Why You Didn’t Get Promoted

Let’s assume you like your job, and you’re pretty good at it.

You come in a little early, maybe stay a little late sometimes. You’re not working 80 hours a week, but you do put your full energies into your projects and tasks. In fact you may work smarter and harder than many of your colleagues. You don’t have a chip on your shoulder because of this fact – you feel good and you have pride in your accomplishments.

So why are others getting promoted ahead of you?

A friend at work told be her father is a brilliant man who has done some incredible things at his company. He completes projects on time. Managers and colleagues praise his work. He’s taking care of business. But he’s not being offered opportunities for advancement, and it’s starting to bug him.

There are any number of reasons why your boss is not seeing your career track through the same lens as you, and finding out the real reason could be difficult. There are personalities involved. Maybe the boss doesn’t know what your expectations are.

This post breaks it down pretty well.

We have to do work in parallel most of the time to get promoted:

  • the work we are directly responsible for
  • demonstrating you have a vision of what’s over the horizon

People I have interviewed who have made an upward transition successfully tell me it’s not just about doing our specific job well, but demonstrating that we have a vision for bigger things. Pay attention to what’s happening in your office. One need not step on someone else to elevate – it’s about anticipating where the company is heading.

One other thing to consider – are you sure you want it? It can’t be just about the money. It’s about what your strengths are, and what you love doing.

John Scott is a media instructor, online education coordinator and the career services manager at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University, San Francisco. John’s debut book ”Destination: Reinvention” drops on Groundhog Day. Follow John on Twitter @johnscottsf.


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