DEAR HARRIETTE: I believe I am due a promotion at my job, but I think I'm the only one who thinks so. I have been there for five years, and I have watched several people get promoted in front of me. Whenever I have said anything about it, I get the brushoff. The last time I spoke to my boss, he said that the reason I didn't get the latest promotion is because I have a bad attitude. Is that a legitimate reason to be passed over? I can't help it at this point. I am so angry that they don't see my potential, but I can't figure out what else I can do to prove it to them. Is it time for me to look for another job? I'm so frustrated. -- Pulling Out My Hair, Baltimore
DEAR PULLING OUT MY HAIR: It is time for you to listen closely to your boss and your peers. If you have been passed over repeatedly, it cannot be everybody else's issue. You have some responsibility. Review your behavior. Note specific incidents when your behavior has been questionable. Consider how you might have handled the situation differently.
Request a meeting with your boss to discuss your future. Ask for candid feedback and guidance on what you can do to improve your skills and your chances for promotion. Be mindful not to bring up other co-workers and their progress. Keep your focus on yourself. Get as much advice as you can from your boss about strategies to be more successful at your company. I highly recommend that you work on yourself at your current job, if at all possible. If and when you leave, let it be with skills that you have cultivated that make you more marketable. Resist the emotional reactions that can easily cause you to be fired or be limited in growth at your current job. Stay calm and continue to learn and grow.