HomeBlogREVIEW5 Things Holding You Back From A Promotion

5 Things Holding You Back From A Promotion

Collaborative working practices, flat team structures and a lack of office chit-chat might make the working day more enjoyable, but modern approaches to work also make it more difficult to get a promotion.

Since the pandemic, promotions across the board have dropped by almost 48% so if you want to get ahead in your career it might be time to adopt a slightly more strategic approach.

The need to excel, prove that you bring value to the company and know how to lead rather than follow, is of course important, but acknowledging and overcoming less visible barriers to success is a sure fire way to bag that promotion.

Teamwork is essential, but it also makes it harder for managers to distinguish individual work and identify those who deserve to move up. Similarly, flat team structures mean that often there is actually no direct progression for employees, which makes it hard for managers and staff alike to identify new roles.

The following tips can be used whether you see your future with your current employer, or are hoping to move roles and level up with a new employer. If switching roles is the plan, the best place to start is the NextPit Job Board, which currently has dozens of vacant positions available across all sectors.

1. You Don’t Communicate

So you want to be CEO some day, but does your manager know that? If you don’t articulate your career goals then you may not be considered for promotion. Schedule regular one-on-ones with your boss and discuss your performance and future plans. Be open to receiving difficult feedback. If your boss points out an area you struggle with, step up and ask for extra training or support to get you up to speed. Not only will this help your career progression but it also shows that you want to improve.

2. You Lack Soft Skills

You can do the job, in fact you do it better than your peers, yet they keep getting promoted ahead of you. Why? Probably because they have a grasp on the softer skills that so often help or hinder career progression. They may be more personable, have friendly relationships with other teams, present themselves in a more professional fashion, or conduct themselves differently to you. Promotions should be awarded solely on merit, but the fact remains that they are not.

3. You Have No Progression Plan

What promotion do you want? If you don’t know what you hope your next title will be, it’s time to look at your personal progression plan. Where do you want to be in five years, and 10 years and identify the promotions to help you get there. By identifying a route to success, you can start to work towards each step on that plan. This works especially well in flat structures where you might need to make the case for a promotion.

4. You’re A Follower

Do you speak up in meetings, make suggestions or bring ideas to your boss? If you don’t show you can lead then you will never be promoted. Leaders speak up. They suggest new ways of doing things and they inspire others to try new things and take on difficult projects. If you’re nervous about contributing in a meeting, do your prep beforehand. Know what your idea or point is, have necessary facts and figures to hand and run through all objections beforehand so you know how to answer them.

5. You Lack Managerial Support

Does your direct manager support your promotion ambitions? While it’s not impossible to get ahead without their support, the process is a whole lot easier if your manager is advocating for you. The best way to start is to schedule a performance review and set an agenda ahead of time so you can both come prepared. At the meeting, ask for a review of your current work, state your ambitions, and ask what areas they feel you need to improve on.

Once you’ve had the meeting, change how you communicate with your boss and your teammates. Communicate clearly and professionally, tackle awkward conversations, and address any blocks you identify, essentially showing your boss that you can lead.

Make a move

There is also the fact that your boss may not like you or ever see you in a position of power – in which case, your only option might be to move on and progress elsewhere. Here are some suggestions of companies who are currently hiring…

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, the company is hiring for a variety of roles including Solution Architect and Platform Engineer.

Offering strategic consulting, enterprise information management and digital transformation services, Apptad has globally connected offices in the U.S. and India along with a team of trained and certified IT resources. Want to work here? There are a range of roles available including Salesforce Developer and Network Engineer.

Or how about a role at CrowdStrike? A global cybersecurity leader, it has redefined modern security with one of the world’s most advanced cloud-native platforms for protecting critical areas of enterprise risk – endpoints and cloud workloads, identity and data.

There are dozens of companies currently hiring across all sectors and levels on the NextPit Job board – discover all opportunities now.


This article was written by Aisling O’Toole and is part of a collaboration between NextPit and Jobbio. Find out more about the partnership between NextPit and Jobbio here.

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