As a Career Success Coach, this is exactly what I help ambitious professionals with and I'm here to help you find the right answer for you. So in today's post, I'm going to explore a few reasons why you would want to stay and a few reasons that might actually indicate that it's time to leave where you're at.

You already have a proven track record

Especially when you've been passed over for promotion, it's really easy to start daydreaming about how greener the grass is on the other side.

But what if it isn't?

If you're reading this, especially if you subscribe to this blog or my emails, I'm going to make an assumption that you're a high achiever. And if that's an accurate description of who you are, I can bet that you already have a solid history where you already are.

What you need isn't a exit strategy.

What you really need is strategies that are going to parlay that awesomeness into the next level.

And what this really requires is knowing where to focus your efforts, where to focus your strategy, where to focus your time, so that your excellence is actually dedicated to the most important things to your company. It also includes leveraging your network of advocates and knowing what that is in the first place. And from there, it's marketing yourself effectively, so that you don't even have to apply for the next opportunity so that opportunity is just presented to you.

It's the devil you already know

Now, let me preface this, I don't actually completely subscribe to this philosophy. Because what if they're never ever going to promote you? Ever. No matter what you do.

However, if going through this process has given you insights into the dynamic of what's actually required in order for you to get to the next level, and you feel like you actually have a solid ground to stand on for the next opportunity, then it doesn't make sense for you to leave, it can be really tempting to look around and other companies and even maybe accept a lateral move that has a little bit of a pay increase, perhaps.

But that actually might be delaying your promotion in the long run. Not only is it going to take you time to figure out the actual job, the technology, the products, whatever it is at your new company, and establish yourself, it's also going to take you a while to ramp up on those politics and to build the relationships that are going to move you forward.

If you already have the foundation, and it is sustainable to stay where you are -- stay put.

They've committed to investing in you

Okay, maybe you didn't get this promotion. But now your leadership team knows that this is on your radar, they know that you're someone who has ambitions and they want to get ahead. And maybe they've come to realize your potential, but you weren't totally ready for the opportunity that was available.

So in turn, best case scenario is they've committed to investing in you.

This actually happened with someone that I worked with, they were turned down for the promotion, because honestly, they weren't totally ready for it. But what they got an exchange was more visibility into leadership. They got one on one meetings, with not just a skip level manager, but the manager above that. So it was actually they were meeting regularly with an executive. And the entire leadership team that they reported up to was actually really focused on helping to ramp them up. When the next opportunity came along, they were the only an obvious choice to step into the role.

Honestly, if this is the case, not getting the promotion is a blessing in disguise, because the company has acknowledged that they can do a little bit more to help you be super successful when you do make that up level.

And they're in, they've made the commitment as well to invest into your growth. So not only when you get that promotion, the next time when you are really ready for it, you're going to be super successful, and it's going to fast track you for the promotion after that as well.

You were already unhappy

Listen, I've spoken to a lot of professionals who were staying where they were so that they could actually make the up-level.

And then they didn't get it.

Let's be super clear, that's not going to help your sentiment about where you are. If that's you, and you were staying where you are in order to get to the next level before you leave -- your plan doesn't have to change.

The great news is if you market yourself effectively, you might even be able to get the promotion as you transition into a new company.

No matter what though, you need an exit strategy.

If you're already unhappy, you're not going to be made any more satisfied with where you are by not getting the approval that you know that you deserve, it's going to get worse. And not only is this going to be showing up in your attitude, and whether or not you think that you can hide it, I promise you, it is leaking out and people see it, it is eventually going to start to impact the results that you see in your performance. Nevermind if you're truly unhappy where you're at, it is eventually going to spill into all of the areas of your life. And you're going to carry that around with you all the time. And it's really going to impact your overall well being, it's best for you to leave.

If this is where you're at, it's best for you to devise an exit strategy and make it fast.

You're not being given a fair chance

This is actually incredibly complex. And I want to preface this that we always need to begin this analysis by examining our own accountabilities, well, you can't control who other people are and how they treat you. There are certain things that you can do to influence the perception and define the boundaries of what's acceptable and not acceptable.

