What To Do When You Don’t Get The Job

by drjim on September 21, 2017

We don't always get the job that we wanted

We don’t always get the job that we wanted
Image Credit: Daniel Hoherd

As an IT manager you go to work every day, you do the best job possible using the IT manager skills that you have, and you hope that your boss notices the good work that you are doing. We all hope that when a more senior position in our company opens up, because of the good work that we’ve been doing, we’ll be selected to fill the role. However, sometimes the position does open up and we are not the one who is selected to fill it. What should an IT manager do then?

What It Means To Not Get The Job

So there you are, you’ve just learned that a position that you want in your company has opened up and you are just sure that you are going to be the one who will get picked for it! Time goes by, the people who are doing the hiring tell everyone that they have an announcement to make and you start working on what you’ll say during your acceptance speech. Then bam – they tell you that someone else (clearly less qualified than you are) has been picked for the job despite all of the IT manager training that you’ve had. What should you do now?

Let’s face it, when / if this happens to us we are ready to quit right then and there. Clearly this company does not appreciate the time and energy that we’ve been putting into working for them and so screw them – you are going to take your talents and go work somewhere where they will appreciate you. In fact, if you’ve been watching the news that is exactly what some of the big boys over at Wal-Mart, Pfizer, Proctor & Gamble, etc. have been doing. When someone didn’t get the top job, they just up and left.

The good news here is that many companies are starting to tell workers who were vying for a job, but who were not selected for it why they were passed over. The reason that they have started to provide this level of information is because they have started to understand that if they don’t, then they are going to lose their top performers. This is good news for you.

How We Should React To Not Getting The Job

So when the worst happens, what should you do? You’ve got a lot of options, but the experts suggest that you stay on. Yes, getting passed over for a job that you wanted is a huge emotional setback, but it’s not the end of your career. This event could end up propelling you even further up your company’s management ladder if you take the time to reflect on what has happened.

What you are going to want to do is to use this rejection to take time to review your career goals. Do you still want this position? A very important point for you to understand is that you don’t want to waste any time asking the people running your company why you didn’t get the job. Instead, what you are going to want to do is to ask them what you need to do in order to prepare yourself in order to be a strong candidate for a similar job sometime in the future.

Ultimately what you are going to want to do is to find ways to conceal your bruised ego. You now need to take the time to find ways to showcase the talents that you do have. If you want to flourish after being passed over, you are going to have to find ways to make yourself vital to your company. Once you do this, the next time around the job will be yours.

What All Of This Means For You

As IT managers we all believe that we are pretty good at our job. It is our hope that our management sees that we are good at our job and how we do IT team building. This is important to us because when a new, more senior, position opens up in the company we would like to get that job. However, sometimes despite our best efforts, we get passed over for these openings. What’s an IT manager to do when this happens?

Often when something like this happens to us, our first instinct is to quit. Just walk away. They don’t understand how valuable we are to the firm so just let them try and get along without us. However, companies are starting to realize that you might feel this way. They are starting to provide information to the people who get passed over as to why they were not selected. A better way of handling a situation like this is that realize that it might be able to provide a boost to your career. You need to take the time to find out what skills the people who are doing the hiring think that you still need to work on. You need to show everyone the good things that you can do so that the next time an opportunity shows up, you are the one who gets the job.

Rejection is hard for any of us to handle. When it happens we want to lash out and strike back. However, if we can hold off on doing this and instead take the time to do a self-evaluation of why we were not the ones chosen, then we can prepare ourselves to be successful in the future. Use rejection to build yourself up and be ready when the next opportunity comes along.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you find yourself working for the person who go the job that you wanted, should you stay there or should you transfer to a different department?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental IT Leader Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As an IT manager, you are in charge using your IT manager skills to manage a set of skilled IT professionals. This group of people can contain members who are, how shall we say it, “wound tightly”. What this means is that at times they can become very stressed out. As their manager, it is your job to help them to calm down even though none of us have ever had any IT manager training in how to do this. The least effective way of going about doing this is to tell them to “calm down”. There’s got to be a better way…

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Sometimes you need to know how to sharpen your elbows at work

Sometimes you need to know how to sharpen your elbows at work
Image Credit: Lennart Tange

A little competition in the workplace can’t be a bad thing, can it? Generally speaking, no; however, as with all such things in life there are some exceptions. One such exception is when you find yourself facing a hypercompetitive coworker. You know who I’m talking about: it’s that person in your office who wants to win at all costs. What are you going to do when you come up against them?

