How to rise above resentment at your workplace

Resentment at work can take on many forms. It can also manifest in different ways and leave you feeling despondent and disengaged.

One example is getting passed over for a promotion. What you do with those feelings is key to moving forward.

We asked members of Forbes Coaches Council what to do when receiving disappointing news that leads to resentment. It centres on being kind to yourself and taking action to improve the chances of a different and more positive outcome next time.

1. Make a game plan 

If you want a promotion or recognition, that falls on you and you alone. Shift negative feelings by creating a game plan that keeps you focused and driven toward goals. Break down larger actions into smaller steps and assign a timeline to each. Just as Langston Hughes said, “The only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you’ll finish it.” - Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions 

2. Practice self-mastery 

There is so much to be learned from every experience, especially those in which we feel we are undervalued. It’s an opportunity to engage in self-questioning to expand self-awareness. “Did I really contribute that much?” “Did I really have more to offer than Joe did?” Have a healthy self-dialogue with regards to your non-negotiables, deep needs and boundaries. This can also be about maturity. Not everything is perfect every time; acceptance is part of the dynamics of the adult world. - Agata Dulnik, Ph.D., Global Leadership Experts  

3. Learn the lesson 

Learn from the perceived spite and let it inform you about your next steps. Is there a new skill that you need to really earn the position in the future? Is this culture or place not the right fit? Is there a different place in the organisation that will serve you better? By asking the right questions, you can determine the best path forward. - Monica Thakrar, MTI 

4. Seek guidance from a mentor 

Getting passed over for a promotion can be demoralising. However, it’s important to step back from the situation and assess it for what it is: an opportunity for growth. Find a trusted mentor within the company and one outside of the company to give you feedback on ways to improve your personal brand at work. Begin by asking for critical feedback on any areas you may be struggling with. - Lori Manns, Quality Media Consultant Group 

5. Communicate your way to your goal 

One key way to set up yourself up to succeed is to communicate clearly by setting expectations with your boss through both speaking and listening. Your supervisor doesn’t read minds. He or she may not know all you are doing nor understand what is important to you and vice versa. Ask questions about what you can do to obtain your goal and increase the probability of receiving one. - Maria Lena Popo, AMP10x