Are You Ambitious?

Not Getting Promoted At Work?  Here Are Three Reasons Why!

Perhaps you love your job and are very good at it—so good, perhaps, that you wonder why you have stagnated in your current position. “Why haven’t I been promoted?” you think. After all, you have been going above and beyond what has been asked of you since you started the job. Believe it or not, if you self-reflect, you might be unconsciously doing—or rather, not doing in some cases—things that are holding you back from stepping higher professionally. Here, we will look at the top three obstacles to promotion and how you can fix the things that might be holding you back.

1. Consider your average workday. Are you truly doing everything you can to maximize your productivity?

You know you work hard, but, is that enough? Are you working “smart?” And, are you using every hour of your work day doing just that—working hard and proving that you want to accomplish something?  If you’re not an overachiever, e.g., if you’re not working hard enough to show you have something to prove, consider whether making that effort would increase your chances at being considered for a promotion.

For example, in her article “3 Reasons Why You are Not Being Promoted,” published on Aol Jobs, Robin Reshwan outlines the workday of the typical overachiever and why the overachiever is more likely to be considered for promotion in the first instance. First, the overachieving employee is hungry for a promotion and eager to work to her full potential.  Therefore, the overachiever arrives early to work to get everything under way before the day formally begins—typically 1 hour before the rest of the team. Next, she ensures that she is working the full 8 hours if she is full time, meaning that her lunch is not included in the day.  As a result, the overachiever can expect to be at work until as late as 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. (Reshwan). In sum, every minute at work is spent building toward something greater—in this case, a promotion. If you want a promotion, expect to put in not only the effort and quality of work, but also the time.

2. Consider your persona and how you are perceived. Does your wardrobe show that you are a professional seeking a leadership position?

Think about what you have been wearing to work over the past few weeks. In fact, what did you wear yesterday? Did you make an effort to put together a professional-looking and clean outfit? Did you carefully groom yourself to look as polished as possible? Or, did you just wear whatever happened to be clean and hanging up in the closet, your hair falling in messy strands around your face? Even if you work someplace where a formal dress code is not actively enforced, taking care of your appearance can go a long way in showing others that you are serious about your job, that you put effort into yourself and are aware of your surroundings, and that you can stay organized and polished even under pressure. That is not to say that you have to show up in suits every day if it is not required of you (but if it is, do make sure that you abide by your company’s dress code policy!). You do, however, need to be mindful of how you are perceived, how your clothing fits, how neat your wardrobe is, and how well you have put yourself together appearance-wise. Otherwise, you may well continue to be passed over for a promotion.

3. Do you take ownership of your projects and work to bring value quickly and efficiently?

While it is not particularly productive to be stressed out to the point that you can hardly function outside work, you do need to work with some sense of purpose and urgency if you want to be considered for a promotion eventually. Do you always keep busy at work? Do you work efficiently and effectively and work actively to find solutions to problems? Think hard about these qualities and self-reflect honestly. And then remember: if you want to get that sought-after promotion, you will compete against not just your coworkers. Above anyone else, you will be competing against yourself to work more efficiently and more skillfully each day. If you need clarification on any project so that you better understand what you must do to deliver a quality project, do not be prideful and be sure to ask your supervisor for it. It is better to be completely sure about yourself than to stumble through a project and produce a mediocre final product. Mediocre results do not get promotions; meaningful efforts do. Furthermore, never be afraid of getting constructive feedback from others—be that your supervisor or fellow coworkers. If you want a promotion that will most likely result in more demanding work, you need to be ready to take feedback for what you do now without getting defensive.

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Does your in-office persona need some work?  Do you need some assistance in improving your in-office image to improve your chances at promotion?  If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services.  If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group.  Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.


By Lexacount Search

This post was written by .

Lexacount Search is a boutique recruiting and staffing company, focusing on permanent placement for legal and accounting professionals. We place attorneys, paralegals, accountants, and contract specialists with law firms and corporations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and nationwide. Equidistant from New York and Washington, D.C., our offices are located in suburban Philadelphia. Our search consultants have a range of experiences as lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, accountants and accounting clerks. These backgrounds make our consultants uniquely qualified to match your skills and career goals with permanent positions with our clients. Whether you are a lawyer, paralegal, law clerk, accountant, accounting clerk or other skilled professional, Lexacount will provide you with a variety of available career opportunities.

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