The Honest Truth About Why You Are Not Getting Promoted



You’ve had your heart set and your energy focused on getting promoted, but you just found out that the opportunity has been given to someone else. You’re left feeling confused and disappointed.

To further complicate the situation, you weren’t given a clear explanation as to why you weren’t offered the new position. So how are you expected to improve your odds at the next go-around if you’re left with little insight or direction?

Forbes, BBC and the USNews have told the honest truth about why you did not get that promotion. They also offered advice that will help improve your career girl status and enhance your chances at advancing in the future.

1. You have high expectations.

As a young professional embarking upon the career world, it’s easy to want to climb the business ladder quickly. You want a raise, you want to move out of your cubicle and into an office, and most importantly, you want to stop doing to the grunt work and make real contributions to the company. Although frustrating to have to start small, the beginning of your career is a time to acquire basic skills that will facilitate your learning, and allow you to grow and mature into a team player and leader who is ready to tackle the requirements of a promotion.

2. You do what is required.

Achieving the bare minimum doesn’t show others that you are dedicated to your position or to the overall company. What does is going beyond what is asked of you. This will demonstrate that you are hard working, passionate and creative. This doesn’t mean that you need to be an overachiever and sleep at the office, but it does mean that you should strive for excellence by using your strengths in ways that will make you stand out.

3. You lack the essential skills.

It is a common misconception that in order to be promoted you need to be exceptional at your job. Although this is true, you also need to have an understanding of the skills that are required for the position that you want. So reach out to your boss and make it known that you would like to advance within the company and ask for advice on how to develop the necessary skills to get there. Not only does this demonstrate assertiveness and dedication, but it also puts you on his or her radar as a potential promotional candidate.

4. You’re afraid of a challenge.

When faced with a challenge, it can be tempting to ignore it or seek the help of a co-worker in hopes that they can solve the problem for you. However, in these instances it becomes increasingly important to take the initiative yourself and demonstrate your problem-solving skills. Not only does it show your dedication to producing quality product, but it also demonstrates that you know how to analyze a situation, utilize your resources and work with others to improve the organization.

5. You don’t understand feedback.

Feedback can easily be received as criticism rather than as constructive criticism. Somehow it becomes misconstrued as an attack and a personal degradation of both your work and your professional self. Although it’s tempting to respond defensively, these moments provide an opportunity for reflection that will allow you to improve your performance and enhance your chances of being granted a promotion.

Although incredibly frustrating when you find out that you will not be climbing up the corporate ladder as quickly as you had hoped, everything happens for a reason. So take the opportunity to learn, reflect and step outside of the box in order to make yourself shine. Remember: everybody who is a somebody was once a nobody


  • tiana

    That’s right. I do find myself lacking in skills and have high expectations but that is a good thing to have :)

  • Bella Bucchiotti

    Interesting read. Thanks!

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  • Julia

    I do find myself ‘doing what is required’. Time to do a little more I think.