Top 5 Reasons You Haven’t Been Promoted

So you have been with your organization for a couple of years and your job and responsibilities haven’t changed much. You may have seen junior people slowly become more senior and your peers have job titles that you would like to match. Sure, you could move to a different company, but if your skillset or behavior is holding you back, you’ll experience the same fate there after a few months as well. Here are five common roadblocks to an accelerated career path:

Inability to Develop Others

You may be technically brilliant, but you don’t know how to encourage the development of similar expertise in others. Perhaps the combination of a results-driven demeanor and a fast-paced workplace stand in the way of you being patient with your employees’ long-term development. The danger is that you might favor similarly competent individuals, and neglect those you don’t immediately see as having potential. Without your interest, support, and enthusiasm for their career, your team will not grow and performance will stagnate.

Uncertainty Paralyzes You

You know your job or department inside out and you are perhaps the best at your individual role. But when change comes (and it always does), and you need to think creatively  or make a decision with limited information, you fall short of expectations and turn to others to make the decisions or require their assistance.  People need to trust that you are going to take responsibility for your area, take action even if that includes taking risks, and that you will own it and react well when consequences arise.

Your Image is Not So Good

Your superiors are less concerned about your ability to handle the position and more concerned about what others will think. This might sound grossly unfair, but success rarely depends on just one individual and requires collaboration and teamwork. If others can’t accept you as a leader and/or partner, your career will be stalled.

You Are Too Nice

A rise in management level often means more conflict, confrontation, and difficult conversations. And generally, agreeable people are well-liked, well-supported, and often do make great leaders. But if you can’t give tough feedback, you can’t speak directly and clearly, you avoid all negativity, or if you try to please everyone, people will fear that you will quickly become intimidated with the additional responsibility you’ll encounter.

You Aren’t Systematic

You like to make things up as you go, find documenting things tedious and prefer to do real work, and you don’t worry much about problems until you encounter them. You don’t always do things the same way (which is good in terms of innovation and being able to react quickly) and things change so fast anyway, so you see no need for developing processes, practices, or procedures for getting things done. The problem here is that you tend to create situations where everyone is reliant on you and, should anything happen, your work is not easy duplicated. It is risky to give this type of person a significant amount of responsibility.

Eva Rykrsmith

Eva Rykrsmith is an organizational psychology practitioner. Her passion lies in bringing a psychology perspective to the business world, with the mission of creating a high-performance environment. Follow her @EvaRykr.

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  • http://josephrosenfeld.com Joseph Rosenfeld

    Everyone has an image but most undervalue it.  Over the years I’ve helped many who have been misunderstood by peers and superiors by developing their visual brand. Unlike the author of the article linked to this one, I contend that your personal brand and image are closely tied. The point of your image is to exude your personal brand. Certain steps ought to be taken to achieve a desired outcome.

    The 360 assessment is excellent, as long as it’s not tied into compensation or performance. If you ask others for their feedback via 360, you should also complete it so that your self-assessment is compared to the feedback of others. It’s great getting feedback from others, but not at the expense or the replacement of your self-assessment. If you fail to evaluate yourself, any changes you make will be read as inauthentic.

    Clothing is a visual, non-verbal communicator with a language all its own. Once you know what you want to say, you can learn the language of clothing and always send the right non-verbal messages.

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  • Jim Wong

    I agree with these five reasons but being a team player is one that I would add.  A team player has the ability to work well with others including the more demanding colleagues.  At a minimum others must feel neutral about you but ideally you should be well respected and liked by others.   The respect should come from your work and character .   Being well liked should come from the way you make others feel when working with them.   Specifically, are you approachable, helpful, fair and dependable.

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