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ImageDear Career Coach

I really need your advice on an issue regarding my job promotion.

I am in a shipping company and report directly to a Senior Manager. I have been in this job for two years now and I am very hard working. My manager recently informed us of his plans to bring on board a colleague to support me, which I agreed with because we operate 24 hours a day, seven days in a week. A few weeks ago he promoted this new colleague who has been less than a year in the section - and two others who assist me - but failed to promote me. I believe this has nothing to do with performance and need your advice as to how I should handle this situation since I am frustrated and intend to confront him?


Dear Albert

Before you do anything, let me urge you to take a step back and look at your situation strategically. Before you confront your manager, think carefully about what your objectives are.

Are you angry that you haven't been promoted or are you clear on the reasons why you are due a promotion? Do you want a chance to get your frustration off your chest or do you want the opportunity to demonstrate your value to your manager? While you have every reason to be upset at what looks on the face of it like favouritism, you need to take control of your reactions to the situation to ensure that you achieve your objectives.

My advice is to look carefully at the reasons given for your colleagues' promotion and to WRITE DOWN the achievements that you have been responsible for, the commendations that have been made in your performance reports and reasons why you merit a promotion.

Think about your tone and attitude before you meet with your manager. You used the word 'confront'. Taking a confrontational approach will put you at a disadvantage and make you appear emotional rather than objective and mature. The more calmly you make your point, the less likely the situation will degenerate into one where your attitude becomes the problem rather than your achievements.

Calmly ask your boss why you have not been considered for promotion and LISTEN to the reasons that he offers. Follow this up by asking what he expects from you in order to offer you a promotion and write this down along with the timeframes that this should be achieved by.

If your boss is not able to make any suggestions about the possibility of promotion or appreciate your achievements (and you have honestly assessed that you deserve promotion) then it is probably time that you started to explore other options, either within the company or outside. Remember you may need your manager for future references and therefore don't burn your bridges. If you can't get the recognition you need, look elsewhere and, when you find a new job, end this working relationship amicably and professionally.

We wish you all the best - let us know how things work out!

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