Three reasons why you aren't being Promoted

Being passed up for a promotion that you've worked hard toward can be frustrating. It is even more frustrating when it happens more than once. The timing and sequence of your promotions have a big impact on your career trajectory. One single missed opportunity can set you back years. One attained opportunity, on the other hand, can give you an exponential advantage over your peers. Because of this, it is important to know how to make the most of your available promotion opportunities. Below we explore the three most common reasons why you may have been overlooked for a promotion.


Reason 1. You are too good at your job

This may come as a surprise, but being too good at your job may actually hinder your ability to be promoted. If you are doing the job better than anyone else-- or than anyone who might replace you--why should your superiors put forth an effort to remove you from your current role? Things work, why change them?

Reason 2. You aren’t managing your 360

Everyone has heard the expression “managing up” meaning you need to manage your manager. This is an important skill, and when you lack it, you lose control of a very important relationship. In fact, we believe you should take this idea a step further: Don’t just “manage up” but “manage your 360”. Your chances of getting promoted depend heavily on having champions throughout the organization, at all levels. Consider who you interact with? Your manager, your manager’s manager, your team, your teammates, partner departments. Are these people singing your praises? 

Reason 3. You lack adequate leadership and soft skills

You may work hard at your job, but being recognized as a good worker, however, is not enough to guarantee a promotion. This may be because once you are promoted, your challenges quickly change. Suddenly is less important how well you write the report, construct the deck, conduct the equity valuation, etc. All the more important however are your ability to engage people, motivate action, inspire others, facilitate change, as well as mentor and develop your people’s skills. Thus, the manner in which you showcase your leadership abilities affect whether or not you will be perceived as someone with high potential for promotion. 

If you are too good at your job, perhaps not sure how to manage your 360, or are someone who could benefit from optimizing your leadership skills, how can you increase the chances of a promotion?  In a later blog post, we will outline the ways in which you could improve on these three points and in turn increase your chances of being promoted throughout your career. 

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Gregory Pontrelli is President/CEO & Chief Talent Strategist at Lausanne Business Solutions, a comprehensive talent management consultancy. Lausanne helps organizations recruit top talent, increase employee engagement, while optimizing performance, and develop individuals and teams. You can like Lausanne Business Solutions on facebook or follow us on twitter @lausanneconnect,  instagram@lausannesolutions, and also follow Greg on twitter@gregpontrelli.