For example, if you're not being given stretch opportunities, and that's one of the reasons why you didn't get the promotion, does your boss know that you wanted those opportunities? Are you putting your hand up in the first place and they just weren't giving them to you because of whatever reason. Most of my clients are women working in male dominated industries, they're trying to smash the ceiling. And let me tell you, there's a lot of institutional bias built in where not everybody has an equal chance of success. Or some people just have a leg up, they're given a head start, and the get all the cheat codes to get to the next level.

That said, people who have average careers shrug off with their personal accountability and pointing fingers at how the company was against them.

But the thing is, if you don't at least look internally, and understand your personal accountabilities, and some things that you would tweak or adjust moving forward to increase your likelihood of success, it's not going to serve you to move forward. And it's definitely not going to help you rise into the C suite, if that's ultimately where you want to go.

I'm not saying that you're voicing those accountabilities outside, but it's the internal accountability that's going to allow you to not just grow as a professional, but also experienced a lot of personal growth as you go through this.

Ultimately, what I'm saying is, if you're not being given a fair shake, because of a jerk boss, that there's no way for you to sidestep or because of the color of your skin, your gender, who you love, any of these fundamental qualities that actually have nothing to do with your professional success, and exit strategy is necessary.

And if you're going through this, I know how challenging this is, I've been through it, and the majority of my clients have been through it, and most of my friends have been through it, let me just assure you, if this is the case, this is not a reflection of you, your potential, your capabilities, how smart you are, how worthy you are, because you are all of those things.

This is a reflection of the person who is choosing not to see you for all of your potential, and to channel all of your capabilities into creating a stronger company for themselves.

And really, that's on them and it's their problem.

There isn't growth opportunities

This can show up in different ways. So maybe it is that you're just not be given a fair shake, because of discrimination, let's just call it what it is like the last reason was discrimination. But there is other reasons why the growth opportunities aren't there.

Maybe it is a company that isn't itself growing and in order for there to be an opportunity to move up, someone needs to leave.

Or maybe they're focusing on a different city or it's not in your like role.

There's a lot of reasons why the opportunity might not be there. Now, the trouble is, is if you're in this situation, it can be really hard to identify if the growth opportunity exists, or if it doesn't exist, because you're bringing into it all of your own biases or own emotions or own feelings towards the situation.

When you throw in the towel, there is a real risk that you're going to get it wrong. This is a lesson I actually almost learned the hard way in my own career.

I was working with a company and it was a fast growing company, but I wasn't working in a central location and not in a highly valued function. And I really thought that there was other (super talented) people lined up for a promotion ahead of me.

To be honest, I was actually interviewing and other places, because I just thought that this job wasn't going to go anywhere.

But this is the job that I got multiple promotions within a very short spending time. And I really credit to creating the trajectory of my career that got me from entry level to executive within three years. Now, if I'd taken one of those other opportunities, if I had just written it off, checked out, stop trying, I definitely and I can assure you of this, I would not be where I am today. And I would not have had the corporate career that I had.

What it all boils down to is we each have our own biases, we all have our own stories and experiences that color the way that we perceive we make decisions based on our own experiences.

If you're in a situation where you are trying to grow your career, or you're trying to succeed in a male dominated industry, and then what you actually really need is an expert that's going to help you navigate this who has the collective experience not just their own, but that of their clients, and it's their full time focus, to be able to analyze this and bring it unbiased perspective.

What this really comes down to is clarity. Clarity on the next step for you in your career and what you really want to achieve.

You can't get this on your own. If you could get this on your own, you wouldn't be reading this post right now.

And what you really need especially is you need mentorship from an expert.

You really need are the rules and strategies issues that are going to help you get ahead - especially if you're a woman working in a male dominated industry.

You need the new rules that are going to stage you for success in a game that has honestly been rigged against you.

Now don't worry, I got you.

You can get started and learn what these new rules are in my free masterclass. The link is down below in the description and I'm going to put it right down here on the screen right now. So if you feel like typing in and take a screenshot say remember it later. Go ahead. Now in that free masterclass, I'm going to go through the new rules, what they are, how you can bring them to life in order to accelerate your career and succeed in a male dominated industry. If you want to be in control of your career if you want to create opportunities instead of waiting for them, or at least have them delivered to you on a silver platter. You need to watch this right now.

You can register at

I'd like to know now that you have this information available do you think you're going to stay or do you think you're going to leave? Let me know in the comments down below.

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