5 things you do at work that cost you that promotion


Something is keeping you from that next big step in your career. You feel like you’re putting in the work and hours, but yet, that elusive promotion just isn’t happening.

We take a look at 5 things you do at work that cost you a promotion.

1. Overworking

According to Slade Sundar, COO of Forte Interactive, Inc, working 60 – 80 hour work weeks actually devalues the work of employees, because the measurement is shifted to time and quantity instead of results and quality. These people are literally willing to do twice the work for half the pay. Promoting them would therefore oppose the interests of the company.

You could be doing yourself more harm than good by focusing simply on working harder and not more strategically. “[Millennials] will often attempt to get a promotion by doing ten times more work and will get frustrated when they aren’t promoted into a more strategic or managerial role,” Sundar wrote on LinkedIn. Slander believes high-performers are strategists, whereas over-achievers are brute force.

2. You aren’t stepping up

On the other hand, a CareerBuilder survey showed that a whopping 71% of managers won’t promote someone who is unwilling to take on extra work. In other words – if you’re saying “that’s not my job”, you might be missing out on a promotion. Other similar reasons why bosses won’t promote someone, include someone who is often late (69% of surveyed managers), someone who has lied at work (68%) and someone who takes credit for other people’s work (64%).

3. You think you know everything and can’t adapt

You know those people who think they know everything? They might not be being promoted as much as you think.
Being curious about a topic and learning new skills is a sure-fire way of getting ahead, Forbes’ website says.

According to the people at Cheatsheet, being adaptable is one of the most important factors for success at work. If you can’t adapt to small changes, why would you be able to adapt to a job with more responsibility (and possibly even more change?)

4. Relationships with your boss and coworkers

It could be that you’re not the boss’s favourite. Or nobody’s favourite. Heck. Nobody is saying be the most popular kid in the class, but keep a tab on your attitude and relationship with others. According to Fortune magazine those who are able to form friendships with co-workers are way more likely to be promoted.

Other possible relationship pitfalls include office gossip and disagreeing with your boss in public. Step away.

5. Getting defensive or playing the victim

This one can be hard. Try to separate your work from your personal feelings. Listen to feedback, try to incorporate it and don’t be too sensitive.

On that note – playing the victim is just not on.

“It’s a big turnoff for management to hear ungrateful employees, and it does nothing to get you what you want. It only hurts your career. Instead, be positive, be professional and bite your tongue every time you feel tempted to fuss about something,” the people at Careerattraction advise.

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