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Posted by & filed under Careers and Beyond.

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Have you ever wondered why you or your colleagues have been passed over for an internal promotion despite your years of service and competency? Internal politics aside, the reasons why some people get promoted and others do not are based on a variety of intuitive factors. The winding path from joining a company to promotion is beset on all sides with downfalls, opportunities and circumstances, some of which will likely factor into the selection process. In searching for why you haven’t been promoted you’re essentially seeking out ways to improve, which is why we’ve compiled the advice of some industry experts to help you up your game in the office.

People are your best advocates

Any senior position you’re aiming for will likely involve the management or organisation of people, whether in your team or another. To be considered by higher management you’ll need to be a team player. During a panel at the 6th Annual Asian MBA Leadership Conference, Dale Shintani, Senior VP at Wells Fargo shared the importance of collaboration. He states that, while high performance and achievement is a given requirement, expressing the skills of a leader is just as important. Say you recently drove the implementation of a new system; did you do this responsively, making sure the entire team was comfortable with the system? Sometimes it’s not just what you did, but how.

Make sure there are no gaps in your education

It is likely that everyone will be qualified, not just for the position but also academically. You have to show future potential as well as current success. To take a line from Forbes:

‘Jinsook Han, Vice President of Science at AIG, made a tennis analogy: the best players play to the edge, aiming close to the line, making their opponents have to run that much further.’

Think about your edge? Do you have a provable skill? Are you respected in your field? While these things may be hard to emphasise, a commitment to ongoing learning and development is always quantifiable. You may be working towards project management and studying for a degree in Management and Professional Accounting to give yourself comprehensive, multi-level knowledge. Making a commitment to earning further qualifications adds an edge to applications both internal and external, as recruiters can see you’re passionate about your development.

Ask for more responsibility

We covered this briefly in a previous blog post but it couldn’t be more important. If your employers see that you have led on projects and took the initiative when difficult tasks need to be completed, this is a sign that you’re ready for more responsibility. According to Dr. Marlene Neill, an assistant professor at Baylor University, ‘companies often groom future CEOs (whether they know it or not) by placing them on special projects and committees. In that case, she advises making a name for yourself by making substantive and noticeable contributions.’ When working towards a promotion, it’s not enough to just do your job well; you’re expected to do well at your job. Sometimes it’s a mixture of attitude and willingness to take on important responsibilities (within reason).

The blog above was created using insights from our online BA Management and Leadership degree, as well as various online sources. If you are interested in learning more about our online BA Management and Leadership or BA Management and Professional Accounting degree, you can fill out our online enquiry form or call us on 08081 789 636 (charges apply for international calls).


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