There have been opportunities available at work, but you keep getting passed over. You are starting to wonder if there is a reason that you aren’t getting promoted. You fear that you may need to move to another organization in order to progress in your career. Before you take any drastic steps, consider what may be holding you back:
Have you been involved in a lot of conflicts? The higher that you go in the organization, the more disastrous poor interpersonal skills can be. If you have already been involved in several conflicts, your manager may view it as a risky move to promote you. Sure, we are all involved in conflicts now and then, and your position may make conflicts even more likely, but if the common factor in most of the conflicts at your organization is you, then you may need to work on your communication style.
Do you demonstrate commitment? Do you ever work beyond your scheduled shift? Do you take initiative when something needs to be done? When promoting to a higher level of responsibility, managers look at employees who have proven that they are committed to the position and the organization. Be honest with yourself, if you are just doing the bare minimum at work, you will probably not get a promotion.
Are you missing a relevant skill? Are you qualified for the higher level positions at your organization? Do you meet the educational requirements? Do you have the necessary skills? Find out what is required for the positions at the next level, and do what you can to acquire those skills or credentials before a position becomes available.
Do you behave professionally at work? Do you dress professionally? Do you check your personal e-mail and Facebook when you are supposed to be working? Do you take long breaks? Do you gossip? Do you complain a lot? While these little bad habits may not seem like a big deal, they make you look unprofessional, and they are probably limiting your career growth.
Have you shown an interest in moving up in the organization? Don’t assume that your manager knows that you want a promotion. She may believe that you are perfectly happy right where you are. If you would like to move up in the organization, communicate it clearly. It would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity because you didn’t show an interest.
While it is frustrating to feel that your employer does not see your true potential, if you make small adjustments in the way that you work, you may be able to change how you are perceived. When your manager starts to see you as the dedicated professional that you are, there is a good chance that opportunities will start to open up.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)