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.

LET'S CONNECT

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Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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Being overlooked? Here’s why

Being overlooked? Here’s why

Ever wonder to yourself “why am I being overlooked?” You are working hard. No… you are working really hard. You know you are good at want you do and you are getting great results. Your team members are engaged, love you and you know you are doing a great job building talent.

But yet…

You don’t feel valued.  You are not getting promoted.  And you suspect you are being paid less than your peers.

But why?

I blame The Good Girl Syndrome. It’s not the entire answer but it definitely plays a part for many women.

From an early age we learnt that being “good” got us recognition, praise and attention. I know this is my story.

As a little girl I was praised for being “good” when visiting friends. As I got older I spent hours perfecting my assignments and studying for long hours to get recognition for good grades. Then as I entered the workforce, working hard brought me promotions and opportunities without even looking for them.

So sticking to the model of working hard and following the system, structure and rules worked for a time… but then the interesting opportunities ran dry.

There is no doubt that working hard is a great strategy in our early career but it’s not enough as we step into the more senior leadership roles.

Relying on hard work alone, will only lead to resentment, frustration and ultimately burnout.

You are way too smart and have way too much to offer to remain overlooked and under appreciated. And, right now more than ever, organisations NEED what you have to offer.

It’s time to focus on what will get you a valued position at the leadership table.

If you are being overlooked… here’s what to do

1. Stop The Busy Bee Work.

For many women, it’s as simple as… they are working on the wrong things.

They are focused on the details rather than the big picture. They get trapped in the day to day implementation rather than being seen to be strategic thinkers who can move the business forward.

Don’t get me wrong. These tasks are important. But the question must be; are you the best person to be doing them or could you support one of your team members to take on this responsibility?

And when you focus on these tasks, what aren’t you getting around to doing? What big ticket projects or strategic pieces of work are you failing to complete in timely fashion?

Put it another way – you are a Busy Worker Bee when, to be truly seen, heard and valued, you need to be operating more like the Queen Bee.

Worker Bee work does not get you the recognition or access to the best roles or a seat at the leadership table. Queen Bee work does.

2. Get Visible.

Putting your head down and working hard usually means that you are too busy to be building strategic relationships and networking. If you want to stop being overlooked… you need to get visible.

You need to get known.  And you need to build relationships with the key decision makers in your business and in your industry. And like any relationships, business relationships take time and energy.

It’s time to get out from behind your desk and connect in person. Make time for coffee.  The people I have the best business relationships with are with those people who I’ve made time to meet in person in a more relaxed social setting.

And make sure that those that matter know what you do, what your career aspirations are and what value you add.

Career aspirations will never be realised if you keep them a secret!

3. Discover what part you play.

It’s now time for some soul searching. If you are being overlooked… there is usually a reason. We are usually doing something to contribute to the situations we find ourselves in.

I know. This is pretty hard to face up to at times. It would be so much easier if we could blame the boys club or the funding cuts or the leader who is blind to the talent they have right in front of them.

But the honest truth… there is always something we are doing that results in us being overlooked.

What is it for you? Let’s be honest.

Progress and change all starts with self awareness.

Is it that you’re focused on the Busy Worker Bee work? Is it that you are not blowing your own trumpet and letting people know about the results you and your team are getting? Is it that you are seen as difficult or unapproachable?

Is it that you are focused on driving the results at the expense of the team or is it that you are focusing on developing the team at the expense of delivering on the big picture business strategy?

Whatever it is… it’s very likely that it’s within your control to change.

Being overlooked is frustrating and can impact your confidence. But let’s see it as a sign that something needs to change.

The good news is… big change is usually not required. Tiny tweaks is all it takes.

Don’t stay stuck where you are…. being overlooked for the best roles.

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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Career success. How do you define it?

Career success. How do you define it?

How do women define success?  What does career success mean to you?  It of course means something a little different to all of us depending on our values, experiences and stage of life. But are you clear on what it means to you right now?

