This is exactly what happened to a distraught employee who wrote to the Evil HR Lady at CBS MoneyWatch. It happens often. In addition to asking a trusted manager for feedback about how you may improve your chances of promotion, consider the following five reasons people don't get promoted to management.
1. You don't look the part.
This one seems obvious; we all know that one employee who always dresses too casually or too sloppily for their office environment. You can overdress, as well. For example, stiletto heels are inappropriate for most office environments. If you wear makeup, it should be subtle. In a professional environment, hair should not be styled as if you were going to a party. It may seem unfair, but appearance matters.
2. You want to be everybody's friend.
Managers are not friends; good managers represent the interests of the company. If you are part of a clique, you may be passed over for management because managers need to be fair and even-handed. If you are too concerned about maintaining friendships at work, you are likely unable to make difficult decisions or have difficult conversations.
3. You are a complainer.
People who complain usually are not solving problems. Instead of complaining, think up possible solutions to problems and offer your ideas to management. They may start to see you as one of their own.
4. You do your job duties and nothing else.
It may look like managers have it easy, but they are the ones who have the most responsibility. If you want to be promoted to management, show that you care not just about doing your job, but about the health of the company. When you have the time, offer to help out. Show an interest in learning new things.
5. You don't prioritize and manage time well.
Managers have to set priorities for everybody else. If you have trouble knowing what needs to get done first without being told, you probably can't be trusted to tell others what the top priorities are.
Managers have to be tough, so if you want the promotion, be tough on yourself. Be brutally honest with yourself about how you appear and behave at work. If you make improvements, you may break through that glass ceiling.
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