Do you know why you’re being overlooked for the promotion you’ve been dreaming about and working towards? Have you taken the time to understand how the promotion system at your company works? You’ve put in the time and work but you get passed over each time.  So what mistakes are you making when trying to get a promotion?

The answer may surprise you.

It’s not because you’re not working hard enough. In fact, that’s not the most important factor in promotions. You need to work hard, yes, but you also need a strategy. Your managers and team leaders are looking for smart hard-working leaders but you need to avoid certain mistakes to get that promotion.

Take a look at these ten mistakes that make managers reconsider offering a promotion to an employee.

  1. Gossiping and feeding into office politics have no place inside or outside your company walls. Even if you trust your colleagues never, ever gossip. Your bosses are watching you all the time and gossip has a way of getting around.
  2. Don’t disagree with your boss in public. Share your concerns in private only. In public always support your boss, show your respect and don’t embarrass him or her.
  3. Don’t play the part of a victim or complain. Of course, it’s difficult to be happy all the time, especially when things are stressful. Just don’t constantly nag and complain. Ungrateful employees turn off bosses and many times other employees. Make it a point to be positive and professional when things are bothering you.
  4. Getting defensive. Take constructive feedback for what it is; a way to help you grow professionally. Work and personal feelings should be kept separate.
  5. Not following through. When you commit to doing something, make sure you can deliver on your promise to follow through.
  6. Asking for a promotion, raise and more benefits or privileges all at the same time. Keep your priorities in mind and work on getting them regularly.
  7. Thinking promotions are based on merit alone. Other factors, including politics comes into play. Analyze your corporate principles to find out where your need to focus besides hard work.
  8. Don’t neglect your long-term goals. Is this promotion in line with your overall long-term goal?
  9. Brown nosing or trying too hard to impress the boss. Don’t suck up to the boss. Managers don’t like it and it has a negative effect on your career advancement. Focus on doing a good job, and being aligned with your company’s values. It will get you further.
  10. Not matching your credentials to the facts of the responsibilities for the promotion. You need to know and be able to show how your skills and reasons for seeking the promotion fit together. Your experience level; why you’re ready for more responsibility, your achievements and skills all must fit in with why promoting you is right for the company.

Getting that promotion you covet will take more than hard work. Employees looking to move up within their company need to avoid these ten mistakes whenever possible.

Mistakes People Make When Trying to Get a Promotion
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