"I'm struggling to find motivation to go to work, I don’t know what to do. Any advice?" Maria recently faced a significant setback at her workplace. Maria was overlooked for the top position within her organization despite being highly qualified and receiving encouragement to apply.
Maria had put in considerable effort to secure the role, so when the decision favored another candidate, it became a public letdown that not only affected her personally but also led them to question the priorities of her leadership. While she contemplated resigning, her dedication to her team and the ongoing projects held her back; she was determined to see it through.
Moreover, Maria had financial incentives, including a bonus and stock vesting, that made staying for another 9 months advantageous. With the job market appearing uncertain, she felt hesitant to make a hasty job change. Therefore, she opted to remain until the end of the year. However, she’s currently grappling with the challenge of moving beyond her disappointment and discovering the enthusiasm to face each workday.
Maria is not alone. Experiencing a promotion setback can be a challenging and disheartening experience, especially when someone new is chosen over for a position you felt you deserved. However, this setback doesn't have to define one’s career journey.
- Acknowledge and Process Emotions
It's natural to feel a mix of emotions, including disappointment, frustration, and even self-doubt. Acknowledge these feelings without judgment. Create a space to process these emotions, whether through journaling, talking to a trusted friend, or seeking professional guidance. Remember that all emotions are valid and a natural part of the process.
2. Take a Step Back
Resist the urge to make impulsive decisions. Take a step back to gain perspective. Consider the bigger picture of one’s career trajectory and the organization's goals. Find out if this setback truly outweighs the positive aspects of one’s current position. By allowing more time to process, there’s capability of making a rational decision.
3. Find the Reason Behind Not Getting a Promotion
Actively explore what went wrong, evaluate the situation appropriately, and consider what could’ve been done differently if given the chance. They also gather feedback from a wide variety of people (including superiors, peers, and subordinates), making it clear that they want honest feedback, not consolation.
Approach your superiors or colleagues for constructive feedback on your performance and candidacy for the promotion. Honest feedback can help to understand areas for improvement and self-development. Use this feedback to create an action plan to enhance your skills and competencies.
4. Weigh the Options: Stay or Move On
After gaining clarity, weigh the pros and cons of staying with the organization versus seeking opportunities elsewhere. Consider the culture, work-life balance, growth potential, and alignment with long-term goals. Remember, setbacks are temporary roadblocks that can lead to new paths for success.
5. Utilize Data and Metrics
Quantify achievements by using performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Tools like AIM Insights
can help to benchmark performance against industry standards and the organization's expectations. Use this data to illustrate one’s individual contributions and potential impact on the organization.
Consider how your performance compares not only within your organization but also across industries. AIM Insights highlights instances where you've demonstrated leadership, innovation, and adaptability. Showcasing achievements will position you as a top candidate for future promotions.
6. Transform Setback into Motivation
Use the disappointment as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Set new goals for skill development, leadership qualities, and innovation. Focus on self-improvement and demonstrate prolonged commitment to continuous learning and growth.
7. Network and Mentorship
Build a network within and outside of the company. Engage in conversations with mentors and peers who can provide guidance and insights. Networking can open doors to new opportunities and perspectives, aiding professional development.
8. Set Clear Career Goals
Refine career goals based on personal experiences and the insights gained from this setback. Create a roadmap for where you want to be in the short and long term. AIM Insights
is an example of a platform that can easily align goals with the organization's objectives, ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership.
Setbacks are a natural part of one's journey, and each of these steps can assist an individual in accessing wellsprings of value and motivation. These resources can aid in navigating through moments of disappointment and empower the individual to seize control, optimizing their circumstances and progressing according to their preferences. Additionally, maintaining a positive attitude has the potential to distinguish the individual and position them as a valuable asset to a respective organization.
Remember that setbacks are temporary, and with the right mindset, you can navigate the challenges and emerge even stronger in your professional journey.