I have been with my current company for 7 years this year and on the same salary for the last five of those despite moving up in responsibility.

I decided, last year, that it was going nowhere so started interviewing with external companies and was interviewing for a GREAT job that would have been a step up too. When interviewing, the hiring manager told me I was up against five other people so I freaked out as I was a level lower than the role and cancelled the final interview, thinking there was no way I would get it.

They re-advertised the job the next day, which I thought was odd so I contacted them and explained and I basically realised that they did not have five other applicants, I was the only one. They understood my reasons anyway and then put the final two interviews in my diary.

A day after this was all set up, I am then contacted by the regional director of my current company saying there are going to be some promotional opportunities coming up and he will be looking to me to take one of them.

I freaked out! Of course I would rather stay with my current company, all I have wanted is for a promotion with them. So, I cancelled AGAIN with the other company a SECOND time and not very well - via an email too. I have burned bridges now.

This was four months ago and I am still in the same job I was in before with NO promotion. They had me lined up for one but it fell through (we are client based and client said it was no longer needed).

The other job is still being advertised but highly unlikely they would want me now. And I have NO new job at my current employer.

I feel a fool!! Looking for jobs again but there just aren't that many around.

Totally stuck and feel so stupid for believing there would be a promotion.

What do I do? I can't stop thinking about it!

  • 14
    Why did you cancel before getting the promotion? Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 16:51
  • Because I would have been offered this job a few weeks before the promotion was made available and missed out on the promotion - silly of me I know Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 17:02
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    "The other job is still being advertised but highly unlikely they would want me now." Well, there's only one way to find out, and if you have already burned bridges, you can't burn the same bridge twice, so it won't make anything worse.
    – alephzero
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 18:08
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    you might want to look into your anxiety level around going through with these interviews. Going up against any amount of other candidates shouldn't scare you. the possibility of getting everything you want out of your current job shouldn't deter you from seeing what else is out there. The interview itself is a reward, even if you don't get a job at the end.
    – LeLetter
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 18:14
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    You should stop freaking out make make flashy(and bad) decisions first. First, you don't cancel a final interview just because there are competitions. Second, you don't cancel another interview because you are promised by only words about some promotion without detail. I feel a fool, this is blunt but the choices you made are foolish, now learn from your past mistake and make sure it doesn't happen again. And if you feel comfortable, seek for psychiatrist help, you need to better deal with your anxiety.
    – tweray
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 19:32

4 Answers 4


All you can do at this point is to continue to search for new opportunities. In the future, don't cancel any interviews unless you already have a written offer from a company that you have signed and accepted.

Also, as Patricia has pointed out, don't cancel on the basis of a promise of promotion or pay increase with your current employer that has not yet occurred.

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    And do not cancel on the basis of a promised promotion or pay increase you have not yet seen. Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 16:48
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    .. or because someone told you there are other 5 or 500. They might be lying or you may be their best choice after all. If they were sure who to hire, they would'nt have having interviews. Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 16:53

Life is not about not making mistakes. Life is about learning from them.

Take from this, two lessons.

  1. Never quit because you think you're not good enough. Many a race has been won or lost within inches of the finish line
  2. Never give up a solid opportunity now for the promise of one later.

Yes, you blew this one, but it is not the only opportunity that will come along. Keep applying, keep trying, and when you fight for an opportunity, fight like you're the third chimp on the ramp up to Noah's ark, and it's started to rain.

  • Thank you, some really good advice that I will keep with me. Appreciate it. Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 18:11
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    "fight like you're the third chimp on the ramp up to Noah's ark, and it's started to rain." That's excellent, consider that stolen!! :D
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 18:14

Well, you probably have burned your bridges so you have absolutely nothing to lose except a little bit of your time by re-applying for the job with a suitable covering letter/email/phone call.

I'd explain the situation as honestly as you have here and then see what happens.

If you get another shot at this, absolutely make sure that you follow the process through until the end this time.

Worst case scenario is that you'll know for sure if you've blown it so can draw a line under it and move on.

  • Thank you and I was considering sending them an apology and explaining the situation but think its pointless four months later even if they are still advertising? Its would be embarrassing Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 17:31
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    @FredaBaggins a bit of embarrassment won't last long - they could be glad you re-apply...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 18:01
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    @SolarMike I think it's nice advice to never give up, but if someone dropped out once, for an employer that's an amber, not necessarily red, flag, but a second time dropping out like this, that's a whole October parade of red flags. Really, OP should try elsewhere, and not entertain the vain hope of now getting it. That bridge is burnt and the employer will not wish to spend any further time with such a candidate, since this will indicate problems down the line. And yes, that could get OP on the blacklist for being seriously unreliable in their decision-making. Better try somewhere else. Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 18:31
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    @CaptainEmacs Why not try there again? The odds are seriously against OP now, but what's the harm? That employer may have decided that OP will never work for them, but going farther than that has legal risks and no upside. Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 22:58
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    @CaptainEmacs: I would recommend that he applies at that company (without an apology) because he has burnt that bridge. That job is about as unlikely to be available to him as any job he will ever apply for,. He should apply, work on his anxiety, and when he gets turned down (almost certainly with an interview) accept it as graciously as possible. Don’t beg, nag, complain or apologize—just accept whatever response they want to give, even if that is absolutely nothing.
    – jmoreno
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 1:11

Sounds like you have a habit of doing the recruiters job for them.

Remember, you're not there to convince them not to hire you, and you're not there for them to convince you not to apply. You're there because they advertised a job, you applied, and they liked your resume. That's where the reasoning should end.

To take this to an extreme, if your a janitor, you are free to apply to Nasa to be the next astronaut. If they for some reason offer you an interview, don't do their job for them, go for the interview and try to land that job. The interviewer/recruiter will decide if you are worthy. You don't have to decide your worthiness for them.

So get out there and shoot for the moon. You might even land among the stars.

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