If you were expecting to receive a promotion, but ended up passed over for someone else or just outright denied, try not to take it too personally. A recent study by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates found that most bosses decide who is going to get the promotion before the formal process has even begun. Even if the time hasn't arrived to advance at your company, there are ways you can bounce back and gear up for your next opportunity.
Handle Your Reaction
You may be upset when you get the news from your boss, but it's best to control your emotions. Monitor what you say to avoid speaking extensively about your feelings toward the matter. If you were passed over for the position in favor of a coworker, repress your urge to feel jealous or angry - congratulate them on their accomplishment instead. Being professional and looking at the situation from your company's perspective will show your fellow employees that you can handle tough situations with ease. If you let your boss know that you're disappointed but would like to know what you can do to improve your situation, they'll think highly of you.
Analyze The Reasons
Once you've gotten over the initial shock or disappointment, it's time to evaluate why you weren't given the opportunity. First, think over the company's economic situation. If other people didn't qualify for promotions this year because of the organization's poor overall performance, there's not much you could have changed. See if you can pinpoint any other factors that could have affected their decision to deny you. Once you've examined your performance, it's time to ask your supervisors. Sit down and talk about the reasons why you didn't get the promotion. Ask how you can improve and what specifically made them doubt your qualifications.
Once you've spoken with your boss, you'll likely have plenty of things to begin working on to improve your situation. Take into consideration what your boss said about your shortcomings and work on building up your qualifications. Consider taking a class or two in order to brush up on your industry knowledge, or help out your coworkers on projects you know they're struggling with. Sooner or later your superior will realize that you're capable of handling a higher position.