You’ve got the skills, the smarts and the swag, so why do you get passed over for a promotion time and again? Then there’s your colleague who seems to always have the right answers and gets things done at lightning speed, and as a result, is loved by bosses.
You can relax in the knowledge that your situation is surprisingly common. Doing a good job is just one half of the battle – to be rewarded with responsibility and advancement requires qualities and talents that are less obvious.
Look at this list to see what you’re doing wrong, and what you can do to get noticed.
You’re not paying attention to what your boss wants – Sure there is the standard set of KPIs you’ve got to meet, but that alone isn’t going to ensure your success. You’ve got to go a step further, talk up the boss and get a sense of what’s important to him or her. Simply put, what are their KPIs and how can you help them achieve it. By doing this, you’re going above and beyond the call of duty and are showing your boss that you are ready to take on larger responsibilities.
You’re not managing down – Managing your boss’s expectations is easy, but if you aren’t popular with colleagues, you’re not going to get very far in your career. This is important when the management team has two equally talented people vying for a role, because then it comes down to general feedback and what your colleagues and subordinates think about you. So, be kind and helpful where you can.
You’re missing the big picture - Are you too caught up with daily responsibilities that you tend to forget about the bigger picture? Being a leader and moving up the ranks is about being able to balance daily tasks with bigger goals. Spend some time in the day thinking about bigger, longer-term but less pressing projects. Once you come up with an idea, be sure to share it with your supervisor, he or she is certain to be impressed not only by your idea but also by your initiative.
You’re lacking soft skills – Communication, empathy, negotiation and etiquette may not have been on the job description, but increasingly it's become more important than hard skills. Fortunately, many of these can be picked over time and with some practice, so if you’ve been neglecting it all this while – it’s time to stop.