Seeking Advice: Getting Over Being Passed Over for Promotion

An employee wrote in and is very frustrated being asked to fill in for supervisors when nobody is available but getting passed over for promotions when it really counts.

A shortened version of what was submitted is below:

I really appreciated reading this post, Tired of Your Job? Maybe it's Time to Ask the Tough Questions. I have been focused on college for two years now, while at the same time building a good reputation with my job. However, along the way, I have become what I like to call a bounce-ball supervisor. I am there when they need me, but when promotion time comes, I do not get the raise and the position.

However, they are quick to point out when there is nobody available that "I am the man for the job." After almost two and a half years, I feel used and tired. I want to stay, but am tired of being called a good leader and then not promoted when good leaders are needed.

If anyone has a different outlook, please advise me.

My advice is to talk with your supervisor or someone in the company who would be in a position to observe you day to day about why he or she thinks you are not getting selected for promotions. It may be something you are doing <or not doing> or it could have absolutely nothing to do with you at all. It's easy to spin within our own thoughts about what we think other people's motives are and a few facts can make a world of difference. Listen to what they tell you - do not argue, defend or challenge. Take the feedback for what it is. Getting over being passed over is not easy, but it can be done. Not all employers have nefarious motives but if yours does, it may be time to move on. 

HR professionals, what advice do you have for this reader?