Given you dedicate so much of your time and energy building your career, it would make sense to get clear and determine your own personal success benchmarks.

Historically and stereotypically, career success has been measured along the lines of money, power and position. But, as our lives and the workforce demographics are changing, this masculine paradigm definition is also shifting.

Many women I speak to reach a point in their career where they recognise a miss match between what they thought they wanted and what they are now working towards. Where once they were driven to climb the corporate ladder and work long hours in the pursuit of “success,” that version of success now feels hollow.

Even when they achieve what has traditionally been heralded as success with a position that comes with a large pay check, an impressive title and power to influence outcomes, they are left searching for more. For many women, power and money alone is not the answer.

But that is not to say that money is not important to women. Being paid what they’re worth is less to do with power and status and more to do with financial security, lifestyle and choice.

A Citi and LinkedIn study released in 2012 suggested professional women were most likely to measure career success based on financial security and strong relationships.

Over the last couple of years, I have raised the discussion around the meaning of career success many times with groups of high achieving professional women.

What I have found is that women assess their career success on a mixture of traditional measure such as money, results and achievements as well as more subjective measures including;

  • Feeling fulfilled
  • Doing work that’s meaningful
  • Being valued and recognised for their contribution
  • Having the opportunity for growth and to have an impact
  • Maintaining good health
  • Achieving financial stability allowing lifestyle and choice
  • Developing strong personal and professional relationships
  • Having flexibility to successfully integrate work and life
  • Working in an environment that allows them to maintain authenticity and integrity

Defining what career success means to you takes some soul searching.

It’s deeply personal and will most definitely change over time.

In my early career, success was about promotion, recognition and results. And there is no doubt I enjoyed those small success milestones like getting my first business card, taking my first interstate business trip on the company credit card and being recognised for standout performance on a particular project.

Career success for me now is more about the quality of my life and having lifestyle choice. I assess the success of my career based on financial stability, good health, quality relationships and my ability to maintain my crazy lifestyle of living between Melbourne and Sydney.

What I have learnt from working with hundreds of professional women is that success is about setting career goals that feel true to who we are, not what we have been conditioned to think success is or what others expect of us.

Let's clarify what career success means to you.

  • Is what was important to you in your early career still important to you now? Has it changed over time?
  • What do you see as your personal success criteria?
  • Does your current role meet your career success criteria?
  • Does your current career path feel true to who you are and what’s most important to you?

How women define career success is, generally speaking, different to the historical definition of success. Make sure you are setting your benchmarks on what’s most important to you… not some socially conditioned image of success.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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And with restrictions finally lifted – it’s time to get out and about and connect… in person.

Jane Benston

Beautiful smiling business woman in suit and glasses sitting at the desk, working at contemporary computer with documents in light office, talking on mobile phone, conducting pleasant conversation.

Your energy is contagious and your…

How you show up at work matters. The type of energy you bring to your work impacts your effectiveness while also shaping your professional reputation. It’s not something many of us give much consideration to, but it can absolutely influence our outcomes and whether or not new and exciting opportunities come our way.

Jane Benston

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How to make a miserable job bearable

How to make a miserable job bearable

Unfortunately, most of us have found ourselves in a job at some point that is unfulfilling and leaves us feeling miserable. At it’s worst, people will say that they flat out hate their job. Some say that they are bored, or have stopped being challenged. Some are frustrated or disillusioned by the direction of the business or by the leadership.

Whatever the reason, the outcome is never good, particularly given that we devote so much of our time and energy to our work.

It’s hard to stay motivated to do our best work when we are miserable. We are more likely to slack off and be less productive, less innovative and less likely to go the extra mile to get the job done to high standard.

And then there is the toll on our emotional and physical wellbeing.   When we are happy and engaged in our work we are less likely to get sick and are more immune to burnout.

If this is resonating with you… you’re not alone.

The most recent Gallup Poll survey suggests that about two-thirds of the Australian workforce are either disengaged or actively disengaged from their work. That’s a lot of miserable people not working to their fullest potential!

