7 reasons why you got passed over for a promotion

Before you throw in your resignation letter, here’s how you can stop the career downward spiral.


1. You’re too quiet

Probably one of the most common reasons why most people get left off the candidate list. Not that you need to be Little Miss Chatterbox at the office, but if you don’t speak up, you simply won’t get heard. Most supervisors haven’t got much time to take notice of the good work that goes on around them, so don’t feel shy about giving your boss regular updates on your progress, pipe up about good results and chip in with ideas at meetings so that they know to thank when praise is due.

2. Being too independent

The ability to hit the ground running and go with the flow when things are moving at a hurricane’s pace is a virtue, but when you’re huddled at your desk not interacting with any of your teammates or not updating your boss with how it’s all going, you’ll be seen as anti-social. The modern-day offices are becoming more collaborative, so make efforts to collaborate. Besides, it makes for a lighter workload and a more enjoyable work environment.

3. You’re too defensive

We all love receiving praise, but when it comes to receiving criticism, some of us turn into rabid dogs, growling and snapping at every move. Learning to accept constructive criticism gracefully and productively is a virtue that is seriously underrated. No one is perfect, and your boss is there to guide you along the way, so don’t bite her head when she’s trying to.


4. Not volunteering for anything

We’ve all got a life outside of the office – some of us more or less than others. But there comes a time when you’ll need to chip in a little extra time or effort to go things that might be out of your work scope. Maybe a colleague is going on sabbatical, or the company’s Family Fun Day committee needs an extra member. You don’t need to be the first in line every single time, but the occasional sacrifice of a weekend will be gratefully noted – and mark you as a bona-fide team player.

5. Not taking responsibility for anything

Related to point number 3, but with the added twist (and the worser crime) of denying responsibility for the issue being criticised. No one can get it right everytime, and mistakes happen, so if you did do the deed, own up and move on. Treat every mistake as a step up on the learning curve. And if your supervisor is a good one, she will too.    

6. Not walking the talk

Some people are good talkers, and some are good doers, but if you manage to be one that does what she says she will, then congratulations, you’re officially a valuable employee. Being a consistent and reliable team member who always manages to hit deadlines and updates reports is one that every boss appreciates.

7. You’re allergic to challenges

Every promotion (and a step up on the career ladder) comes with a new set of challenges, and if you’ve shown that you’re averse to scaling new heights and taking on new goals and tasks, then your boss might doubt your ability to handle a promotion. So drum up some enthusiasm and don’t be afraid to try and fail. In fact, the confidence boost that you get from succeeding at a new task is worth it in itself.

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