I have been working at my company for the past year as a Back-End developer, I have more than 3 years experience, always show up early at work before anyone else, working during the weekend for deployments and doing a lot of overtime.

Today I learned that the web integrator that I hired myself will be my Team leader.

He is fresh out of school and been with us for only two months. He has no other experience in the field and never managed anybody. Soon after I got the news I organised a meeting with my manager to ask him why I wasn't a option for this role and he told me that he was looking for a particular profile to work with the marketing team and that they care more about Front-End development vs Back-End development and that he didn't want to put this responsibility on me because he doesn't see me collaborate with the marketing team on a daily basis since I am a more of a technical kind of guy and that it wasn't because he doesn't trust me...

My Question: How should I takes this? I feel like I can't grow professionally and that I'm not taken seriously.

  • possible duplicate of How should I approach my boss about a raise/promotion?
    – gnat
    Jul 8 '15 at 12:47
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    I don't think this is a duplicate. Being passed over for a senior role is different from wanting a promotion - it has already happened, and there may be a good reason for being passed on, so I think answers to this could be unique and valuable Jul 8 '15 at 13:19
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    Lots of overtime over long periods of time is not necessarily a good thing. Might be an indicator that you are bad at planning your time, or have other issues getting your work done on time. (This might also be a cultural thing) Jul 8 '15 at 18:36
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    You might look at this as a case of avoiding the Peter Principle: you are apparently very good at what you're doing, so your manager does not want to "promote" you to a position where he thinks you won't do as well. Management requires different skills than developing, and not many are good at both. (I'm certainly not :-)) You could try asking for more money in your current role.
    – jamesqf
    Jul 8 '15 at 18:37
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    Have you considered leaving? Go somewhere else where this won't happen - they're not taking you seriously; it's their loss.
    – James
    Jul 10 '15 at 7:55

Get feedback, learn, improve, then revisit the promotion question. Collaboration with different parts of the team is a pretty key aspect to a team lead candidate, so no surprise if the other candidate got the job if they do more of that. If you're really wanting the larger responsibility of being a team leader, first pursue the smaller, prerequisite responsibilities.

Promotions come from growing into new roles. Yes experience is good (lots of overtime is questionable), but you have to put a sharp focus on being the professional you want to be. So if you want to be a Team Lead, think how you can transform your day-to-day work to move towards that.

On a side note - you also had a massive run-on sentence in your question. Communication skills are critical as a team leader, so dialogue like that could hinder your promotion efforts.

  • Welcome to The Workplace @andrewb! I upvoted for the first paragraph. Quoting the whole run-on sentence was a little heavy-handed though. Enjoy the site! Jul 8 '15 at 12:43
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    @EleventhDoctor Fair point, removed.
    – andrewb
    Jul 8 '15 at 12:56

Take it at face value, since it seems to be the first and only occurrence. Now your supervisor knows you are interested in more responsibility, so be prepared to be given it. You may, or may not, like what you get.

I would also plan this as a topic of discussion at your next regularly scheduled personal/personnel/annual review/meeting with your supervisor. Keep it in his mind and he should make it a higher priority for you.

The only time I would take offense, would be if it happens again, with the same management chain in place and basically exactly the same circumstances. Please trust your manager that he knows more about the other teams than you and made what he considered the best choice for a valid reason. The next opportunity may have the same outcome - someone else may be a better fit for some reason. It would bother me only if it was essentially the same as before.


I think that in terms of how to grow professionally, you've implicitly provided an answer: follow the advice of your line manager. You asked them for the skills that are needed to progress - I would advise developing an action plan to grow these skills, hence growing your career.

One other point is that it sounds like you didn't ask to be considered for promotion (unless I'm misinterpreting the question?). I know your junior colleague may not be worthy of a promotion in your eyes, but it sounds like your colleague asked, which gave them a foothold in the promotion race.

Lastly I think that many people, including myself, have seen people being promoted into positions that they might not deserve. Unfortunately life isn't all that fair but you can learn from the experience. Understand what it is that got your colleague promoted and see if you can mimic that.


OK first understand that almost everyone gets passed over for promotion at times in their career. It doesn't mean the end of your career, not even at that place.

Asking why you did not get teh promotion was a good move. Now what you have to do is get the kind of experience your boss told you that you need to get to that next level. This means you have to learn to present your ideas to people in a less technical fashion and you have to start talking to the users. You need to ask for opportunities to do these things. Volunteer for presentations, ask to be invited to meetings and then contribute to them. Learn to present things in business, not technical terms. You probably also need to make sure that people are aware of your desire to move up and that they are familar with your contributions.

Next to get promoted you are going to have to impress your new team lead among other people. I get that you may resent his promotion, most people would (if you don't, then cool, but this is partly here for future readers as well). But you have to get past that and work well with this person. This is probably the most critical thing. You will destroy your career at this place if you let your feelings about his promotion affect your working relationships.

Work well for him and get him on your side. Tell him that you want to be in a position to get his job when he gets promoted and ask for the kinds of tasks you need to get there (wait a little before having this conversation, it might seem a bit creepy to him immediately after the promotion). Observe him carefully and see how he interacts with marketing. He got selected over you, so you need to learn what he has to teach about dealing with people outside the developemnt world. Make him into your mentor. If he got this promotion only two months out of school, he is likely good at office politics, so learn about that as well. And above all, realize it doesn't matter if he is older or younger than you or if he has less experience or just different experience. Those things are irrelevant to the fact that he has the job now, so don't let them hinder you in dealing with him.

He might be a terrific team lead or he might not (weak or inexperienced devs are sometimes great leads because they prefer dealing with people to code). If he is great then learn from him.

If he is not so good then take the opportunity to step up to the plate and provide what he is missing (without being nasty about it, he should never know that you don't think he is good.) Most bad leads I have worked with are more than happy to have someone else volunteer to do the parts of their job that they don't like to do. And by getting the project done in spite of the lead and not because of him, you are also showing your worth when his problems become apprant to the senior managers. Working for a weak lead is a gift to someone who wants to be promoted. In some ways I have stretched myself professionally more when I had a poor boss than when I had a great one. You will grow a lot more if you take a negative and turn it into an opportunity than if you just get angry and depressed or run away immediately to a new job.

Also, coming to work early and working a lot of overtime is not the best way to get promoted; it is, however, a good way to be seen as irreplaceable in your current job and thus someone not to promote because he is too needed where he is.

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