So… you thought you left cliques behind in high school, and, you thought once you landed a “real” job that your hard work and doing the right things (like getting in early and leaving late) would get you noticed and promoted. You know there is a position open for advancement in your company, and, you know that no one matches your experience or dedication to the company, and, then it happens… Some office brown-noser gets the position and job over you. You are instantly shocked and agitated by this development and, your first instinct is to confront your boss. The question is — is it the right thing to do?
The answer: absolutely NOT! This is office politics at its best, and, confronting your boss with hostility will only make the situation worse. Instead, allow a day or two to pass, and, then ask for a meeting with your boss. Do not go into the meeting confrontational. Do just the opposite, go in with the attitude that you really want to understand why that particular situation was handled in that particular manner.
No one is telling you that you shouldn’t feel hurt and overlooked, and, no one is telling you that you don’t have the right to be angry – you do! What you do need to do is not demonstrate any type of emotion (other than congratulatory in the workplace) and, then take a day or two to calm down, and, get your armor ready for a meeting with your boss.
What is meant by armor? It means don’t just say you did something, you need to supply physical proof (a report, emails, etc.) that you did the work you say you did. You may also want to prepare a short speech to bring points of your involvement and efforts to a project using the physical proof you bring with you to the meeting.
At this point, you may then tell the boss you are disappointed you were selected for the position, and, then ask what you can do to improve your chances for advancement the next time an opportunity comes along. Whatever you do — do not tear someone else down to build up a case for yourself. For example never say something along the lines such as “Joe is always late, talks to people all day about everything but work, leaves at lunch time on Fridays, and, takes credit for work I have done!” The better way to express your disappointment is to say something along the lines of “I appreciate you taking the time to see me Mr. Smith, I heard about Joe’s promotion, and, I brought in some material of the work I have done, and, I am hoping you’ll give me some pointers so I might be considered the best candidate for advancement should another opportunity to move up in the company present itself.”
Do you see how using the right words and having the right attitude will result in a better response from your boss than if you go in yelling and screaming? The old saying of you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar holds true. Keep professional, do not put anyone down, and, concentrate on yourself and not the person who (you feel) was wrongly promoted ahead of you.
If you find yourself in a situation that you are continually passed over for promotions and advancements, first, be honest with yourself. Are you really working as hard as they people who are being promoted over you? If the answer is yes, then you might be in a no win situation, and, finding another company and position might be far more beneficial than trying to convince a company that obliviously doesn’t appreciate your work that you deserve a promotion or advancement in the company.
The bottom line: keep cool and professional at all times. No one will be able to fault you for this quality, and, it is an excellent skill to perfect during your working career.