Have you been busting your butt doing good work, but still don't understand why you're getting passed over for promotions you're clearly qualified for?
Well, here are four reasons you might be getting overlooked and what you can begin doing immediately to get noticed.
1. You're not really clear about your true value.
This is not about what you "feel" like you contribute to the team. You need to identify your contributions and be able to quantify them at a moment's notice. Know current statistics on your work. Measure your successes by cost savings, increased productivity and overall contribution to the company. Did you save your department $34,000 this quarter? Are you already at 96 percent of your annual goal? No team wants to lose their most valuable player, and similarly no company wants to lose their most talented employee. Be crystal clear about what qualities you bring to the table first with yourself and then with the powers that be.
2. You haven't told anyone you're interested in a promotion.
You have to actually share your desire to move up with your boss. Learn how to articulate your wishes efficiently. Unless your supervisor or manager is a mind reader, don't assume they know you're interested in another position. They might believe you're 100 percent comfortable doing what you've been doing all this time. Ask for a face-to-face meeting rather than attempting to present your case in a letter or via e-mail. That type of one-way communication doesn't allow you to develop a mutual understanding of the situation and what to do about it. Ask about what opportunities for advancement may be coming up and what steps you would need to take to work towards that. Try to enroll your boss in your vision and use the meeting to toot your own horn a little and share the running list of professional accomplishment you compiled while getting clear about your value.
3. You don't appear as ambitious as you feel.
You have to begin to look the part. A mentor shared with me years ago that you dress for the job you want, NOT for the job you have. Now, this doesn't mean to spend the little money you may have on clothes you simply cannot afford, but it does mean you should do the best you can with what you have. Try not wearing jeans and sneaks just because your office is laid back. Do you want to blend in with your co-workers or wear a sleek pair of slacks and pumps so you stand out a little?
4. You're probably way too quiet.
You definitely need to begin to network on the job. Remember, moving ahead is not about who you know, but who knows you! Don't reserve all of your networking skills for those awkward "business" networking mixers at nightclubs. Get to know different folks in and outside of your department. Make a friend in the HR department. Aren't they usually the first to learn of internal job postings? If another department peaks your interest, start showing an interest in what's going on and how things work. Let the manager there know you'd be interested in learning more and would even be willing to come in after hours or on an off day to help out. As long as it doesn't affect your performance, your manager shouldn't be upset, and you've let everyone know that you are definitely the one to watch for the next big opening!
Use these tips to prevent another opportunity from passing you by! Most people will sit around complaining and waiting to be noticed. Be willing to go beyond what the average person is willing to do and expect the best! Get clear, get vocal, get connected and get noticed for the job you want!