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Why am I Not Being Promoted?

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So you’ve been with your company for several years now. You love what you do, and you do it well. But while things may be alright with your job, you career is a different story. You’ve played out a few different scenarios in your head of how things would go, but strangely, your career seems to have stalled since you first started working there.

This is a common feeling among employees who think that they’re doing well in work, but don’t seem to be moving up. It can be difficult to understand why others get promoted ahead of you, but there could be something small holding you back that you’re not seeing. In order to truly understand why you aren’t being promoted, you need to understand why others are.  

A Position Has to Exist

Before you can even be considered for a promotion, there needs to be a position available. This can be one of the most frustrating and restrictive aspects of getting promoted, as it usually requires someone to leave their role, or for the company to expand. So before you get too worked up over why you haven’t been promoted, ask yourself if the opportunity exists. If it doesn’t, and there appears to be nothing on the way, you may want to consider moving elsewhere to further your career.

You Need to Be Proactive

If a position is available, or could open up soon, it’s important to look ahead and take note of the skills it requires. You could be amazing in your current role, but if you never learn the skills necessary for the next level, you’ll never get there. This can be an easy factor to overlook, especially if you feel you are performing well at work. So if you’re looking for a promotion, you first need to look at the person who does that job now, identify the skills they have that you lack, and figure out how you can learn them. This could be done in several different ways, such as studying, or requesting extra responsibilities at work. 

The best tactic you can adopt to achieve your goals is to sit down with your supervisor and plan your career together. They’ll have a better idea of the direction in which the company is heading, and of the skills they will need in the future. If you make your ambitions clear early, you can ensure that you’re properly trained and ready for when the opportunity arises. 

You Need to Have the Right Personality

Unfortunately, if you want to be considered for a position, simply having the training and skills to do it is no longer enough. Our Q3 2015 Employment Monitor found that a staggering 96% of employers would hire someone with less experience but a great attitude over someone who is technically skilled, but has a bad attitude. These days, employers want people with soft skills too.

Soft skills are essentially people skills: having the right temperament, the ability to motivate a team, and conflict resolution are just a few examples of soft skills that your boss will be on the lookout for. Whatever the role may be, there are certain personalities, skills, and traits that are better suited to it than others. You need to figure out what the ideal candidate would be, and whether or not you fit the description.

You Need to Prove that You’re the Right Choice

Your suitabiltiy for a promotion will largely be based on how you compose yourself at work. Someone who is clean cut, punctual, and consistently delivers good work is much more likely to get a promotion than someone who knows more, but is unreliable, flippant, or abrasive.

But while having the right skills and personality may qualify you for the role, they mean nothing if you don’t lead by example; if you want to move up, you need to demonstrate that you’re ready to. You need to make it clear that you want to learn more and advance. You need to prove that you’re dedicated, hardworking, and trustworthy enough for the role. And the only way to prove that is by approaching your current role with the same attitude. 

While doing well in work can lead many people to believe that their career is moving forward, we have seen that consistently performing well isn’t enough to move up. Your attitude and determination to prove yourself will be the deciding factors in whether or not you get a promotion. So if you feel that you have been performing well but not moving up, you need to identify why that is. It could be something small, and figuring that out could make a big difference. 

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