TL;DR: I am a software developer and I am upset at not being promoted. Should I stick it out, or ask to be transferred to another department, or find a new job? How to communicate my disappointment to my manager?
I am a software developer and I am working at a 'regular'/'mid-level' position since I was hired two years ago at the current job.
I am feeling very upset at not getting a promotion and it makes me lose motivation.
My weak point are my not up to scratch soft skills but I am making an effort at improving them. In the past I made a mistake of going over my manager's head, and at one point I was burning out and I would show anxiety at work and cry. Now I've learnt my lesson and I try to avoid burning out. Otherwise I am doing very well at the technical tasks. I am hard-working, a quick learner, I don't pull the 'it's not my job' card, and I help junior employees.
I know I am biased but I am comparing my performance to coworkers of the same level and to the senior coworkers and I think that I am performing at a senior level.
Also, and I know it's not the most relevant, I currently have a seven years of experience in total. In general senior level at my company correlates to 5 or sometimes less years of experience. I am feeling unfairly left out especially as I am working hard.
Promotions are two times a year - December and June. I was hoping to get promoted last December and I didn't. I made a mistake of not making my wishes clear to my manager. So last December I told my manager I am upset of not being promoted and that I think my skills are underused. Since then I have been given more responsibilities.
Now I have been told that due to COVID-19 and lack of budget I am not getting a promotion. However, some junior coworkers being promoted anyway.
My manager is not easily approachable, as they always say how busy they are. I don't think they would stand up for my promotion.
Last December I was thinking of asking to be transferred to another department. To clarify - on top of not being promoted, I was being overworked because of deadlines, poor estimations (not on my part) and a poor quality legacy code base.
I did not ask for the transfer since I was given more responsibilities, and I thought to stick it out in hopes of being promoted in June. Now it feels like sunk costs.
So once again I am thinking of transferring and forgetting about the December promotions. I would have to switch technology stacks but I don't mind. I even wish to broaden my skills. I would miss the paycheck increase though. Also I am afraid my current manager would badmouth me to the new manager or that I won't get approval for a transfer. Should I ask to be transferred? Also how to communicate to my manager my disappointment?
Also I have sent my resume to a few companies. However, in my area there is only one company that offers similar job with a matching salary and I don't want to relocate. I have already sent my resume to them.