Career Conversions. Life Changing Career Choices

5 Roadblocks To Getting Promoted



So, you want to get promoted and you believe you should be the one. What would that promotion bring you? How would your life change? Why would having that promotion be rewarding?

You know where you are. You know where you WANT to be. What are some of the roadblocks to getting promoted you might be facing with your employer?  Career changes or career transitions take “know how”.  Let’s take a look.

#1: You Are Too Valuable In Your Current Role
Potential Issue: Your manager may be stalling because he does not want to lose the production you bring to his team.

Tips: Develop a solution to your Manager’s problem by creating your own succession plan. If you haven’t already begun training one or two people to step into your role, now is the time. Who do you know that are the best candidates to fill your position and produce immediately?

#2: Your Manager Won’t Endorse You For Promotion
Potential Issues: One issue might be that your Manager doesn’t want to lose control, influence or power over you. Another one you may be experiencing is that your Manager may feel you will outshine her if you are promoted. Still another issue may be that your Manager is directly telling you or is avoiding telling you that you are not ready for a promotion.

Tips: In any of these roadblocks to getting promoted, take advantage of moments to have career conversations with your Manager. I recommend approaching the conversation in a curious, nonjudgmental manner so that your Manager does not get defensive. Express your desire to get promoted, in what ways you believe you have earned the promotion, then ask – “What would you need to see in my performance to assure you that this promotion would benefit the company and support company objectives?”

#3: There Is No Position To Be Promoted Into
Potential Issue: When there is no position to be promoted into within your current organization that leaves your current position being what you make of it.

Tips: In this case, create your own new career opportunities. Start by looking at the problems that need to be resolved. Once you have established them, set priorities, and then set out to solve them one by one. Create solutions that you can be involved in and identify the return on investment with that solution. You have just created a proposal that could lead to your promotion by adding value to the company and positioning yourself as the authority to perform!

#4: Another Employee “Needs” To Be Promoted
Potential Issues: Roadblocks to getting promoted here might be political. Even though this other person may not be as qualified as you, a “favor” may be owed, or a Senior Manager wants this person…politics.

Tips: Enlist endorsements of other people within the organization who can be influential in your career. If you truly are the most qualified person for the promotion, have the courage to talk with your Manager, respectfully asking for help in understanding how promoting this other person would benefit the company. Come up with a promotable plan to give this other person a “win” as well; for instance a new title or perk.

#5: Your Manager Doesn’t Believe You Are The Best Person For The Promotion
Potential Issue: What if your Manager is grooming someone else for the promotion because he is not even aware that you are interested in a promotion? Ouch!

Tips: If you have not had a recent conversation about your future career goals, get something on the calendar immediately with your Manager. Prepare for that meeting. Be able to state clearly what your goals are, why, and “What’s In It For Them”- the value you bring to the company. Have prepared specific key accomplishments you have made during your employment AND what those accomplishments meant in terms of dollars, revenues, profits, market share, or whatever it is that were the key objectives you attained. Articulate how your goals will create a new reality for you Manager. Request assignments that will increase the experiences and skill sets you will need to be promoted.


Promotions are based upon performance, so keep track so you can be prepared to have courageous conversations with your Manager.


Trish Dervin, Career Management Coach

Career Conversions, LLC

636-778-9090  [email protected]

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