Why is it difficult to get a promotion at work?
In the hierarchy of a workplace pyramid, opportunities for promotions are rare. It can be disheartening to get the news that your peers, classmates and colleagues who joined the company together with you have advanced to a higher position. Before you decide to change jobs or have a serious discussion with your boss, try to find out why it is always other people who are being promoted.
1. Differences in skills and capabilities
We need to admit that teammates’ skill levels – be it professional skills or communication and language skills – vary greatly, and if you just stay in your “comfort zone” while others are making remarkable improvements through further studies, earning certifications and taking part in training programmes, it is most likely that you will miss the opportunity of being promoted. In some other cases, your core competencies may be at odd with the promotional evaluation criteria. For example, you may have an impressive business performance, but the manager’s primary concern for promotion is analytic abilities – then it’s time for you to consider whether you need to find job that suits you better.
2. Differences in motivation
You might be passed over for promotion if you don’t have a desire for or show a great interest in getting promoted. Promotion means greater changes and higher responsibilities and can only be pursued by someone who is well-prepared. Everything you do in your daily work will mirror your improvements and how well you prepare yourself for opportunities. One person’s lifestyle can differ significantly from another person’s. Some people give greater priority to seeking a life/work balance and may not care much about climbing the career ladder. Others who were longing for a promotion but have failed, might have the problem of motivating themselves after that. You are unlikely to earn a job promotion if you demand a short commute, want to get a decent salary but don’t have the motivation to work hard.
Keeping a low profile is not always the best strategy
Sometimes, you may not get promoted even though you are capable and are interested in attaining a higher position. That’s the time when you should reflect seriously about your public image, i.e. whether you have kept such a low profile that has prevented you from being promoted to a better position in another team. Because even if your direct supervisor thinks highly of your work and capabilities, and your performance has been recognised by your teammates, it is often the leaders on a higher level who are in charge of job promotion, but who may literally know nothing about you. So being painstaking and hard-working is good but not good enough, and enlarging your social network is extremely important.
I hope you found the insights helpful and please don’t hesitate to contact me if require further advice.