If the current economic climate has done one thing this year, it has served as a scapegoat for everyone’s problems. While most of the people who are unemployed, who haven’t gotten a raise or who have gone bankrupt this year have legitimately suffered because of the economy, there are also plenty of people using it as an excuse.
As the new year approaches, employees face performance reviews and talks of prospective raises and promotions. When your boss tells you that it’s just not going to happen this year, you may feel inclined to shrug and tell yourself it’s because of the economy ? but that might not be the case.
Here are 10 reasons you might not receive a promotion any time soon — and they’re not because of the economy.
Reason No. 1: You are unprepared — and clueless
Just because your boss or other decision-makers in the promotion process may know you, it doesn’t mean that you don’t still have to prove yourself to them. Highlight your skills, knowledge and strengths, and show how you can improve the company’s bottom line. Convince them that you have new ideas and that those ideas will help the company achieve and surpass its goals.
Reason No. 2: You’re a slacker
So what if you’re always late to work and you’re the first one to leave? And, like anyone has noticed that you call in sick on Mondays and Fridays. And it’s not your fault you’ve missed a few deadlines or turned down a few projects. You had things to do like (insert most recent excuse here).
Reason No. 3: You don’t go above and beyond
No one can say you’re a slacker. You show up on time, you leave when you’re supposed to and you meet your goals. But that’s the problem — just meeting goals or doing work that is “adequate” or “OK” will probably allow you to keep your job, but it’s not enough to get you promoted. Arrive early, stay late, offer innovative ideas, beat deadlines and do excellent work. If you don’t go the extra mile for your employer, don’t be surprised if your employer doesn’t go the extra mile for you.
Reason No. 4: You haven’t shown leadership
You can’t follow others and do a good job; you need to lead others and be the example. Do what you can to get noticed by the people who have the power to promote you. Take on a project that is outside of your job duties; volunteer to lead committees or organize group outings; or head up your department’s holiday gift-giving program. All of these things will throw your name into the mix of people who always step up and increase your chances of a promotion.
Reason No. 5: You think you’re entitled
Think you’re above making coffee, stapling reports, writing bylines or making presentations? Well, you’re not. Many employees think that doing such tasks is “beneath them” and that if they could start doing more meaningful work, they would care a little more about their jobs. We’ve got news for you: You aren’t going to get that chance if you don’t pay your dues first. Show your employer you’re willing to do whatever is asked of you, and you’ll be much more likely to be given more responsibility.
Reason No. 6: You don’t dress the part
Do you come to work dressed sloppily or inappropriately? Does “casual Friday” mean shorts and flip-flops or jeans and a sweatshirt? If so, it’s no wonder you aren’t being seen as management material. Take a cue from those working in the position that you want to be promoted to and dress similarly. If you look the part, it will be a lot easier for decision-makers to see you in that role.
Reason No. 7: Your boss doesn’t want to lose you
You know you’re great at your job — and so does your boss. If you’re the best associate your boss has ever had, is it any wonder he doesn’t want you to go anywhere? Make sure your boss knows that you want to move up in the company. Offer to help him find an equally great employee so that you both get what you want.
Reason No. 8: You have a bad attitude
No one likes a poor sport — especially in management. If you don’t have a positive attitude at all times, even when times are tough, it will be hard for decision-makers to support you. Also, do you have any enemies at work? Anyone who doesn’t like you can make it more difficult for you to get ahead; especially if those people have the ear of the person who can promote you. Make nice with the right people and your chances of getting that promotion are greatly increased.
Reason No. 9: Your co-workers are superstars
The reality is that some industries are more competitive than others, and a promotion is going to be harder, no matter what. In such a field, you are going to have to do a phenomenal job instead of just a good one. Do more of the things we’ve mentioned, work to separate yourself and show that you’re management material, too.
Reason No. 10: It’s all about you
Your supervisors want to know what you can do for them, not the other way around. So, in a discussion about a promotion, don’t overuse the terms “my career” or continually talk about taking your career to the next level. Instead, talk about how you are committed to doing everything you can to help the company grow and succeed.