This discussion happens a lot: Someone contacts me for career coaching because they’re frustrated that they haven’t been promoted into a management position. More often than not, what spills out with their story is how unforeseen forces, over which they have no control, mysteriously seem to be keeping them from moving forward in their career.
I beg to differ. The forces are not invisible. They are not mysterious. You have control over them. Why? Because the key denominator holding you back from moving from an individual contributor role into a position managing people is most likely (drum roll, please): YOU.
The most difficult part of overcoming the barriers to obtaining a promotion into a job where you will manage others, is realizing that YOU might actually be the person holding yourself back.
Before blaming your lack of promotions on your boss or co-workers, read through this list of 20 items and see if any hold true about your behavior:
- You show up to meetings late or unprepared
- You don’t get along with co-workers
- You don’t finish projects on time or lack project management skills
- You’re a workplace gossip
- You don’t handle conflicts well
- You don’t willingly help others (you’re not a team player)
- You don’t volunteer for difficult assignments or projects (that will give you greater visibility in the company and to upper management)
- You appear disorganized (your office, your projects, or running meetings/conference calls)
- You’re okay giving presentations to small groups, but not if there’s more than five people
- You don’t dress like you already have the job (look the part)
- You don’t have a career development action plan and can demonstrate progress to your manager
- You haven’t shared your career goals with your boss
- You don’t actively solicit constructive criticism (or don’t take feedback well)
- You haven’t achieved positive results in your current job
- You don’t have enough time in your current position
- You don’t yet have the necessary skills for the management job
- You lack people leadership skills (not every great individual contributor will be a good people manager)
- You don’t exude a positive, can-do attitude
- Your co-workers don’t respect you or come to you for help or advice (due to your above behaviors)
- You don’t have an internal sponsor helping you with your career
Any of these behaviors could be holding you back from obtaining that much-coveted promotion into a management position – because these are behaviors that senior management and human resources personnel look at in determining if someone is ready to be promoted (or not ready).
Now, read through the list one more time. See anything else interesting about it? Every item on the list is within your power to control. The forces are not invisible. They are not mysterious. You have control over them.
Self-awareness is a wonderful attribute to cultivate. Self-awareness can also help you get where you want to go in your career a lot faster.
If you want to move from an individual contributor role into a job where you’re a people manager, test yourself with the list of 20 items. When you can prove that you’ve achieved every item in the affirmative (show up to meetings on time and prepared, get along with co-workers, finish projects on time and demonstrate excellent project management skills, etc. all the way through the entire list) then you’ll be on the right path to finally getting that promotion you want.Article 20 Things That Could Be Ruining Your Promotion Opportunities By Lisa Quast