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How to Turn NO Into Not Yet

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That “no” that you just heard, could really be a “not yet.” Being turned down for a promotion could just mean that you aren’t quite ready. In fact, I am proof that a “no” response today, can be successfully turned into a promotion down the road if you are willing to do the work.

Getting to “Not Yet”

Let’s discuss ways to get around and beyond the “No’s.” It might take time to engage your network, find relevant events, and determine the professional landscape.

My actions were deliberate. After consistent effort and authentic actions, I was invited to some related conferences, executive strategy sessions, and eventually (around 10 months later) I was asked to interview for a similar position based on my enhanced relevance, relationships, and experience.

It didn’t happen overnight and it won’t happen without a plan. 

  • If you feel comfortable, ask the manager who turned you down for specific skills and knowledge you could learn so that next time the no could be a yes.
  • Create a plan to fill those knowledge gaps:
    • Take a course.
    • Read appropriate books.
    • Volunteer for an opportunity to learn from other department leaders
  • Meet and connect with industry leaders who can help offer advice and further network connections.
  • Attend conferences, seminars and group meetings outside the office that will help enhance your knowledge as well as build your network.

Many of these specific actions I took to enhance my relevance, engage my network, bundle of my value, and align with my sponsors are incorporated in chapters of my book Accelerate Your Impact.

Defeating Self-Deprecation

One of the reasons we receive a “no” is because of our own insecurity in our value. We have all been in a position of thinking that we may not have enough knowledge or experience to take on a task and yet, that is really just our own inner dialogue voicing insecurities. I have been there. In fact, I share a recent experience I had where my self-deprecation almost kept me from a career opportunity.

Remember, the next time you hear “no,” you have the power to turn that into a “not yet” and eventually a YES!

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JJ DiGeronimo JJ DiGeronimo, a speaker, author, and thought-leader for Women in Tech and Girls and STEM, empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract Women in Technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.

Check out JJ’s new award-winning book Accelerate Your Impact by downloading three free chapters.

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