How to Stay Positive in Light of Getting Passed Over For Firefighter Promotion

Working hard, passing your firefighter promotional exam only to get passed over for promotion may make you want to throw in the towel, but don’t let that disappointment stop you from getting the job you want. The firefighter promotion process is hard, but if it is your dream, keep trying. 

  1. Take a Break

If you get passed over for promotion your first course of action may be to try again immediately. Going for your goals is admirable, but remember it is not a race to get to a certain rank first, so give yourself a break. Take a minute to process what happened, allow yourself to be disappointed or feel however else you may be feeling so you don’t  burnout before you even get the job. Just give yourself the time you need to process what happened before immediately hopping back on that proverbial horse. You devoted a lot of time and energy to the promotional process and deserve a break, mentally and physically. Spend some extra time with your family or friends and clear your mind before giving it another go. 

  1. Identify What You Learned

Even though you didn’t get promoted you definitely learned a lot. Identify what you learned and how that can help you, moving forward. You may have learned you need to work harder on preparing for the interview process and spend less time studying for the written exam. You may have even learned you actually aren’t ready to promote and are happy in your current position for the time being. Figure out your successes and failures through the promotion process and use that knowledge to get promoted the next time around. 

  1. More Experienced Now

The biggest bonus of getting passed over for promotion, if you do decide to promote again, is you will know exactly what to expect the next time around. You have insider knowledge of every part of the promotion process. Some aspects may be different but ultimately, you have experienced the process, you know what to expect. You have a huge head start against everyone else that is going into the promotional process clueless. This should give you a big mental boost, reduce your nerves, and increase your confidence if you go for promotion again. 

  1. Other Opportunities Are Out There

Getting passed over for an officer position in the fire service may be a good thing because it leaves you open to so many more opportunities. You can look in other departments for officer jobs, other cities and so on. You have given yourself more time to think about what job you truly want and where you want to work. Take some time to think about what you truly want from the fire service and your career. You may decide another department or location is better for you.

The Takeaway

Going through the firefighter promotional exam process is hard. Actually getting promoted in the fire service is hard. It doesn’t always happen on the first try for everyone, the competition is steep. If you get passed over for promotion try to stay positive and motivated and give it another try when the time is right for you.