At the start of the year, I had a discussion with my manager about getting promoted and she gave me a checklist to complete. She promised that if I complete them I will get promoted for sure!

Now one quarter to go, I have completed all the points in the checklist and nobody else at the same level has done that. Now one person from each group of my department got promoted, but none of them have done the work that I have done. They all have one thing in common, they are all seniors to me!

How should I handle this now?

[Edit] Sorry for not providing enough details that raised lots of questions. Let me give you more details. Each group manager will nominate some of their colleagues to department Head on the month of September and the department head will decide whom should get promoted. The role change letter will be sent out on October of every year.

Whatever we discussed along with the entire checklist is sent out as an e-mail to me as well. If it might help, here's the checklist,

  1. Clear internal code competition ( cleared it with 100% score)
  2. Clear one certifications ( cleared it with 95% score)
  3. Train employees on new tech ( handled two intermediate level trainings)
  4. Get positive customer feedback ( received multiple appreciation e-mails from customers) and both DH & GrMs are aware of it
  5. Handling multiple projects ( Handling 2 projects by which the org is getting 50% extra billing)

Regarding duplicate question, I did not have problem with approaching to my manager on how to ask for role change. I hope i have handled it well but did not get the expected results :)

  • 6
    Did your manager give a time frame to do your checklist? Did you check with her whether all of the points are completed to her satisfaction?
    – Brandin
    Oct 4, 2018 at 4:56
  • 2
    Did your manager indicate that you will not be promoted because of this? Or are you also going to be promoted once your list is completed?
    – Erik
    Oct 4, 2018 at 5:20
  • Possible duplicate of How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid?
    – gnat
    Oct 4, 2018 at 5:45
  • 4
    Do you have your manager saying this to you in writing?
    – Twyxz
    Oct 4, 2018 at 6:19
  • 3
    If the more senior people have been promoted, doesn't that mean there are now openings above you to be promoted into?
    – HorusKol
    Oct 4, 2018 at 7:19

3 Answers 3


I would advise you to have a 1x1 meeting with your manager to review your checklist.

The main idea is to see if you did complete the checklist according to her expectations. This would be very beneficial to keep track of the quality of your work, together with what they expect.

It is really important to actually perform what the employer is awaiting. Having an outstanding employee, doing a lot of extra works (like developing new reporting for example, idk) but performing poorly at his actual paid job will no be well perceived.

So, try to do a performance evaluation based on the checklist and you manager expected.

Best of luck.

  • Your second last paragraph is not necessarily correct. I know people that just stopped doing their real job because the visibility "upstairs" was better performing other tasks. Since the ceo got used to seeing them around it was as fast forward to the career. But I wouldn't count on it as a strategy unless you have the grit, the luck and the charisma to go for it...
    – Stian
    Oct 4, 2018 at 15:24

Now one quarter to go

Your time is not up yet. If your manager is to be believed your promotion should be in the next slots after the quarter. There are many reasons a company may do rounds of promotions at a certain time.

You may want to clarify with her, but I would just wait until the quarter is up before even clarifying. It's very unlikely that someone will be demoted and replaced by you if you make a fuss at this time.

  • @unlikely that someone will be demoted .. Thank you! I do not want that to happen either!
    – JPS
    Oct 4, 2018 at 15:57

Sounds like your manager lied to you, to be honest. This is common company culture in some countries, unfortunately, where you are promised something for doing a lot of work to motivate you, then you do the extra work, and then the person who asked you to do the extra work conveniently "forgets" what they promised and you don't get the reward. Here's what I'd do:

1) If you have written confirmation from your manager that you would "definitely" get the promotion, I would raise it as a concern with her: "You said X, I did Y, what happened?" That said, if the discussion was verbal-only, she is likely to come back and say something like "I don't remember that conversation sorry" and then you're SoL.

2) I wouldn't make a fuss about it beyond briefly mentioning to your manager and seeing what she says (probably she will say "I don't remember that happening" or something like that).

3) If your manager doesn't immediately apologize to you and you don't immediately see a future promotion coming your way (not just your manager promising it, but actually seeing it), I would start looking for another place to work. I would take that to mean that you are being blackballed somehow and you should find some other place where they won't break promises or blackball you.

  • @JoeStrazzere If it was "one quarter to go" then I'd expect my manager to have said something when I let her know I'd completed the checklist. The fact that the checklist has been completed without any acknowledgment is worrying in and of itself.
    – Ertai87
    Oct 5, 2018 at 14:56

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