Promotion discrimination (or unlawful lack of promotion) is a type of workplace discrimination in which an employee is ignored for promotion for an improper reason or in violation of state or federal law. This may give the aggrieved employee a claim for damages against the employer. Sometimes promotions occur for really unfair reasons. It's not just that another candidate was more qualified than you, it's due to other circumstances. Maybe the boss just has a favorite or is secretly involved in a clandestine affair with his coworker. It's good to think that situations like this don't happen, but the reality is that they do happen from time to time. If you are facing a really unfair promotion, you should think about how far you want to take your concerns, says executive coach Joan Lloyd in an article for the website JobDig. You might consider seeking legal advice or talking to your union representative. But a lot of times, you might have to smile and endure it. If you really can't handle it, it might be time to start looking for another job. In order to remain a relevant part of today's business world of the 21st century, it is of utmost importance that you deliver high-quality work at all times and in all circumstances; otherwise, you will surely fall behind in the career called life. What the experts say is that if they tell you you're not going to move forward, you can't let disappointment ruin your performance or your career. In fact, not getting promoted can be a great opportunity to learn as long as you keep it in perspective. Here are five ways to not only endure the situation, but to make the most of it: Wait. “The first thing is not to act impulsively, emotionally, or reflexively,” says Dattner, who is also a co-author of the HBR article, “Can You Handle Failure?” Do not aggravate the problem by acting petulant or entitled. Instead, let yourself feel the emotions that arise, the whole range of them. You may feel disappointment and anger, but you may also feel some relief. Do this long enough to calm down, but don't dive into feelings. Act instead of complaining The squeaky wheel can grease many organizations, but it won't do you good to complain or make accusations to your boss or human resources. You can only make them defensive and angry, and further justify their decision not to get promoted. Of course, you don't need to hide your emotions either. I wanted this to happen,” says Peterson. But also be sure to ask for their help. Try saying something like, “How can we work together to make sure I get promoted in the future?” And then take action according to their advice. If you were turned down because you lack substantive experience, look for ways to gain the experience through training or a change of lateral work. If you think you're slow to act or too controlling, work to change that perception. Rethinking the experience, Dattner suggests that instead of thinking that the experience is horrible, frame it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Keep it in perspective and try to see it from a different angle. Maybe there were good reasons why you didn't get the job and now you have the impetus to work on improving your skills and gathering new experiences. Maybe you felt complacent and this is an incentive to start focusing more. Wolfe said there will always be intangible assets when people are selected for promotion, but HR needs to be careful to make sure that promotions are actually earned and are not the result of a manager liking one person more than another. However, these problems are usually limited to a few employees who have struggled for promotion but who seem unable to achieve it. The newest and newly promoted employee is likely to receive the distrust and insubordination of the employees with whom he previously worked. If you think you are being treated unfairly for promotions, make sure you follow and meet the criteria set for the positions you want. If another employee receives the promotion they've been craving (or counting on), they'll most likely experience a barrage of emotions such as jealousy, anger or resentment. There is some truth to the common saying that hard work pays off so you should always do your best to improve your skills so that the next time a promotion is granted they can't even look beyond you. Wolfe added that promotion guidelines should be based on achievements rather than just meeting benchmarks on a timeline. For example if you were a “Junior Manager” at the time of your leave, you cannot demand the same promotion that your peers may have received. If the lack of promotion was in fact a constructive dismissal, you may be awarded compensation for lost wages. Anyone who is career-oriented will tell you that the main reason they put a lot of effort into their works is mainly to get promotions and achieve success. If long-term employees don't qualify for promotion after the coaching and mentoring they've received there's nothing unfair about promoting a newer qualifying employee. The human resources department has a keen interest in ensuring that an organization's promotion process is well managed helping guide employees' career paths maintaining clear policies and keeping workers engaged when they are not promoted.