Passed over for promotion? A situation many find themselves in

Being passed over for a promotion is a situation that many find themselves in.

After receiving what seems like promises to be the next member of the leadership team, the reason you were passed over for a promotion might be because you were not ready, or it could be that you need more development. But if you find yourself in this situation, more than once, being passed over for a promotion could have more to do with what you’re doing and not your performance.

If you want to know more about behaviors that can tarnish your brand and get in the way of your promotion options, keep reading.

If you’ve ever been passed over for promotion, I’m sure you will agree it is one of the most frustrating experiences in your career. You were the most tenured employee, or you’ve been working your butt off to show your leadership team that you are worthy of a promotion. You know why? Often the reasons are very simple. I’m going to share with you several reasons today that could derail your opportunity for promotion. And let’s hope you’re not doing these things.

1: Getting caught up in office drama

I know we spend about a third of our day in the office so we develop relationships, it’s going to happen. If you become part of a group that makes other people feel uncomfortable, you’re part of the gossip chain, as leaders, we have to think about that.

We don’t want people like that on the leadership team because they create problems for us. And it also is a sign of immaturity and an inability to focus on the right activities.

How to avoid office drama

Focus on the right activities. Yes, you can develop close relationships. But stay away from anything that could come back to haunt you, or make it difficult for you to transition from your current role into a leadership role. Trust me; you’re going to love me for that advice.

2: Lacking initiative, drive or motivation

If you were someone who has to be asked to do things, you don’t volunteer to do things, or you have to be pushed to do something. You’re a chore to manage.

We as leaders don’t want people like that on our leadership team. We want people who are hungry, ambitious, who are dynamic, who are go-getters.

You know why? Because they help to move the business forward.

What to do if you lack initiative, drive or motivation

Re-evaluate whether leadership is what you want to do. Or even the position that you’re in. Is it what’s motivating you? Because if it’s not, maybe you should think of doing something else. That way, who you are, your abilities, skills, drive, and motivation shines through.

If you are driven and motivated, I encourage you to step up to the plate, volunteer even when you’re uncomfortable. When you volunteer, leaders look at that as a sign of somebody who wants to step up to the plate. Wants to help move the business forward. Ask your leader what you can do for him or her. Even if they’re not asking you, ask them.

Finally, find out what’s keeping your manager or your leader up at night. Whatever it is, if there’s anything you can do to help manage that, then do it. Take the initiative, move things forward. Don’t wait to be asked.

3: Not following policy or procedures

So, not following the business conduct policy, not following the dress code policy and not following the attendance policy. This is such an easy one to avoid.

But so many people get tripped up in this area because they do not take the opportunity to read the company’s employee handbook.

What to do?

When you join a company, my recommendation is to make sure you take the time to read the company handbook. That way, you know exactly what policies and procedures you need to adhere to. If you don’t understand, talk to your manager, get clarification. The least that you can do before you become a leader is to be a leader yourself. Lead by example, follow policy and the procedures and make sure you stay above board. Then you won’t have any issues to deal with when the time comes for that promotion.

4: Having a poor attitude

That means coming to work and being negative, cynical, complaining, never being positive, not liking anything. You’re not leading by example. We are not going to promote people who behave this way.

So here’s a question I have for you. If you’ve ever been passed over for a promotion, ask yourself if that’s the reason, if that was the reason, ask yourself, why, why were you unhappy? Why are you so cynical? We don’t need to be in an environment where we’re unhappy.

My advice

Either change your attitude or change your role or change your company. Whatever it is, you need to do to get into that happy space. We don’t like promoting unhappy people into a management or leadership position.

5: Expecting a promotion

Some top-performing employees think that they’re going to get the next promotion because they’re doing very well performance-wise. That’s not always the case because we don’t always promote the top performers. In the field that I’m in, the top performers aren’t going to be the best leaders. Because they haven’t engaged in the developmental activities needed to develop their all-around skill, so make sure that you’re not walking around thinking that you’re next up.

Work on your skills and abilities

Make sure that you’ve had that conversation with your manager. Know where you stand, and work on the skills and abilities you need to develop in preparation for that promotion to management. The last thing we want is someone who’s a high performer to get knocked down off that pedestal only not to get back up. It’s something you can avoid. Ensure you’re working on a development plan that is taking you from being a top performer to being a high potential employee.

Being passed over for a promotion is an opportunity

I’ve shared with you several problems that have prevented some people from being promoted and what you can do to avoid the same mistakes. Keep in mind, being passed over for a promotion is not the end of the world. If anything, it’s an opportunity for you to hit the reset button, ask for feedback about what you can do to enhance your skills, and prepare for that next opportunity.

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