4 Reasons People Get Overlooked for Promotion at Work

If you have ever been passed over for an opportunity at your workplace, you know how painful it can be.

When you work hard, put in your best and the opportunity comes to step up and you get overlooked. Man!

So what do you do to ensure you remain relevant and get what you deserve – promotion, pay raise etc?

First we look at some of the key reasons people don’t get what they deserve at the office. And then show how to tackle those reasons.

1.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.

So to increase your chances of getting promoted or your pay bumped up much faster than before here are some soft skills you should know:

  • Teamwork – 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.
  • Effective Communication – When you hit your targets & deliverables do you communicate that to your superiors? Have you learnt to communicate effectively with both your higher ups, your peers and your juniors at work? Sometime when management wants to promote people to leadership positions in companies their communication skills are part of what is evaluated. This is because in such leadership position it is no longer just about you being able to do your job. It is about being able to carry other people along. This course on Effective Communication at the Workplace will be very helpful.
  • People Relations & Management – This is an especially important skill in Africa. You have to know how to manage and relate with people. More especially people higher up the ladder than you are.
  • Discipline and Time Management – If you have a reputation for being reliable and disciplined you will likely progress faster. Your managers will want someone they can rely on. If you struggle with keeping to time you should make it a point to improve. Take this Time Management course that works like magic.

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.

2. Lack of Presentation Skills

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 skills when you take questions, and maintain a presence in front of key decision makers. That will improve your odds of getting a promotion. Learn Microsoft PowerPoint if you don’t know how to use it.  Also learn how to write professionally
    • Show up at Meetings and Be Heard – 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.

3. You Cannot Negotiate or Convince

There is something I see all the time when it comes to the workplace. A candidate gets an opportunity and then sells themselves short on the salary. Everything about life is negotiation and selling. Learning how to sell yourself and negotiate the best possible terms for yourself and your company is an important life skill.

If you can sell and negotiate well, you will most likely get what you deserve or even more, most of the times.

Recommended Courses: Negotiation – The Art of Getting What You Want

Strategic Sales Foundation

4. 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?

Why should you be promoted or given a pay increase when you have barely improved or invested in developing yourself further?

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. Learn more skills related to your core job description and take any chance to demonstrate your value to the company.

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