CAREER DEVELOPMENT / FEB. 17, 2015
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7 Reasons Why You're Being Passed Over for a Promotion

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You’ve done your job for the last five years. You come in at 9 a.m., have lunch at noon every day, and leave at 5 p.m. You perform the bear minimum, rarely contribute at meetings, and you show no interest in expanding the company. In other words, you’re just there to collect a paycheck.

After these last five years, you ask the question: why haven’t I gotten a promotion yet?

For some reason or another, employees think that they receive a promotion based upon how long they’ve worked at the company. Perhaps a cost-of-living raise is common, but a promotion is handed out to certain employees because of their performance, dedication and results. Not by the years of service.

When working for a small business, it’s even harder to get a raise because the boss sees first-hand who is eligible for a promotion or a senior position, and who is not. A small business proprietor wants to see like-minded individuals in his staff who want to grow the company further. If you’re a staff member who doesn’t share the same passion as your boss, then you won’t receive a promotion.

If you’ve worked for the same business for a number of years and you’ve yet to receive a promotion (or a raise), then here are seven potential reasons why:

1. Last One In & First One Out

Although the future of the office may actually celebrate the workers who are the first one to leave work (productivity will be far more important than hours), today’s work environment frowns upon those who are the last one to arrive at work and the first ones to leave. If you fall into this category then it’s likely you won’t be receiving a promotion.

2. Office Politics & Gossip

Do you still have the high school mentality of gossip? Do you lack the maturity that you participate in office politics? It’s easy for upper management to spot those who consistently gossip about colleagues and managers or starting trouble for the rest of the company. You may be competent to perform the basic tasks of your job, but you won’t get any higher on the corporate ladder.

3. Dismiss Constructive Feedback

It’s only human to dismiss feedback because many of us take it personally. However, if you criticize and become defensive over the critiques, then you will obviously not be equipped to deal with a management position that sometimes works with executives who may be even harder than supervisors.

4. Airing Grievances in Public

Let’s face it: we all detest our jobs at times. But if you air your grievances about the company in public, and sometimes in front of managers, then you will be shunned for a promotion and possibly even fired from the company that you openly abhor. Any criticisms about the company must be kept private.

5. Correcting or Complaining About the Boss

Yes, we all have had a boss that was inept to perform the duties of their position and only gained the job through nepotism. If the boss is constantly being corrected by you in public, then he will definitely place a target on your back. Even if you have a legitimate complaint about the boss, you must do so privately and possibly confront him or her face-to-face.

6. Errors

We’re only human and mistakes are bound to occur – that’s why they place erasers on the end of pencils. Unfortunately, if you’re making consistent errors – spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, formula mishaps, and so on – then you’re not only going to be passed over for a promotion but you will likely be given the pink slip unless the quality (or productivity) is enhanced.

7. Everyone is a Friend

It’s common for workers to consider each other as friends. We spend eight hours a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year with the same people. It’s only natural to think of them as friends. This type of attitude will only prompt the upper management to look to somebody else for a promotion. A superior sometimes has to make the tough decisions, including firing a subordinate, harshly criticizing a worker or allocating projects to others. Personal and professional relationships have to be strictly defined.

A promotion mostly means a raise in salary and a path to greener pastures. If you do want to climb the company’s corporate ladder, or get a position with another firm in your field, then you’ll have to change your work ethic and professional behavior at the office. Otherwise, you’ll lag in your career and create the wrong perception.

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