Do I resign if I am passed over for a promotion?

So the promotion list has just been published and stuck on the notice board; you rush and expectantly look at the list, but are shocked to see that your name is nowhere to be found. Someone else has been awarded the coveted position instead. The feelings hit you hard, and you do not right away know how to cope with it. Millions of questions come into your mind: “How do I face my colleagues tomorrow?” “Is this the day for which I had worked so hard?” “What else do I have to do in order to get recognition?” However, the most important question is: what do you do now?

The first reaction will definitely vary depending on the type of person you are. Depending on how you handle the shock at that point in time, you may seek an explanation from your manager right away or may even resign from the job. However, considering all aspects, extreme reactions (though natural) are best avoided at this juncture. Here is how you should handle the situation:

Promotions have never been a guarantee to most of us. Promotions, for the lot of us, tend to spring a surprise when we least expect it. Therefore, while it is natural to expect that a promotion after all the hard work you have put in, do not consider your promotion to be a guaranteed event. At the same time, you must also believe that you are a deserving candidate.

If you have been denied a promotion that you deserved thoroughly, you are entitled to resign as a token of protest. However, before you decide to send in your resignation, do consider the following issues:

  • Do you have a job that you can take up readily after you have put in your papers? If you do not, how are you going to adapt to the situation? Since promotion is not guaranteed, it may be wise to start looking for a job when the promotions are about to be announced so that you can have a job at hand when you resign.
  • Think whether discussing things with your manager or giving vent to your anger are the right solutions. This is because you already know that promotions can never be guaranteed, and so you, you do not know whether you can get a promotion next time around too.
  • You may not want to burn the bridges and end up spouting your anger to your manager. It is all too natural to resign in a huff and leave your company, but the world is funny, and you may cross paths with your manager anytime later. As such, it makes sense to politely convey your decision and discuss the terms of separation in a rational way.

The denial of promotion is not the end of the world, and you will not be the last individual who will resign over the matter. Therefore, do not take things to heart, and plan for a new beginning in your life.

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