You have always been loyal, hard-working and results oriented, and have put your company’s interests ahead of your own for years. When there is talk of a promotion, though, you are always passed over. Why do employers ignore good, honest dependable employees in this way?
You may be able to see the logic in the way employers make their decisions when you take their point of view. Here are a few possibilities.
1. You may not be a natural leader
Often, positions in the higher levels come with leadership responsibilities: you need to command and inspire your team and think of new directions to take your team in. No matter how you good you are at your current job, you will not qualify for the next level up if you are not comfortable being a leader.
2. You have not proven a higher level of skill
If you do have the leadership qualities required for the next level up, you may not have found a way to prove it. You should help your boss see what you are capable of by stepping up and offering to take up responsibilities from time to time when your boss needs help.
3. You do not speak up much
Even if you do have the leadership skills needed for a promotion and have proven yourself, it is possible that you have done it all without calling attention to yourself. Books on management often joke about how success in the workplace comes to those who take the trouble to look busy, whether or not they accomplish anything. You need to think about playing the part as well as looking the part.
4. You have not been consistent
In the workplace, you are only as good as the last item on your track record. If it has been a couple of weeks since your last success or if there have been a couple of recent slip-ups, your successes won’t shine through.
5. You do not understand what works at your company
Employees who get ahead by ingratiating themselves to their superiors often do more than to simply suck up. They usually also manage to make themselves look powerful and skilled to them. Whoever is succeeding around you, you should try deconstructing their approach to see what works at your company.
6. You have not added to your resume recently
If the last educational entry on your resume is from a decade ago, you are not doing everything you can to show that you are keeping up with the times. It is important to build upon your resume on a continuing basis.
7. You have not been seen taking initiative
Employers may be less qualified and less talented than those they employ. They have an ability to take initiative, though, that separates them from their workers. The world rewards those who find their own path and set the rules first – not those who follow them.
This is the way things work within companies, too. Those who take the initiative to identify problems that no one sees get rewarded with promotions. Those who simply follow set paths, do not.
8. You have not been promoted in a while
Promotions go to those who have had promotions in the past. If you have stayed in the same position for a while, your boss may no longer think of you as the kind of person who gets promotions. To them, you are just a helpful, dependable person who is satisfied with them lot in life.
9. You are not plugged in
Gossip is important. In places of employment, good things happen to those who stay in the loop. They know what the new projects are, who has a problem, what the boss’s concerns are and so on. Those who are not wired in are considered uninvolved.
10. You are too careful
If your boss has an MBA, they have probably had the lesson drummed in at school that those who make mistakes are go-getters. If your track record is too clean, your boss could see it as a sign that you do not push the envelope enough.
Success in the workplace comes to those who both manage to do a good job and also stage-manage their career well. If you do not find that promotions come easily to you, you need to see if you are slipping up in either of these areas.