You're a clock-watcher
Some people (and the quality of their output is irrelevant here) come to work, do their job, and leave again. Others also take the time to chat with their colleagues and maybe go for a drink after work. Employers want to see – that old cliché – team players. If you begrudge spending any extra time with your colleagues, it won't help your chances of promotion.
Additionally, employers want to see passion and drive. If you leave at exactly 5pm, no matter what, you are probably not the person to rely on to take things into his or her own hands when necessary.
You wind people up the wrong way
Whether you like it or not, there are politics at play in any office. If you want to move up, you have to butter up the right people. Getting on with the people around you is just as important as the quality of your work.
You're too quiet
While there is something to be said for simply getting on with your work, if you're too quiet, you won't be at the front of the boss' mind when there's a promotion to be had. You need to be a visible presence in the team.
You're too loud
I know. Too quiet, too loud – it's a real balancing act. But if you are too loud, it can backfire in a couple of ways. You can risk being dismissed as obnoxious, frivolous or a clown.
You lack confidence
It's a horrible, Disney-ish truism, but you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. Even if you have all the skills and experience necessary to take a step up, you need to project confidence to your superiors.
You don't have the right mindset
Being an employee is very different to being a manager. You need to demonstrate an interest in the broader goals of the company and in helping to achieve those goals. If you are focused solely on your own responsibilities, it could count against you.
You missed your chance
There is never only one path in life (or work). If you start to think that there is, you might be blinded to other chances to progress and miss them. Always be aware of your options.
You think it's your right
You don't get promoted just because you've plodded along at the same company for X amount of time. You have to earn it. You have to excel at what you do and show that you are ready for (and deserving of) a promotion.
You're bad at your job
This is probably the most obvious reason but also the one that nobody wants to face. If you aren't progressing when you feel that you should, it might be time to take a serious look at your work. Is it up to scratch?Of course, the situation might not be quite so drastic. There could just be a misalignment of goals. It's important to thoroughly understand what your superiors want you to achieve and then deliver on that.
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