A reader writes:
I recently applied for an internal promotion to be manager of the small team I serve. I was unsuccessful. Two questions. First, I was “let down easy”–the hiring manager said things like “it was close” and “we want to keep you.” But isn’t being turned down for the role essentially a repudiation of me? If they really wanted to keep me, I feel like they would have considered offering me some incentive to remain. I am reading it as a clear sign that I should move on.
That notwithstanding, how do I establish rapport with the new manager, an external candidate who I was in competition with and lost out to? Do I specifically acknowledge that I applied for his role but that now I am ready to be a great team member, colleague, and partner? The truth is that I might have a hard time being an enthusiastic team member now that I’ve been rejected for this particular advancement.