3 Mistakes that can see you being passed over for promotion

3 Mistakes That Can See You Being Passed Over For Promotion

Have you been passed over for promotion and you just can’t work out why?

You’re working hard and you’ve got the team working well so why is it that you have been overlooked for roles you know would have been ideal for you?

It’s not because you don’t have the skills or experience. That’s the frustrating thing. You know you are more than capable. Way more capable than your current role might suggest.

So what are you doing wrong? Why are you being overlooked?

This is a question many of the women who come to me are asking.

I regularly receive emails from women like this one from Belinda, an experienced mid career professional.

“I recently was passed over for promotion, so need to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Leadership roles have not come my way, and this needs to change."

3 Mistakes that can see you being passed over for promotion.

1. Putting action before clarity.

Getting the best opportunities coming your way does not start with getting into action. Action is important … but it’s not the starting point. Clarity is.

Putting action before clarity is a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something will stick.   At best you will end up stuck in your current role. At worse you’ll end up in a role you hate and you’ll wonder how you got there.

Getting that ideal next role starts with getting super clear on what you want. Not just what you think you can get… but what you want.

And ladies … you really are capable and worthy of what you want.

So what do you want?

It’s surprising how few women I work with can actually answer this question.

This isn’t about knowing what the title of your next job will be. With the world of work changing ever so rapidly it’s possible that the role that you will move into in 6 months time doesn’t even exist today.

But you must have clarity about where you add the most value, the type of work you want to be involved in and how you would like to spend your time at work.

It’s only once you have clarity that you can position for that type of role, articulate to others about what you want and share your career vision in your CV and LinkedIn profile.


2. Focusing your time and energy on the wrong things.
This one is big. I see amazingly talented women fall into this trap on a weekly basis.

Working hard isn’t enough.

Putting your head down and churning out perfect reports, keeping on top of all the requests than come your way and being the most prepared for every meeting you go to will not get you the recognition you’re looking for.

Purely working hard will not position you for promotion or for your next ideal role.

“The difference between an exceptional career and a good career is where you intentionally invest your time, energy and resources.” ~ Val Wright.

I acknowledge and applaud Belinda for reaching out for some help.

The mistake I see over and over again is professional woman leaving their career up to chance. They wait until an opportunity comes their way.

Ladies this is an active process. We need to be strategic. We need to intentional. And if what we are doing isn’t working … we need to be doing some things differently.

We will not get the roles we want if we keep doing what’s not working.

3. Being a well kept secret.
The best opportunities come to those who get themselves known. It’s that simple. It might not be fair or seem right but it happens.

I know you’re great at what you do… but who else knows?

Thinking that your work should speak for itself is a mistake. Everyone is way too busy getting through their own “to do list” to notice what you’re up to.

So let’s agree that just a little self promotion might be needed.

Let people know what you’re working on and share your wins; in your best authentic way.

Focus on building genuine relationships with people who can support your growth and your ambitions. The quickest way to a promotion is to have advocates speak for you. Make sure they know what you want, the value you can add and the unique skills you can bring to a role.

And ladies… please spend some time updating your LinkedIn profile. Don’t underestimate the power of a well crafted LinkedIn summary that positions not only your skills but also the type of person you are.

So… what’s holding you back from promotion?

Spend some time today reflecting on what it could be that’s getting in your way and make the commitment to do some things differently.

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