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7 dumb mistakes that will kill your chance of promotion stone dead

Want to get promoted but feel like you’re being overlooked?

Not sure what else you can do to be a shoe-in next time round?

Need a kick up the proverbial to refocus and start gunning for it again?

Here it comes. And it could be as simple as stopping these 7 dumb mistakes…

  1. Not getting on with your boss – This is numero uno. If you and your boss are at each other’s throats like cat and dog, can’t stand being in the same room and disagree about, well, pretty much everything, you are on to a loser. In fact if there’s no common ground and little respect on either side then you should probably look for a different opportunity. Life’s too short for all that negativity. However if there’s hope then make sure you try these 8 tiny things that can make a massive impression on your boss. There’s a bunch more reasons why this is important and how to achieve this on the Mindtools site.

  2. Not asking for it – Not in a desperate, down on your knees, please, please, PLEASE… kind of way. More in an assertive ‘I’m letting you know that I am working towards achieving X, and your support or guidance would be welcome‘ kind of way. State your intention. Be clear.

  3. Focussing on the wrong tasks – Are you stuck in a routine of coming in to work, getting your baseline job done, then going home? Firstly – there’s nothing wrong with that. Secondly – if you want to stand out as promotion material you have to go further. You have to go beyond what’s expected of the current role. You need to start performing at the next level before you get there. You need to prove you can live up to the promotion before you’ll be considered. Check what would be expected of you if you were promoted, and start focussing on those things now. Today. Make the decision so easy for others to make that you can’t be ignored.

  4. Being an asshole – You need colleagues and stakeholders on your side. People who would fight your corner and back up your application. Even if you’re good at your job, if you’re also good at pissing people off and rubbing them up the wrong way, then no-one will be sorry if you miss out. In fact you might even lose out solely for this reason.

  5. Working harder (not smarter) – Putting in an extra hour at the office each day is not the answer, nor is checking emails in bed last thing at night / first thing in the morning. Demonstrating that you can get your work done, but also that you can say no to some things, and that you are clear on what you prioritise shows confidence and focus.

  6. Living in a cave – Are you up to date with market trends? Do you understand the current commercial position in your team / department? Do you listen to the sentiment of your colleagues and pay attention to the relationship systems of the team, or do you just bury yourself in your work and forget to put your head up once in a while and gauge the status quo? Which one smells of promotion to you?

  7. Giving up the fight – You get what you work for, not what you wish for. You need to make a commitment and go for it, and to see it through. There’s no point doing this for 6 months and then dropping off. It’s a mental challenge as much as anything else, and a marathon not a sprint, so you have to focus on the prize and remove all doubts and start plugging away. If you do this with an attitude of ‘it probably won’t happen anyway’ then you’ve already lost out.

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Avoiding these dumb mistakes is a great place to start.

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