Decisions & Timing

by  Ahmed Mujtaba  |  Self Leadership
Decisions & Timing

You were not promoted again this year? After putting in so much effort and hard work this year you were still not rewarded?

Sitting in your chair idly, looking at those happy faces who got promoted this year, are you asking yourself “what went wrong?”

Are you wondering why you didn’t get promoted and wondering what else your employer wants from you?

As you silently wonder how your promoted peers deserve advancement more than you, your brain starts switching in different modes, such as:

Comparison Mode

  • He is less educated then I am
  • He has less experience than I do
  • She has a higher absenteeism rate than I did
  • He is too young to be promoted
  • She never devoted herself to like I do
  • He doesn’t deserve this promotion as much as I do

Judgement Mode

  • He must be the boss’s favorite
  • He must have flattered the boss
  • My boss must have personal issues with me
  • My boss doesn’t like me
  • I was the most deserving candidate this year
  • The boss makes decisions based on who she personally likes

Accountability Mode

  • Maybe the boss got angry because I spoke bluntly
  • He didn’t like the metrics I reported on my assignment
  • Maybe I think I am performing at the same energy level as him but he differs
  • Maybe I did not accommodate the boss’s mindset

Blaming Mode

  • My boss doesn’t know how to get the best from his team
  • He only prefers his choice of people to come forward
  • He didn’t give me a chance to be prominent in front of higher management
  • He gave me the less important job so that he could have an excuse of not promoting me

Self-Pitying Mode

  • I deserved this humiliation because I never gave my best shot
  • I think I have lost my spark
  • I am not able to compete with new and fresh blood
  • I am getting old; that’s why management didn’t think about me
  • This job is not for me

Abusing Mode

  • I will not follow his orders anymore
  • He is selfish
  • He doesn’t deserve a faithful employee like me
  • I will complain about him to HR

Maybe there are some other modes too but these are the most common ones which our brain swings on when we don’t get what we have been expecting for a long time.

What Should You Understand?

In circumstances where you are not being listened to, all your efforts are zero, you are being ignored, and it seems nothing is heading in a positive direction, you need to realistically assess your role in the situation as well as the likelihood that conditions will change. Your job may be done in that place, with any additional effort or struggle getting you nothing except pain and misery.

What Should You Do?

There can be two actions. First, you may choose to leave that place and discontinue efforts to make a change internally. Don’t expect that you will be asked to stay or any such favor. At first, such immediate actions will result in more anxiety and frustration but they will also activate your fighting mode for survival which will boost your energy to find a better way of living.

Second, you can give yourself another shot and ignore everything. Once again make a new strategy by changing your thoughts, vision, actions, dealings, communication, etc. Gather all your strength and passions to prove you are best. It will help you to reveal your hidden potential which you may have never witnessed before.

Whatever action  you choose, it has the potential to bring the best out of you. There will be aftershocks, but with a strategy for pursuing your next direction, you can strongly and confidently prepare for a future free of comparison, judgement, abuse, or self-pity, with a focus on accountability.

What mode has worked best for you in light of past disappointments?
Photo Credit: Fotolia adrian_ilie825

About The Author

Articles By ahmed-mujtaba-khan
Ahmed is a Mechanical Engineer who was transferred a year ago with family to Thailand. He is from Pakistan where he worked in the automotive industry for 15 years. He blogs to motivate others and provide survival ideas for those who struggle with issues of corporate culture.

What People Are Saying

jane  |  30 Jul 2015  |  Reply

I can’t think of anything you haven’t identified. Good job on breaking down reasons for not getting ahead in a career. My favorite lines though are these, which puts the onus on each person to take control of their destiny.

Gather all your strength and passions to prove you are best.
Whatever action you choose, it has the potential to bring the best out of you.

John E. Smith  |  30 Jul 2015  |  Reply

Hi, Ahmed – thanks for the comprehensive post.

LIke Jane, I think you have done a nice job of covering the various perspectives from which we might approach a situation where our career appears stalled, at least in that one place.

I might comment that I think another alternative exists, in addition to staying or going.

Your description of deciding to stay includes a strong amount of self-analysis, renewing our motivation, and trying to more closely meet the expectations of that situation.

Unfortunately, in my experience, Ir of a leader, but it is behavior I have personally witnessed in several organizations. There’s an old saying in the training field that goes something like the following, when managers try to decide whether training and employee development are worth the expense:

Manager A: “What if we spend all this money teaching Joe how to perform well and then he leaves us?”

Manager B: “What if we don’t train him and he stays?”

Thanks so much for a very useful post, Ahmed:)


Ahmed Mujtaba  |  31 Jul 2015  |  Reply

Thanks Jane for liking the post and encouraging comment.

Ahmed Mujtaba  |  31 Jul 2015  |  Reply

Thanks John for commenting. Yes most of us have witnessed different and sometimes such horrible experiences in our career.

Paul LaRue  |  31 Jul 2015  |  Reply

Ahmed, a very insightful post!

You’ve identified the internal, victim-oriented thought struggle many people go through and have given ways to flip that thinking to an external, opportunity-based thought pattern. If people can identify their thoughts, and correctly interpret the situation around them, then imagine what they can do when they take the shackles off of their limited thinking.

Thanks so much for your contribution today!


Ahmed Mujtaba  |  31 Jul 2015  |  Reply

I am 100% agreed with you Paul. If we start realizing our situation then i am sure we start acting like employees rather than slaves. Thanks for the comment.

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