Here’s Why Your Colleague Got the Promotion and You Didn’t

You’ve been passed over for a promotion. And maybe not for the first time. It’s baffling. You’re a good worker, you do your job well, exceeding expectations. You feel that you have proven your value to the company. You work well with your colleagues and are generally well liked. Why, you wonder, have you been passed over (again)?

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To get some idea of why you didn’t get the promotion, you have to put yourself in the place of a supervisor and look at the situation from their perspective. Here is a short guide.

  1. They are looking at the future.

While past performance is certainly important, it is not what management gives the most weight to. They are looking to the future, not the past. What they are concerned about is how the person will perform after being promoted, what kind of value they will be able to offer the company in that future role. In fact, performance reviews really don’t matter that much when management makes promotion decisions. Studies have shown they are often ignored.

Managers often tend to rely on their intuition and relationships when deciding on promotions. That is because jobs higher up the ladder generally deal with information, analysis and more complex decision making. There are more intangibles involved. Managers are often wary of putting too much emphasis on performance reviews because they cannot reveal much about these qualities.

So, you cannot simply assume that technical skills are all that is needed. You need to demonstrate soft skills as well. Are you a person who routinely looks for new challenges? Are you a good communicator, someone who can resolve conflict, motivate people and get them to work together? How resilient are you in the face of failure? Do you take responsibility for it and learn from it? Are you looking ahead, planning how you can use your knowledge and skills to take on roles with more responsibility?

All of these things give some indication of your future value to the company.

  1. They don’t know enough about you.

Again, your performance may have been stellar, but HR experts say that only counts for about 10 percent in the decision making process. It is generally assumed that everyone being considered for a promotion is performing well, or they would not have been nominated for the higher level job to begin with.

The other 90 percent is connected to what management knows about you. How much exposure have you had, and what kind of image do they have of you? These are the things that will really make the difference.

So, if you want a promotion, you need to come up with ways to increase your exposure at your company.

  1. They don’t see you looking at the big picture.

You may be focused on your career goals, but you cannot let that overshadow the goals of the company. If you want to get ahead at the company, you need to be looking at the big picture. What does the company want to achieve? You need to help its managers and executives accomplish those goals, to help the company carry out its mission.

People who are promoted into leadership roles are ones who look beyond the duties and responsibilities of their own job. They look at problems that affect the entire company, attempt to find solutions to those problems and then work to put those solutions into practice.

Have you been passed over for a promotion too many times at your current employer and you want to take your considerable skills and knowledge to new heights? You may need to move to a new employer.

Helpmates can help you in your search. Contact the branch nearest you for more information on our direct-hire opportunities.

 

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