Have you been passed over for promotion due to politics and not based on your skills, experience, and suitability for the role?
It hurts, I’ve been in this exact situation myself over the years and it’s not easy to accept.
What you do from now onwards is what matters, and you shouldn’t let office politics ruin your career aspirations and goals.
Here is what you should do to get over the rejection of not being promoted and turn this negative into a positive!
Passed Over for Promotion Due to Politics – 5 Steps to Turn It Around
1. Take Stock of Your Emotions
In the face of rejection, whether it’s due to politics or not, the first thing you need to do is take stock of your emotions.
Allow yourself to feel disappointed, angry and frustrated, but don’t dwell on these feelings or hold on to them.
Bottling these up can only lead to negative consequences for both your mental health and future career.
Instead, try to channel these emotions into motivation for the future.
Consider speaking with a trusted friend or mentor about your thoughts and feelings, as well as seeking professional help if needed.
It’s only once you have processed your emotions and let go of any negative feelings that you’ll truly be able to move forward.
Related – What to do if you’ve been passed over for promotion and are depressed.
2. Get to Grips with What the Office Politics Are
If you know you’ve been passed over for a promotion due to politics within your workplace, you must have a good idea of what those politics are.
Take the time to really understand and analyze the reasons why you’ve been rejected, who is behind it, and how they operate.
This will not only help you come to terms with what has happened, but it’ll also give you an advantage in navigating office politics going forward.
Politics in the workplace are hard to deal with and not everyone wants to be part of them, but unfortunately, it’s all too common.
You’re going to need to decide if you want to get involved with the politics and culture of your workplace for the benefit of your career or not.
After understanding the office politics and analyzing them, it’s time to decide if you can navigate them successfully in order to get that promotion next time.
If the answer is yes, then it’s time to start planning and strategizing how you can play the game in order to get ahead.
However, if the answer is no and it’s not something you feel comfortable doing or even ethical to participate in, then perhaps it’s time to start looking for a new job where promotions are based on merit, not politics.
No matter what your decision is, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t let office politics define your career trajectory.
4. Learn how To Turn Negatives Into Positives
This is an important life lesson and spans far wider than the four walls of where you work (if there are four walls!).
Although it’s easier said than done, try to see the silver lining in not getting that promotion.
Perhaps this rejection allows you to reevaluate your career path, or it’s a wake-up call to start working even harder and proving yourself.
Use rejection as fuel for your future success, and don’t let it hold you back or define you as a professional.
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Remember that and don’t let office politics bring you down!
5. Put Yourself and Your Career First and Do What’s Right for You
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you need to put yourself and your career first in any situation.
Maybe it’s time for a change in the workplace, or maybe it’s time to start seriously pursuing that side project you’ve always had in mind.
Whatever it may be, don’t let office politics stop you from reaching success and happiness in your career.
Trust your gut and do what’s right for you.
I know how difficult it is to look for a new job when you’re happy where you are, but this might be a sign that it’s time for you to do so.
There’s no harm in looking anyway, you can only be pleasantly surprised by what opportunities present themselves if you polish up your resume and put it out there.
Related – How to handle being passed over for a promotion by a less qualified coworker.
What Are Office Politics?
Office politics is the common term, but politics within the workplace can happen within any organization; it doesn’t have to be an office.
Workplace politics refers to the social relationships, power struggles, and manipulation that occur in the workplace.
It can involve favoritism, gossiping, backstabbing, and other negative behaviors that can affect employee morale and productivity.
Navigating office politics can be tricky, but it’s important to remember that you should always do what’s right for yourself and your career.
Be sure to understand the politics at play, make a decision on whether or not you want to participate, and don’t let rejection define your success.
No matter how much you hate the fact that there is politics at play, and it’s having such a big impact on your career, if you want to stay with the company you’re going to have to be involved to some extent.
Do You Have to Get Involved with Office Politics to Win?
It is not mandatory or necessary to participate in office politics, but in order to advance in your career, it’s usually necessary.
Especially if the managers and decision-makers are the ones who are heavily involved in politics.
Therefore, understanding and being aware of the politics at play can help you navigate the workplace and make decisions that benefit your career.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide if they are willing to participate in office politics and what their personal ethics are.
But, it’s important to remember that you should always prioritize yourself and your career and make decisions that align with your values and goals.
And, don’t let office politics bring you down or define your success.
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-frustrated-businesswoman
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.