5 Surprising Reasons You Haven’t Been Promoted Yet

Office Tips by James Cai

You’ve been working at the same company for a while now. On the announcement board, there’s notice of a new managerial position. It would mean a promotion for you and you’ve been toying with the idea for weeks.

More money. More money. More money.

Yet, even though you’ve been side eyeing the job, someone else makes the cut and your professional heart is broken.

What could you have changed? What prevents you from advancing in your professional career? It almost feels as though everyone is moving on up while you stay at a professional stand still.

Well it can be either A- you’re a real crappy worker. Or B – you just haven’t figured out how why you haven’t been promoted and need to figure it out.


  1. You Haven’t Asked



What? People actually ask for the things they want? And they get it?

Yes, it’s true. Your bosses are not mind readers. It’s even normal for them to overlook your hard work and consider someone else for the promotion.  

That person probably asked about it.

So how do you take advantage of the next opportunity to move up in your workplace?

Let ‘em know.

Let your supervisors know that you’re interested. It’s as simple as dropping a line that the promotion looks like a great opportunity. You can say something like, “I’d really like to know more information about the new managerial position.”

And just like that, you’ve placed yourself as a person of interest because you showed interest.

It’s a huge sign to your boss that you have initiative and desire to grow within the company. You’re asking for more work and more responsibility and if you are the valuable worker you believe yourself to be, they’re listening.


2. Spreading Yourself Thin



Yes, even if you want to take initiative, you shouldn’t take ALL the initiative.

It’s nice to be the go-to person but be careful not be excessive when adding on work tasks. Volunteering to take care of all the work tasks is great, until you start to spread yourself thin.

Suddenly, some of your work is inefficient and full of errors. All because your focus was spread across a span of multiple projects.  

So be careful not to take on too many tasks. It hurts your reputation as an effective worker and is a big blow to your work reputation. The bosses want someone able to balance their time and efforts and taking on one too many tasks is a step in the wrong direction.


3. Thinking “That’s not my job”

This is contradicting advice, right?  Don’t raise your hand to volunteer for too many projects but don’t walk away from a task because it’s not in your job description?

There’s a science behind learning to balance the two.

Take a step back and try to analyze why your supervisor asked you to do something. Do they think you are more efficient? Do they value your personal input?

Sometimes it could even be as easy as a test of your willingness to go the extra mile. Every supervisor wants to higher the candidate willing to look at the company’s bigger picture.

Responding with, that’s not my job, shows your lack of company spirit and it’s not a good mark on your team building spirit.

That promotion is a goner for sure.



4. Continuous Learning



You got certified to get the job. You’ve been there for almost 3 years now. Have you gotten re-certified or taken any classes or seminars that may help you become a more efficient worker?

If you answered no, you’re losing brownie points here, my friend.

Pick up an extra class to improve your soft skills. Everyone needs a little fine tuning once in a while and heading to a seminar or class is a great way to start.

You can even read a book related to your industry. The idea here is to learn something new. Fostering a continuous learning habit is a huge asset for your professional development and for the company.

You then become the more qualified candidate against your peers because of your willingness to continue learning.

How can you let your boss find out about your new polished set of skills? Without bragging or overselling, strike up a conversation about how helpful a class might have been for you, or how an idea in the book you’d just read sparked might help the company’s marketing plan.

Your boss will see your desire for not only your personal but company growth and appreciate your input. That’s a sure way for them to lock you in as a candidate when promotion times rolls around.



5. They can’t afford  it


If you’re working for a small business and you notice they’re cutting things like OEM toner out of their budget to accommodate compatibles, they probably can’t afford to promote you.

Some businesses aren’t aware of the full scope of their financial situation until it’s too late and your job disappears. So, if you notice that some things are off, maybe it’s time to move on.

Sure, it seems a bit harsh to cut tail and split from the company. What about all that ‘keeping company growth in mind‘ we talked about earlier?

Well, think of it this way. If you’re happy in your position, then stay. If you seek growth within a company and you see yourself in a higher position, then it’s time to go.

It’s tough finding a work balance that can help your chances at a promotion and you can never expect things that are unexpected. But you can prepare and arm yourself for when the time comes. Pay attention to your work surroundings. Analyze what you think you boss is looking for. Ask questions to people who have previously moved up in the ranks and make an effort to place yourself as a valuable candidate.


Besides, who doesn’t want to feel valued with a promotion?



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