A bruised ego won’t kill you

March 4, 2007
Filed under: Coach's Corner — Tags: , , , — jonimar @ 5:00 pm

Q: I was passed over for a promotion in favour of a less-qualified candidate. I’m furious, insulted and feel like quitting. How do I face my humiliation?

A: Being rejected, overlooked or even wronged can be agonizing, but no one has ever died of a bruised ego. Leaving the company will mean enduring yet another application process without a track record to capitalize on. Your greatest victory can still be with your current employer if you take these steps:

  • Get over it. Take a limited amount of time to be angry and nurse your ego back to health. Purge your negative feelings so you can convert the pain into a gain.
  • Get back in the game. Like Olympians, true winners evaluate where they excelled and where they can improve. Schedule a meeting with the decision maker(s). This takes courage, but demonstrates your determination, commitment and passion. Acknowledge the winner. Do not dispute the selection process; instead, be curious and seek feedback.
  • Get the gold. No Olympian trains in isolation. Enlist a mentor and supporters to keep you motivated and moving forward on your plan. Build visibility with decision-makers by reporting on your key accomplishments. Solicit and integrate their feedback.

You are positioning yourself to step into the promotion should the new candidate not work out, to be considered for other upcoming roles or even to have a position created especially for you.

Originally printed in The Province on March 4, 2007.


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