If you're bummed about not getting the promotion you've applied for, consider these words of Marilyn Monroe: "A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night." While you'll want to take every action you can to make sure you're next in line for a fatter check, don't let the situation take up more mental space than it's worth. At the end of the day, it's who you are and the relationships you have that are most important.
Get the Details
Schedule a meeting with your supervisor and let her know that while you're disappointed you didn't get the promotion, you're still happy to have your job and want to work toward having a shot the next time a position with greater responsibility -- and pay -- opens up. Ask her to give you honest feedback about areas in which you need to improve, any further training you need or other obstacles to success that are standing in your way. Once you've been clued-in that you need to dress more professionally and need to be more of a team player, though, take the feedback in stride without becoming offended.
Develop an Action Plan
Your supervisor has let you know that the person who got the promotion had more training than you and gets along exceptionally well with others. Instead of grabbing a half-gallon of chocolate ice cream to dig into after work, develop a plan of action. Pick up the phone and call the community college to find out when the next project management workshop is being held. Buy a copy of Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and read it. Being proactive can help to stave off feelings of stagnation -- not to mention despair -- at your job.
Sometimes, there's nothing you can do to increase your chances of being promoted. Perhaps your supervisor already has his nephew in mind for the next slot, or prefers to hire tall blondes who wear red lipstick. If you suspect this is the case, it's probably best to look for a new job. In the meantime, however, don't let your lack of promotion at work define who you are as a person. Focus on other things you enjoy and are good at. You're not just a graphic designer, you're a talented guitarist, cupcake baker extraordinaire and amazing friend.
Sometimes depression is hard to shake, and if you have a demanding job but feel you have little control, you're more likely to continue to be in a funk. If you're susceptible to clinical depression, or are disappointed about not getting the promotion because you feel as though your life is going to fall apart without that extra $300 a month, consider professional counseling. A counselor can help you identify if you're experiencing depression that requires intervention and help you to change the thinking patterns that lead to a spiral of despair. Talking to a career coach can also be helpful if you're feeling stuck.
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