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4 Bad Habits That Are Keeping You From Getting Promoted

It’s that time of year again, and another performance review has come and gone without that promotion.

You’ve worked hard, you’ve sacrificed, and dammit, you deserve it.

So why can’t your boss (or your boss’ boss) see that you are manager material?

Check to be sure one of these habits isn’t getting between you and the next rung on the ladder.

1. You don’t ask for what you need.

Let’s assume that your manager is interested in helping you advance in your career. They want to help you reach your goals. In order to do that, they needs to know what those goals are.

Share your career goals with your manager and elicit their input on how you’re progressing toward that end. While in a perfect world, all hard work would be recognized automatically, in the real world it is far better to voice your aspirations. After all, your boss is only human. Help them out!

2. You lack measurable outcomes.

Do you know what it takes to get promoted? Instead of asking your manager to come up with career progression guidelines, share your ideas with them to get buy in and feedback. You can check in on your progress toward theses goals and revisit them quarterly to ensure you’re on track for a promotion, or course correct where necessary.

Be sure that you truly understand what your manager means when they say things like you should ‘be more available.’ Don’t guess, share what you think they mean in a measurable way and confirm their agreement.

Ideally, you outline the outcomes you need to get a promotion then in the coming months you’ve reached those goals and get the promotion. The magic will happen, however, in the conversations and check-ins you’re having along the way, the also ensure that there are no surprises at review time.

3. You aren’t self aware.

You might think you’re a shoo-in for that promotion because you’re blowing your goals out of the water, you never take a lunch break and you work harder than everyone on the team. All of that hard work, however, might mean that you don't have time to see how your actions are impacting those around you.

Take stock of how you’re feeling and the reactions of others regularly.

Are people getting a glazed look in their eyes when you’re presenting? Do you ask questions and then interrupt 3 words into the answer? Do you even ask questions? Oftentimes promotions will not come without support from those around you at all levels, not just your manager. Slow down and notice, or ask about, how your co-workers view your efforts and achievements. How can you gain their support?

4. You’re judged by those around you

Another perception issue arises here. No matter how well you’re doing in your job, it might be hard for others to notice if your work besties are constantly complaining, gossiping or garnering attention for the wrong reasons. Look at those who are getting the promotion you want or the attention you crave and see what types of behaviours they exhibit and the people with whom they surround themselves.

Don’t let others’ unpromotable behaviour reflect poorly on you.

All of these habits can be easy to identify and break, so the promotion is probably closer than you think.

You may have to slow down and reflect to find these bad habits, though. As you position yourself for a promotion at your next review, take time out each month to reflect on what you think has gone well, what could be better and any feedback you’ve received.

This will help you identify bad habits or communication breakdowns early and and course correct where you need to, ensuring that when you get that next promotion it’s clear to everyone that it’s well deserved.


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