If you have been in the same job for close to seven years and you haven’t been promoted but have watched few of your colleagues as they climb the corporate ladder, then, there are a few things that you probably haven’t paid close attention to.
The probability that some of these 10 hindrances shown below are amongst the ones holding you back is high.
You will never get promoted if:
1. Your professional image sucks. If you roll into work every day looking like you have been dragged through the hedges, your chance of getting promoted will disappear into thin air! It you step it up a tad but still look like you are going for a quick jog or dropping by a corner shop to buy a loaf of bread, nonetheless, you will not be seen as a management material. If you want to do your manager’s job, then dress like your manager will normally dress. Dress like anyone who is working in the position you want to be promoted to. Dressing sharp alone is not enough though; you must back the dressing up with great work, your attributes and performance. Learn to walk the talk as well as talk the talk.
2. You are seen as slacking in any way, shape or form. Overall, promotions are earned through competency and hard work. You know you won’t get promoted when you are not doing the work to attain that sought-after promotion. Remember that no one wants to promote a slacker! If you are not efficient or never up for a challenge, then you will be seen as slacking. If you are always dodging responsibilities, not volunteering for things and hanging your head down when challenging opportunities are dangled in front of you like a bunch of carrots, then, the services that you are offering at work aren’t enough. The way you are perceived is important when it comes to getting promoted.
Remember that promotions are not necessarily based on your past performances; rather you can certainly make a much better case for a promotion by showing detailed information about your past and current successes.
3. ‘Networking’ to you is just a word. You go to work daily; you keep your head down and just get on with your work. After work, you pick your bag and off you go. You don’t see any reasons why you have to network, collaborate or get to know anybody. You forget that the more people you know, the more your circle of influence grows. The more people know you, the more they know your strengths and abilities, the value you add to the organization, your ambition and so, the more likely your name will be discussed when opportunities for promotions arise.
4. You can’t stand your manager and you make it obvious. If you are at odds with your manager, if you can’t stand him but you are looking to be promoted by him, you might be better off sorting any issues between both of you out first. If not, you are better off looking for another job somewhere else because your chance of getting that desired promotion has disappeared into thin air. Like it or not, managers tend to get even and the kind of relationship you have with your manager will affect any promotions that you are after. Look at it this way, if you are someone’s manager and they have made it blatantly obvious that they don’t like you or that your orders are not for them, trust me, you may think twice before you offer them any promotion, especially if it means that they are going to still be reporting to you in the new position.
5. You cannot show any quantify results. You come to work these days and do the bare minimum of work to get you by. You can’t go the extra mile anymore because you think you aren’t being paid for it. Remember that promotions are not necessarily based on your past performances; rather you can certainly make a much better case for a promotion by showing detailed information about your past and current successes. In most organizations, those who get results get noticed and they get ahead.
6. You blend in. In a sea of horses, you choose not to be a Unicorn. It’s not enough to do the busy work; people need to know you are doing the work that adds value and have leadership potential written all over it. Dare to be different and make yourself stand out for good reasons. If you can’t do this, then you will blend with everyone. You have to master how to stand out from the pack through your work, personality and the ideas you contribute. Keep a positive outlook on things, even when in tough situations. Don’t be whiny or negative. Make a name for yourself in your industry through networking, workshop facilitations, conference attendances, via articles and speeches. Make sure you’re visible in other ways too, such as volunteering to lead, contributing articles to the employee newsletter, mentoring new employees or chairing a project.
7. You can’t solve any problem or manage a crisis. You can’t solve any problem or use your initiative to investigate and problem-solve. You always have to go to your manager with problems not solutions. If a difficult situation arises, you keep away and desist from coming up with a solution instead you seek your manager’s solution. A good problem-solver will get promoted.
8. You moan or whine about everything. It is good to speak up in certain circumstances but it is better to come up with solutions to problems rather than just moan. If you are openly critical about everything, especially the management, chances are that they will be against you becoming a leader. When you complain about everything, you are giving whoever is in a position to promote you ammunition to use against you. For this reason, your chance of promotion may have disappeared into thin air!
9. “Who needs a mentor?” is your mantra. You don’t have a mentor because you think you don’t need one. You think you have all what is needed to get promoted thus you fail to realize that finding a mentor with whom you can talk to honestly about work-related issues is important. Having a mentor who is more experienced than you can drastically improve your chances of getting promoted. A mentor can be instrumental in championing you; your attributes and talents to the right people. A good mentor will coach you, point out any of your blind spots, offer ideas, suggestions, discuss your successes, and guide your career. Think about whom, besides your family and immediate manager might be open to helping you grow.
10. Finally, you haven’t discussed your development needs with your manager. Your manager is not a mind reader. If you are still waiting to tell your manager that you want to move up in the organization, you will wait for a long time. So, why not take the bull by the horns straightaway. Just go ahead and tell him! Arrange a meeting now to make your intentions clear. Then start looking for ways to demonstrate your intentions. Volunteer your skills to partake or lead a project. Volunteering is not good enough but going above and beyond by doing a great job is what counts. If you are not sure if you have the necessary skills to get you ahead, then, enroll in a course to upgrade any skills that will be useful for you to demonstrate your intentions of getting a promotion at work.
If you don’t think any of the 10 reasons above is the reason why your promotion disappeared into thin air at work, it’s time to take a hard look at other things that you might be doing wrong. For instance, you may need to create your own opportunities. You can do so by studying the needs and challenges of the organizations. If you see an area that has been neglected and you have the key skills in that area, write a proposal for a new position in the area. However, if you think you are on top of your game already and you have spoken to your manager who is not taking any notice, then, it may be time to look for another job.