Not Assigned. How Do I Proceed ?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being irritated by not being assigned to an important project: I was totally disappointed and frustrated at not having got what I deserve. Please suggest a way to overcome this situation.

I work at the lower rung of a consulting firm. For a few months now we have been expecting a diverse and an interesting assignment to come our way. My senior knew that I was well qualified to be part of this assignment, a fact that was certified even by another colleague. I have discussed my capabilities and interests in this regard with my senior a couple of times and my senior noticing this even suggested me to be part of the project at a time when we knew that the assignment was almost in our hands.

Now with the assignment having come, all of a sudden three others have been included in this assignment excluding me. When asked in a subtle manner, my senior said since they could not include more than 3 resources in this assignment, I was excluded. I accepted it politely at that instance, but inside I was totally disappointed and frustrated at not having got what I deserve. Please suggest a way to overcome this situation. I am totally irritated presently.

Signed, Irritated

DearĀ Irritated:

It’s understandable why you are disappointed and irritated. You have expressed you disappointment to your senior by asking subtly why you weren’t chosen and your answer was not that you weren’t qualified; rather it was that no more than three could be named to this project.

From here, there is no way for us to know if those other individuals named for this assignment are more or less qualified than you. The fact is that you were not named and how you react to that fact is what matters.There are some do and don’t reactions that will determine if you are happy to be part of and will continue to be wanted as a member of this consulting firm:

*Don’t allow your irritation to be expressed in gossip about not being placed on this project. Most of us want to vent, but what is said gets repeated, distorted and can paint you as a poor loser. This is not the way you want to be viewed by your senior and others in the firm.

*Do briefly reflect on why you were not named. Be pleased that you were considered. You know were because your senior and a colleague “knew” that you were qualified.
* Do realize that there are many qualified individuals who are like understudies waiting in the wings off stage and even outstanding quarterbacks can sit on the bench for a season or two before being sent in. While waiting to be sent in, it matters what they do in to be ready and to be in good standing in the eyes of a director and coach.
* Do learn from this. Soak up all you can while on the side lines.
*Don’t allow this hurt to become an obsession that plays like a broken record to friends and your self. Undoubtedly there are other projects and those on this particular assignment, especially if it is as big as you imply, will not be available for other assignments. You say, “I accepted it politely at that instance, but inside I was totally disappointed and frustrated at not having got what I deserve.”
You used the word “totally” twice. Twice is twice too much. You will be a very unhappy camper if you allow yourself to be totally disappointed and frustrated. You are more than this.
* Do look yourself in the mirror and keep your head up and your face vivacious. You don’t have to say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am the fairest of them all” to affirm that you will not be devastated by not getting this or than assignment.
* Do get a life outside the firm. Work is not all there is to success. Workout, sing in a choir, volunteer, make a significant other happy, etc.
*Do think WEGO. The more you focus on what adds value to your firm and the more you are interdependent-minded, the more you will be seen as a responsible member and will experience the byproduct of that.
Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. I predict, if you can see yourself as one who does all she/he can to make others as successful as you want to be, that you will be caught up in what it takes and makes WEGO. If any of these thoughts makes sense, I will be interested in learning how your career evolves over the next few weeks and months.

William Gorden