Understanding The Hypercompetitive Coworker

If you are going to be able to successfully use your IT manager skills to deal with a worker who is completely focused on winning at all costs, then you are going to have to take the time to understand them. What you need to understand is that this type of person has gone far beyond striving for success. They view every opportunity as a competition no matter if it is really meant to be or not. The presence of this type of worker in the workplace does not go unnoticed and can generate strong reactions in the other people in the office.

When we encounter an hypercompetitive coworker, we may react in different ways. Some of us will get ready for a fight and some of us may shut down – there is no real IT manager training for this kind of situation. I’m not saying that competition in the workplace is a bad thing. Rather, it often helps us develop our skills and allow us to reach shared goals. However, when it comes to ultracompetitive coworkers, this competition thing has gotten out of hand. They have a win-at-any-cost mindset and they are more than willing to ignore the decisions and perspectives of the people that they work with.

Studies of hypercompetitive workers has revealed that they are more focused on obtaining status over getting work done. They have no problems putting their own interests over those of others. Our reactions to hypercompetitive colleagues varies. In the best of cases, we may view them as a challenge and we end up trying harder. However, for some of us we may view them as being a threat and we end up retreating into anxiety and fear.

Dealing With The Hypercompetitive Coworker

When you encounter a hypercompetitive coworker, unless you are a magician you’re not going to be able to make them go away. Instead, you are going to have to find ways to deal with them. If what a hypercompetitive coworker is doing at work is starting to interfere with either your career goals or the IT projects that you are currently responsible for, then you are going to have to take action.

Once you become aware of your own reactions to what the hypercompetitive coworker is doing, you need to confront them. You need to tell them to stop undercutting you or the members of your team. What you are going to want to do is to start to gather specific examples of this coworker’s bad behavior and the reactions in others that it has caused. You are going to have to be able to explain to them how their behavior is hurting the team and the company.

Prior to this confrontation, you may want to take some time and practice what you will be saying. You may need to write out what you want to tell them so that you don’t forget anything in the heat of the moment. You need to understand that during the confrontation, ultracompetitive people will do everything in their power to get you off point. Give them examples of what they have done wrong and then explain to them the kind of behavior that you’d like to see from them in the future.

What All Of This Means For You

I think that we’d all be willing to agree that a bit of competition in the workplace is probably good for both ourselves and our IT team building. However, if we encounter an ultracompetitive coworker things can quickly get out of hand. Their desire to win no matter who gets hurt can damage a team and may end up damaging your career.

When we encounter an ultracompetitive coworker we need to understand that success is no longer what they are striving for. Instead, they now need to win at every chance that they get. They have a win-at-any-cost mindset and they really don’t care who they hurt as they strive to cross the finish line before anyone else does. How we react to these types of workers can vary from gearing up for a fight to simply shutting down. If an ultracompetitive worker is derailing your career, then you are going to have to take action. You are going to have to confront them and then you are going to have to show them what they’ve done wrong and what they should be doing.

Dealing with an ultracompetitive coworker is not an easy task. They may appear to be very successful to others, but you understand the damage that they are doing. You can’t let things continue on as they are. It is your responsibility as an IT manager to take action. You can get along with an ultracompetitive coworker, you just have to make sure that it’s done on your terms.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you encounter an ultracompetitive coworker, do you think that you should tell your boss?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental IT Leader Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As an IT manager you go to work every day, you do the best job possible using the IT manager skills that you have, and you hope that your boss notices the good work that you are doing. We all hope that when a more senior position in our company opens up, because of the good work that we’ve been doing, we’ll be selected to fill the role. However, sometimes the position does open up and we are not the one who is selected to fill it. What should an IT manager do then?

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