I understand this predicament well.

Some years ago I found myself in a role that no longer suited me. I was not working to my strengths and I felt undervalued and under utilise. My work performance slipped and I was bored, angry and miserable.

And like many who get stuck in a role they don’t enjoy, worse was to come when I got sick, with no real explanation to what was causing my symptoms.

When we reach this point it’s usually an indication that it’s time to start looking for a new role or the next challenge.

However it’s not always that simple.

There are many reasons why moving jobs may not be the best option right now such as; other personal priorities, an industry slow down, the time of the year or commitments to a particular project.

But one thing I will say is… just be sure that you aren’t settling for the status quo out of fear of change.

So if staying put is your best options right now, let’s make the most of it.

Here are 7 suggestions to make your miserable job bearable.

1. Take Responsibility. Recognise that your happiness is your responsibility. If you make the decision that you will be staying, also make the decision to make the best of it.

Focus on the positives and take time to do things that increase the feel good factor. This might mean making time to reconnect with your network for lunch, seek out a high potential new graduate to mentor or working from a café on occasion.

2. Let go. Make the commitment to focus on those things within your control and let go of the rest. Worrying about decisions and issues outside of your control will only lead to frustration. Tune your attention and energy to areas you have control over and that give you a sense of satisfaction.

3. Avoid negativity. Have you ever noticed yourself getting dragged into the negativity or drama within the office? It might feel good in the moment but it’s long term effects are never positive.

Whether it’s whining about your workload or grumbling about your boss, negativity drags everyone down. It impacts your mindset, creates a disruptive energy, and is more contagious than the common cold. Stop it!

4. Challenge yourself. One of the most effective ways to get out your funk is to challenge yourself. Get involved in tasks and projects that stretch you either personally or professionally.

Get out of your rut and step outside your comfort zone. Learn something new. Do something for the first time.   It may at first feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar but the sense of pride and fulfilment will make it worthwhile.

5. Build positive relationships. Positive relationships make every situation better. Seek out new connections and build on existing relationships. Be generous in your support of others and graciously accept the support in return.

This might also be the perfect time to expand your networking efforts so that when the time comes for you to move onto the next role you will be perfectly positioned to tap into the hidden job market.

6. Up your energy. It’s time to get off your butt and get moving. Take a walk outside in the fresh air to get your body moving, blood pumping and lift your mood. This is not the time to be sitting at your desk for long hours, skipping your lunch break and neglecting your health and fitness.

7. Set a date. Draw a line in the sand and make a commitment to yourself. Set a date and make a plan to move on from your current role if nothing improves.

This will help you to see beyond the day to day irritants and problems of your situation.

Knowing your current role is only temporary can be incredibly freeing and allows you to begin positioning yourself for the next role or the next phase of your career.

Your happiness and your career choices are your responsibility.

 If you’re miserable in your job, decide today whether you’re staying and leaving. And then commit to doing what’s in your control to be making the best of your situation as it is today.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Happy business woman using digital tablet in modern office with christmas tree in background. Young middle eastern woman smiling and looking at camera during xmas. Portrait of cheerful young businesswoman working during christmas time with copy space.

Your ultimate guide to making the…

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer which means we are on the downhill stretch to Christmas, the silly season and the end of the year.
And with restrictions finally lifted – it’s time to get out and about and connect… in person.

Jane Benston

Beautiful smiling business woman in suit and glasses sitting at the desk, working at contemporary computer with documents in light office, talking on mobile phone, conducting pleasant conversation.

Your energy is contagious and your…

How you show up at work matters. The type of energy you bring to your work impacts your effectiveness while also shaping your professional reputation. It’s not something many of us give much consideration to, but it can absolutely influence our outcomes and whether or not new and exciting opportunities come our way.

Jane Benston

Hit a mid-career plateau? 5 assumptions…

Is it possible that you are your worst enemy when it comes to progressing your career? Are you playing small, ruling yourself out or holding back from stepping up to the next level of leadership?

Jane Benston