You see, you work hard day in, day out with the mentality that all your efforts will pay off with additional responsibilities and of course, more money and then sadly, someone else; a less qualified person gets the much coveted promotion.
You begin to wonder if there’s anything that can be done; is better to leave the organization for a place where you might be better valued and appreciated?
Don’t be in a hurry to jump ship. There’s a slim possibility that you missed something. Here are four reasons why you might have been over looked for a promotion.
Lack of soft skills
Every job requires more than just the technical-know-how of your job description. You need more than what you learned at school during your university days. You need soft skills. Soft skills is a term often associated with a person’s Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) the cluster of emotional traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habit, interpersonal skills, managing people, leadership etc that characterize relationship with other people.
Here are some soft skills you should know:
Are you a team player or a solo actor? The ability to work with diverse people in mutual understanding is a skill that many employees have failed to master. Working well with people shows your manager that you’re capable and ready to handle the types of responsibilities that come with dealing with people. This will let your superiors know you are ready for that promotion.
This is also called ‘collaborative problem solving or collaboration’. It is essentially mediation of a conflict which involves many parties. Usually, the conflict also involves multiple, complex issues. Do you have a natural ability to influence others to make compromises and reach an agreement? If not, don’t sweat it because this skill can be learned. But like any other skill, you need constant practice to be good at it.
While this particular skill might come naturally to some people however, it is a soft skill, so it a skill that you can learn. Once you become more likeable, you’ll find that you’re more likely to receive that promotion.
If you are observant, you might have noticed that, on more than one occasion, someone who isn’t nearly as good as you are at the job gets the promotion ahead of you. Why is that? The odds are fairly good that it’s because that employee has superior soft skills or superior connection-I digress, sorry dears, that’s gist for another day.
Out of sight, out of mind
Does your manager know who you are? I mean really know who you are, not knowing that there’s ‘a tall dark guy with a beard’ that works in his unit. How often have you had an actual conversation with a high-level manager? How often have you presented something other than coffee in a meeting that included upper management?
The truth is that if you’re not visible, you will not be preferred when your superiors have to decide who to promote because they can’t even put a face behind the name. That’s because if they don’t know who you are, you certainly aren’t going to be high up on their list.
Here are some ways you can become more visible at your company:
Make presentations whenever possible
Maximize any opportunity you can possibly get to present something, especially in front of top management. But please try not to make a fool out of yourself; be prepared, do your homework well. Use the opportunity to show off your latest work, demonstrate your soft skills when you take questions, and maintain a presence in front of key decision makers. That will improve your odds of getting a promotion.
Always be there
According to Woody Allen, 80% of success is just about being there. If there’s a meeting that’s not exactly mandatory, be there anyway. Maintaining a presence in front of decision makers will put you on the fast track to a promotion.
You love to argue
If you are like me or rather the old me, it’s most likely that you would find no love from your boss or superiors when it’s time for a promotion. A chronic arguer has a way of stepping on toes without knowing. In fact, if I am not mistaken, your boss probably views you as an annoying pest and thinks you should be let go or at most, be kept in the same position till you get frustrated.
Please note that while there’s nothing wrong with having disagreements, (some managers will consider outspoken and argumentative mannerism a prerequisite for promotion) however, if you’re viewed as an antagonist, you’re only hurting yourself.
So pick your battles carefully. You don’t need to voice every disagreement, sometimes silence is golden, no scratch that, most times silence is golden. And when you decide to speak, don’t always emit negative vibes. Start every argument with a healthy dose of positivity.
You’re not going the extra mile
Always put it at the back of your mind that a promotion means more responsibility. So tell me why you should be promoted when you are sticking to the same job description given to you when you joined the organization years ago? Why should your manager promote you if you don’t show any desire to accept additional responsibility right now?
How do you show your manager or boss that you are ready to take on more responsibility?
Volunteer – Whenever there’s a need for a volunteer, be the first to raise your hand. This shows management that you’re someone who’s dedicated to the business.
Be versatile – usually, job descriptions are very specific. However, if you want to be on the track for promotion, you’ll have to show that you are willing to work outside of your comfort zone.
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