“Why haven’t I been promoted yet?”
It’s a question – if you’re a high achieving ambitious person – you’ve likely asked yourself a dozen times.
You show up to work every single day (even when you don’t feel like it). You complete all your assignments on time and in full (even when you feel your time could be spent doing something more useful). You put up with your crazy boss and your annoying coworkers (even when you’d rather tell them what’s really on your mind).
And for what? What’s the point?
Year after year you watch as everyone else around you gets promoted, more responsibilities and recognition. And even though you’ve perfected your “congratulations” smile, you can’t help but feel the sting of defeat every time someone else’s name is called and yours isn’t.
Why them and not you? What are you doing wrong?
The Myth of Simply Working Harder
The first step to getting recognized and rewarded for the contributions you make to your team is to stop assuming that all you have to do is “work hard” to get it.
Newsflash: most people work hard. Unfortunately, it takes more than that to stand out.
If there are 100 employees at a company and everyone is doing their job and working hard, do you think all 100 will be promoted at the end of the year?
It just doesn’t work that way. From a manager’s perspective, trying to decide who should be promoted is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack.
That’s why it’s important for you to avoid the common mistakes people make at work in order to increase your chances of being that needle.
7 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Be Overlooked for Your Next Promotion…Again
You Feel Everyone Should “Come to You”
The worst thing you can do in your career is sit back and take a passive role. While it would be great for your manager to hand you a promotion on a silver platter, 99% of the time that just isn’t how things go.
If you’re not regularly meeting with your boss to talk about your goals and career objectives – promotion being one – you should start.
You Constantly Over Promise and Under Deliver
It often feels like the more you take on, the more you’ll be seen as a valuable member of the team. And while in theory that may be correct, what usually happens is that you have too many things on your plate and end up dropping the ball in one area.
Be realistic about your capacity (or lack thereof) to take on new projects. Believe me, most managers would rather you be up front and say you don’t have the bandwidth to take on something else, than to act as if you can handle it and produce sub par results.
You’re Doing Too Much
I get it. You’re excited about the possibility of getting promoted and really want to make sure everyone knows it. But do you really need to bring it up in every conversation you have?
While your manager (and anyone involved in making the promotion decision) should be aware of your goal, you should avoid making it the topic of every conversation.
You’re Not Really Committed
What’s the real reason you want to get promoted? Is it because you enjoy your job and want to grow at your company? Or is it because everyone else is doing it?
Whatever your true motivations are, they often seep through what you do and what you say – no matter how good you are at playing the game. Make sure you’re clear on your why and that it’s what you really want.
You’re Not Original
What’s your claim to fame at work? Are you the one who connects people and groups together? Or the person who always gets things done?
Most people who successfully make it through the promotion process are known for something. They are a “go-to” of sorts. Develop your niche and make sure people know what makes you different from everyone else.
You Only Care About Yourself
Wanting to get a promotion is very much driven by ego, but that’s still no excuse to completely overlook how it can benefit everyone around you.
Instead of only focusing on WIIFY (what’s in it for you), try to think about how your promotion positively impacts your team as a whole. When people feel that you genuinely care about their future – as well as yours – they are more likely to support you.
No one knows what you do
Does your boss know what you do? Beyond what’s written in your job description, does she know exactly how you contribute value to the team?
If you’re not sure, then the answer is no and you’ve got to fix this ASAP! Make it a priority to touch base with your manager (and any other key player in your department) to tell him not only what you’re working on, but how it benefits the team.
What to Do if You’re Not Ready
Although it can be difficult to admit, a lot of times promotions don’t happen because it’s just not the right time. Perhaps you need another year or two to develop additional skills or you’re guilty of making at least one of the above mistakes.
Whatever the reason, it’s always a good idea to take an honest look at the current state of your career versus where you’re trying to go.
Getting a promotion doesn’t have to be a big scary process. With some direction and the right plan in place, you can achieve your goal in no time.
P.S. Need help creating a plan to put you on track for promotion at work? Apply for a free Career Success call with me today?