Community//

Why you’re not getting promoted

Lacking skills, lacking relationships, not being bold enough...

Image from Defimedia.

Recently I was listening to a presentation by executive coach Bee Garrs, who pointed out that the old idea that getting your head down and doing your job will earn you a promotion, is no longer true.

That’s just the minimum requirement in your job – basically, you are earning your pay.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

So that’s what you are doing. What are some reasons why you’ve not yet got that promotion that you feel you deserve?

You aren’t skilled enough yet. Harsh to hear perhaps, but you might just not have the skills required. As we said a few words ago, longevity and being good at your current job ain’t enough any more.

Don’t know what skills are needed for a promotion, or what you lack? ASK! Whatever you need to learn, you can learn it.

You lack the necessary soft skills (see relationships below too). Do you have the right personality for the role you want, and do you show it? Do you take the lead on projects, do you show good communication skills. In short, are you showing how you would act in the higher role? Someone deciding on your promotion needs to know what they’d be getting by promoting you. If you’d need to dress more formally after a promotion, are you dressing that way now to show you are serious and ready?

You’re shy about your achievements. The key here is to be honest and humble, and do it at the appropriate times. Take credit for the good things you’ve done and your contributions, not in a bragging way, but to make sure you get the credit and people know about it. But of course, don’t take more credit than is due, or you’ll just alienate people and appear dishonest.

You’ve not cultivated key relationships. When the people who make the decision talk about who will be promoted, will one of them be your champion? Will they think of you? Do they even know who you are?

Getting yourself known around the company may not be easy, especially if you’re an introvert like me, but if you can give something, show that you want to help people in whatever way you can, and be genuinely interested in them, then people will often open up and get to know you too. The more you do it, the more comfortable it will feel.

Are you and your boss smokers? Well, it might not be good for your health, but it could be good for your career if you join him/her on cigarette breaks and chat.

You don’t talk about it. Have you asked your boss what it would take for you to get to the role you want? Would they even know? In which case you’ll probably want to ask someone who does. How about asking someone who has been promoted to the role you want, how they got there? People like to talk about their achievements so it’s likely they will be happy to help.

Ask what skills you need to learn, what you can improve on, what you need to do, which projects you need to work on, who you need to meet…

You hate your current role. When you hate your job, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Your bosses, colleagues and customers see it. So if your boss is looking for someone to give more responsibility and authority too, why would they choose someone who always seems unhappy and negative in the office? You don’t have to be skipping around the office all day, but being more positive and enjoying the good aspects of your role will make you look more like promotion material.

You expect it – in the wrong way. I’m big into fully expecting the good things that we want to happen in our lives, because it helps us take the right actions. So visualise getting and being in your new job, and believe that it’s going to happen. But don’t feel that you are entitled to a promotion just because you do your job well or you’ve been at the company for x years. As we’ve already mentioned twice, that isn’t true and such an attitude won’t help you.

You seem content. If I have a really great employee, who excels in their role but whom I feel doesn’t want to advance, s/he’ll stay in that role and continue to contribute brilliantly in it, even if they are promotion material… then I have no incentive to promote them. If I have a second really great employee who may be a great contributor, but I feel I will lose them if I don’t promote them to a higher role they are capable of doing… I’ll choose them instead. Obviously don’t bang on about how you want to be promoted to your true level, but don’t appear too comfortable either.

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