Hi Everyone,

  I just wanted to hear some thoughts.  I have been having a tough time, I was number one in sales in my job in 2012 for accounts under 1 million.  It took 3 years for a position to open up that was in my area and promoted me to work with c level executives in fortune 500 businesses.  I currently work in accounts under 1 million in sales of a specific product.  I applied for this job and I thought I had it in the bag because everyone speaks so highly of me.  I thought it would have been a good chance for my promotion and I got many peers to give me references because everyone knew I would do a good job.  There were others competing for the same position that I did not know and it came down to me and 1 other person.  After 3 face to face meetings with 3 different sales people, I ended up not getting the position and the hiring manager stated there is nothing I could have done.  If this other person did not apply I would have gotten the job and been great at it.  I ignored these feelings at first but I saw that my motivation to be number 1 has been down.  It really affects me because now I procrastinate and I don't have the mojo I had before I applied for this position.  This is the first job I have ever loved and I am so good at it.  It is just such a hard pill to swallow and I feel stuck right now.  It's been hard for me to get the motivation to be number 1 again.  I try to force myself to do it but it has been a tough ordeal. Things that were so easy, are now so hard because If I work I want to be the best.  The best was not enough to give me this promotion.  I want to get things back on track and recently the new hire contacted me and we actually became good friends because I could see why he got the job.  He has a lot of c level experience and great business acumen.  He did not know we were competing and I worked hard to help him get on board.  He speaks very highly of me also, and we have a great relationship but I can not get myself on board to be the top sales person again.  It is very daunting, and I have been thinking of applying somewhere else, but I don't want to.  I see myself getting very high in this company if given the right opportunity but as of right now, it is so tough to deal with this  because I hear a lot of promises and nothing has happened yet.  Some advice would be lovely.

GlennR's picture

I could bore you with a lot of platitudes or stories about successful people who first failed, but you've heard them.

Over the course of my career, I have applied to many positions--got some, turned down for others. At times I was incredibly disappointed.

I suggest you take a week off work, get out of town and come back to work determined to do your best. I believe you need to put some space between yourself and your career, if only for a week. Do something you've never done before. Go ziplining or whale watching. Have fun! Do not allow yourself to obsess any more about this while you're out. Even if personal obligations prevent you from leaving town, take a week off anyway. Volunteer for a local charity or paint your house.

When you come back, commit to being the best again. You'll find it a lot easier. Years from now this will only be a momentary set back for you.



scm2423's picture

One thing I took from your post is that you were always striving to be #1.  Is it really that important?  Or is knowing you gave it everything you had more important.  You cannot control others and by being so focused on being #1 you let them control you.  If you were to focus less on your ranking but more on the satisfaction you get from doing a good job you will be able to overcome set backs like this with more ease.

Another way to look at is to ask yourself  "what has it cost you?".  Is your spouse going to leave you because you didn't get the promotion?  Are you going to have to send your kids to community college because of this?  Are you losing your membership as the exclusive golf club because they didn't pick you?  I am hoping the answer is "No!".  Consider this a minor set back and move on.  The quicker you recover and get back on your game is key here.  It may hurt for a while but only while you let it.


jocadl's picture

Sorry, I picked the other thread for my answer and only then saw this one. For my two cents, see over there. (If there is a forum admin, feel free to move my comment to this thread for consistency).


tplummer's picture

First and foremost, don't lose that drive to be the best that you can be! I know it's hard. Take Glenn's advice. Take some time off. Recharge the batteries. Yes, getting passed over stings a lot. I've applied to numerous jobs and promotions and not gotten them. Getting a job includes having the right background, experience, and accomplishments. It sounds like you have all those. There are also a lot of other factors. Maybe the other person just plained interviewed better or had some small but key piece of experience that pushed him over the edge. Or maybe they were a better interviewer. Or maybe the hiring manager knew them a bit better. Or... You could drive yourself crazy thinking about it.

I was passed over once because I had the right stuff, but just not long enough. I wasn't ready yet. I kept hearing, "need more big picture thinking." What the heck does that mean?! Well, 8 years later I certainly understand what I was missing.

Don't beat yourself up too much. Think about other experiences you can get to better round you out beyond sales. Maybe that would help. Maybe try to talk to the person who got the promotion and get mentored by them. Or at least hear their story to see why they think they got the job. It might be enlightening.

And one thing I learned a long time ago. There's always somebody "better" than you. I don't mean that in a bad way. They have more experience. Worked in different positions to round them out. Or maybe they just have a personal relationship with the hiring manager. I never think badly of who beat me out. I just strive to keep learning and improving.

Good luck and keep your chin up!


wjpl24's picture

Take a break.

you are trapped by your obsession of your ambition, and life is grander than work stuff. I know it is very frustrating to see that prize slip through your fingers.

transfer your energy to other facets of your life, something you like and enjoy.

recently i went through a down time in my career, i learned that a down time is an opportunity to reflect on what really matters to me (life overall, not job work), take a rest, redirect my energy and move on.

please don't let this drag you down, it's not worth it.