Saturday 7 December, 2019

Career Corner: Job promotions...

When vacancies arise in organizations, vacancy notices are often posted internally before applications are accepted from external applicants. The possibility of being able to get a new job with an existing employer is of great appeal to many persons. Internal promotions bring with it the benefits of a new position (increase in salary, job scope etc) and also “spares” the employee from having to navigate a new company and the attending factors that come along with that (such as learning a new culture, navigating organizational politics etc). But as with any other job application- an internal application may be rejected, and you may be denied the promotion.

Being denied a promotion at an organization where you currently work can be hurtful. Many employees see it as a blow to the ego and harbor ill feeling toward their boss, the HR Manager, the candidate who was selected and whoever else (it is felt) denied them the opportunity of being promoted. But, being denied a promotion is not necessarily a bad thing… Here’s why:

- A promotion denied is an opportunity to critically assess your existing skills and competency level. If you were denied the promotion because you didn’t meet all the requirements for the job- then this is an opportunity to improve upon your weak areas and close any skills gaps that were identified.

- This is an opportunity to be objective and to ask yourself tough questions. Did you really want the job you applied for? Not all employees want jobs they apply for-yet they apply for advertised positions because they are “told” to do so. In this instance, being denied can be a good thing - especially if you didn’t apply for the job out of genuine interest in the post, and you are not prepared (or equipped) for additional responsibilities that will come with the position.

- Being denied a promotion is an opportunity to ask yourself another “tough” question….Were you really qualified for the job you applied for? Often times, persons apply for jobs that they do not have the skills to perform- and they are aware of this. Despite not having the requisite skills, employees apply for advertised posts “hoping” to still get the position. Being denied the promotion can be an opportunity for you to wait for a post that you are actually qualified for, and one where you will excel in once appointed.

- Not getting the promotion is an opportunity for you to assess your future with your current employer. Is this company really where you want to work? Does the company value your skills? Or can your skills be better utilized elsewhere. Sometimes being denied a promotion is the push you need to explore the job market and see what else is out there.

If you are denied a promotion, one of your immediate steps should be to seek feedback on why you were denied the position- ask for specific details about what prevented you from being promoted and ask for suggestions for improvement. Although you may be angry or hurt, being denied a promotion is not always a bad thing. Use the feedback to your advantage, and prepare for your next big move.


Malaika T. Edwards is a Human Resources consultant and provides advisory services to individuals and business clients. She is also a PhD scholar at the Louisiana State University (LSU) where she specializes in Human Resources and Workforce Development. You can contact her at, or on LinkedIn at

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