These 5 Habits Could Stop You Getting Promoted: Career Experts

  • Getting promoted is no easy feat and is never guaranteed. 
  • Sometimes, however, you may be ruining your own chances of climbing the career ladder. 
  • Insider asked three career coaches about the most common mistakes people make.

Gaining a promotion is no easy feat.  It takes planning, hard work, and no shortage of luck. Even then, it’s not guaranteed. 

However, it’s possible in your attempts to climb the ladder you inadvertently sabotage your own progression. 

Insider spoke to three experts for their advice on how to improve your chance of climbing the career ladder. They broke down some key habits to avoid that could scupper your chances.

Staying silent 

Waiting for your boss to recognize your hard work and being silent about your ambitions may not get you very far, according to Octavia Goredema, career coach and author of “Prep, Push, Pivot.” Don’t wait for them to notice. 

Goredema told Insider: “If you’re targeting a promotion, start having early conversations with your manager about how promotions are determined, who the decision-makers are, the timing for promotion considerations, and what the requirements are for the role you are targeting.” 

Share your wins regularly and make sure your accomplishments are visible to your manager, she added.  

Acting like a know-it-all

However, while you should be open about why you feel you deserve a promotion, you should not be arrogant. 

Having an “I know it all” attitude is unlikely to put you in good stead for a promotion, Ralf Specht, author of “Building Corporate Soul” and an expert in corporate culture, told Insider. 

“Your boss will not recommend you to a promotion if you have built a reputation of ‘what do they know, I fully understand the whole business,'” he said. Your leaders will know if you don’t, he added.

Making assumptions

It’s also important to avoid making assumptions about your professional growth, Goredema said.

Sometimes, you might think you deserve a promotion but your manager in fact thinks otherwise. “If your manager’s opinion is not aligned with your promotion goals, you need to understand why. Then, you need to determine if this is something you can fix,” she said. 

We usually know when we want a promotion but knowing if we are ready is an entirely different question, she added. 

How can you tell whether you might be ready for a promotion? It’s usually a good sign if your manager proactively talks to you about growth opportunities and your advancement, Goredema said. 

Being defensive

Pretending you’re the victim or being defensive is unlikely to do you any favors, Specht said.

Promotions come with responsibility and no one is promoting anyone who denies their responsibility consistently, he said.

“That does not mean that you have to say ‘yes’ all the time – quite the opposite: if you have a solid view of a situation that contrasts to the current opinion in the office, make sure your voice gets heard,” Specht added. 

Avoiding discomfort

It’s easy to stay doing what you’re good at and what you know but there’s no guarantee that simply doing your job well will lead you up the ladder.

Look for areas and opportunities in companies that are rapidly moving, because your career will be carried along with them. This is the advice of James Reed, the chairman of The Reed Group, which owns one of the UK’s biggest recruitment websites, 

It’s better to be a mediocre manager in a fast-moving industry than a great one in a declining sector, Reed said.

“You don’t have to be the best manager. But if you’re dropped in the fast-flowing current, you’ll progress further than you would if you were dropped in a sort of eddy or a stagnant pool,” Reed added.







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