5 Ways To Deal When Your Boss Lies About A Promotion

A few colleagues and I accepted that at our day jobs, we’ve peaked. The ceiling is low. None of us will ever promotions, even though our boss insists that we’ll all get promoted someday if we just do small things differently. (That would be valid if those small things weren’t things we all did already.) Now, what do we do? Here are the steps we’re taking.

1. Check in on your last performance review. Did your boss list areas for improvement? Take stock in yourself and ask if you’re actually improving. If you are, good. If you’re not, get on that.

2. Get evidence. On my last review, my boss said I was doing so great, but that my news judgment needed work. I documented my pitches that were rejected but then successful when she approved them for other people, as well as another list of pitches I’d skipped over based on her recommendations that she, again, approved from others.

3. Ask questions. I requested a brief meeting, in which I asked for clarification on what she wants from a pitch, because the standards didn’t seem universal: What’s good from, say, David, wasn’t from me.

4. Take notes. If your boss sees you writing things down, she’s more likely to take you seriously. Shoot over an email after your meeting reiterated whatever she promised you: “As discussed, my pitches will be reviewed with priority, and a list of approved pitches will be sent department-wide to avoid duplicates. I look forward to the progress this brings.”

5. Follow up. Wait a quarter. If nothing changes, request another meeting and repeat steps 1 through 4. If nothing changes in six months to a year, depending on your company’s fiscal schedule, start smiling, nodding, and applying out.

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