Monday, December 17, 2012

7 Ways to Kill Your Chances for a Promotion

Have you ever wondered why, in spite of a high level of experience and strong academic credentials, you’re still passed over for a promotion? It’s easy to believe that your superiors have it all wrong; that in fact you have all the qualities an employer looks for in an able and talented employee. However, in reality, many employees unwittingly commit fateful errors that end up killing their chances of getting a promotion.

Mistake no. 1- Doing just what you are told to do.
Probably the worst possible thing that an employee can do to kill his/her chances for getting a promotion is to become complacent. They are content with doing exactly what their boss tells them to do. They never try to go the extra mile.

Instead of focusing on your job title and responsibilities, do something that will put you under the radar. Be creative and do tasks that are not necessarily a part of your job description. Set yourself apart from your co-workers. These days, employers prefer workers who exceed their expectations and do more than what their job title demands.

Mistake no. 2- Losing the positive energy, spark and enthusiasm
Remember your first day at work? You were full of energy and enthusiasm to take up challenging tasks. You were genuinely interested in the company’s goals and expectations and align yourself to work accordingly.
As the time passes, however, your level of interest begins to decline. Now, you just focus on getting the job done and receiving a paycheck at the end of the month. You virtually have no career goals and therefore no passion to work anymore. This ultimately adversely affects your performance, resulting in you being passed over for a promotion. Try and get to the root of the problem; what is the cause for your feelings of disillusionment and frustration? Is it the job content, a difficult boss or something else? Once you have figured out what the real issue is, all you will have to do is eliminate the factor that is causing you such distress.

Mistake no. 3- Not making yourself or your contributions noticeable

Are you a quiet worker? Do you eat lunch at your desk and prefer working alone on your computer? You don’t speak up in the meeting and you have minimal social contact. If this describes you and you want to be promoted, then you probably need to get yourself out of your shell.

You may be working well but it is important that you make yourself and your contributions noticeable. You need to tell your managers how much you are doing as they are not going to find out themselves. Try speaking up in the meeting and present your ideas. Highlight your skills, strengths and knowledge in front of other people and you will be noticed by the decision makers.

Go to the appraisal meeting and instead of talking about the projects you have completed, tell the managers how your work contributed to the company’s success or meeting its goals.

Mistake no. 4- Not paying attention to your appearance
Your overall appearance does matter when it comes to making a lasting impression. You should dress for the position you are looking for and it would be easier for the higher management to picture you in that part.  So, take care of your overall personality. Dress up appropriately and look confident in whatever you wear.

Mistake no. 5- Not delegating responsibilities
If you don’t know how to delegate the tasks, you probably don’t deserve a promotion. You are always juggling responsibilities but you fear to delegate because you don’t trust your co-workers or you think their best job could create trouble for you. As a result, your managers never think of promoting you because they don’t see anyone else at your position.

Learn to delegate your tasks and prepare people who can step up to your position.

Mistake no. 6- Being unfriendly with your co-workers

Your general impression among the co-workers also counts a lot for the decision-makers. Getting promoted is about what kind of employee you are and how you are viewed among your colleagues and co-workers. If they think you are unfriendly, cranky, uncooperative or stubborn, your chances of promotion could be minimal.

Mistake no. 7- Always complaining
Are you always complaining about unfair practices, unpleasant working conditions or maybe the uncooperative co-workers? Are you always being bitter or negative about everything?

If the answer is yes, then you are just one of the many grumbling employees who tend to see flaws in everyone except themselves. Unless you rid yourself of this negative attribute, you can never grow and excel in your organization. 

If you want move up on the career ladder and get promoted, try to be more proactive, positive, make your performance visible, and your contributions valuable.