While it would be nice to get a firm commitment in writing, that rarely happens, said Stewart. “Generally all you are going to get is a ‘consideration’. Then, it becomes a matter of ethics on the boss’s part.”
It’s up to you to determine whether your boss is being honest – or just stringing you along. “If you aren't going to get more money and a better title right away, evaluate how trustworthy your employer is to decide whether the promotion is likely to come in the future or is a lost cause,” said Janet Scarborough Civitelli, an Austin, Texas-based workplace psychologist and career coach.
Ask yourself the following: “[Do] your boss and employer have a good track record of rewarding good performance? Do decision makers at your company generally follow through on commitments? Do you feel appreciated, overall, or do you feel taken for granted?”
Another option is to voice your concerns. This would be a good choice when there is just a misperception about the promise. Maybe your boss didn’t realise that you were expecting a promotion.
“Maybe you just misunderstood a casual positive comment about your performance,” Müller said. “Try to clarify with your boss [to see] if he/she knows that you feel that your ‘psychological’ contract was violated.”
In some cases, it's clear that it’s time to leave, Müller said. For example, when the promise of the promotion was very clear and firm and your boss isn’t presenting any good reasons for why it didn’t take place, or you still aren’t getting a good explanation for how the company plans to rectify the situation.