What Are Reasons Why People Don’t Get Promoted? 3 Reasons

Getting a promotion can be an exciting thing; however, it doesn’t come as a result of luck. So what are the reasons why workers don’t get promoted?

One major reason is they’re too focused on being perfect on the job. 

When you focus on perfecting your job, you end up selling yourself short of professional growth opportunities.

Whatever you do on the side to help you get better, that’s a good thing. 

But it may not be enough to get you promoted to the next level. 

In this post, I will discuss my own situation with this topic. 

Along with that, I will lay out a couple of reasons why it’s common not to get promoted at work. 

  1. My Situation At Work
  2. Reasons Why People Don’t Get Promoted
  3. You’re Too Focused On Work Performance
  4. Your Employer Cannot Hire Or Promote You Now
  5. You Lack The Communication Or Leadership Skills
  6. What To Do Right Now
  7. My Philosophy Of Working For Someone
  8. My Best Tip
Why workers don't get promoted? This post will go over three reasons why workers may not get promoted.

My situation at work

Not too long ago, I did a lot of things that required me to be in a leadership role. 

Although I was not officially in one, I did a lot of things that made people think I’m someone they can look up to.

More recently, they placed a team leader in our work area.

Even though I wasn’t officially passed on from a promotion, I felt like I was told to take a step back and not do any more of it.

Although I was disappointed about the outcome, I understand why they had to make that decision. 

So I ended up moving on from it; at the same time, I still developed some good leadership skills.

Although it was not a situation where I did not lack leadership skills, I still think that there was a potential opportunity for me.

Why You Can’t Get Promoted? 3 Reasons It Does Not Take Place

Reasons why people don’t get promoted

There are a few reasons why people don’t get promoted. They can vary, but it’s something to keep in mind if you find yourself to be in a similar situation.

What are reasons why workers don’t get promoted? 

Some reasons include focusing too much on the job (i.e. perfecting your work performance), a lack of leadership skills to take on official leadership positions, or that your employer cannot afford to promote you right now.

These are a few of the most common reasons why some people do not get promoted. Let’s discuss more in this post.

Why workers don't get promoted? This graph lays out some reasons why you may not get promoted.

You’re too focused on work performance

If you’re too focused on perfecting the job, then that may be a problem. 

The reason is that you’re limiting yourself to not do other things such as take part in leadership opportunities.

There’s nothing wrong with having stellar work performance. 

But if you tend to be an overachiever, you’re not exposing yourself to mistakes or looking for areas of growth.

In the past, I used to be someone who aimed to be an overachiever. But I realized that wasn’t doing me any good if I was limiting myself to areas of improvement. 

So I decided to slow down, but still focus on the quality of my work.

Your employer cannot hire or promote you now

This one is not uncommon, but your employer may not be able to open a position for you to apply for. 

If you work at a place where they don’t promote you immediately, you may have to go through a formal process of applying for a position.

Some companies will do that, so that way it’s fair to give the opportunity to other people.

That happens to be the situation where I work at. 

Although it may not be possible now, it’s possible that a leadership position will open up later on where I work at.

You lack the communication and leadership skills

There are some people who do well in their jobs, but they don’t have the proper communication skills to move up. 

When they lack those essential skills, a leadership role may not be feasible for them.

Such a rule would require them to regularly communicate with their teammates and management. 

So they would be putting themselves in a challenging position if they were not willing to do that.

This one was something I struggled with early on. But I found myself to be in a position where I strengthen those skills in the last year. 

So I can tell you from experience it is important to have proper communication skills. 

That way you know when to communicate with the right people and make good decisions.

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Why am I not getting promoted at work?

A common reason may be your employer cannot afford to do it right now. In other words, they don’t have the financial needs to either hire you or promote you to an official position. 

No matter how you think of it, it all depends on the state of the business that you’re in. If your employer can’t afford you to pay a specific salary, then they may have to wait later on to possibly promote you.

Start working on it now

The main reason I bring it up is something that a lot of people get confused with. 

When they feel like they deserve to get promoted, that’s falling into the entitlement mentality.

I understand people work hard and think they deserve something better. 

But in the workplace, decisions are made not made based on how people feel.

Sometimes it has to do with external factors about the state of the business. 

If the place you work at is not hiring they can afford to promote you, then that’s something you have to accept as reality.

What to do right now

In the meantime, it’s a good time to reflect on what skills you need to learn or improve on. 

The earlier you start on that, the better off you will be putting yourself in a better position.

So if you want to get promoted now, but you lack the skills to move up, use that as an opportunity to incorporate professional growth for yourself. 

Whether that’s networking with other people, or taking a class or two on leadership, then by all means go ahead and do that. 

That will benefit you immensely and it’ll help improve your situation down the road.

Why workers don't get promoted? This man is questioning what to do next.

My philosophy of working for someone else

When I work for someone else, I always like to take ownership of my work.

I have that entrepreneurial spirit in me; but at the same time, I try to seek opportunities to be an intrapreneur.

Especially from working for an employer, I want to utilize my time at work to seek opportunities for professional growth.

Although I’m not a company person, I want to use my time to develop my own leadership skills. 

The time I used to grow the leadership component can help me make better decisions down the road. 

When I do leave the company and eventually work on my own someday, I can take those skills with me and apply them to future opportunities.

A relevant article from notimekillers.com

Read next on “Is It Better To Work For Yourself Than For Someone Else?“, to find out if working for yourself is a better path than being an employee.

My best tip 

No matter where you’re at, my best tip of advice is to keep going above and beyond. 

In other words, keep doing more than what you’ve been asked to do at your job.

When you’re someone who is hungry for growth, and you’re willing to do more than what you’ve been asked to do, that’ll help you immensely. 

But at the same time, continue to seek other opportunities that might come about. 

Whether it’s where you work right now or elsewhere, continue to look into those other options. 

You never know what could come up with something better comes along the way.

Final Words

Getting promoted is not as easy as you may think. 

It’s not a matter of luck, but based on what’s happening in the state of the business. 

If the company you work at can’t hire or promote you, then that’s something you can’t control. 

So the best thing that you can do is to perform above and beyond at work. 

But also, have an open mind to keep learning and developing leadership skills. 

You may not want to work at a company for a long time. 

Maybe you can take those skills and apply them to starting your own business someday. 

When you do that, you’re putting yourself in a better situation where you can’t get to a situation where you can grow and thrive later on.

Your Turn: Do you feel the need to get promoted or move up?

I would like to get your thoughts on this topic. Was there a time that you felt that you deserve to get promoted? 

Were you passed on a promotion before? 

Was it because you lacked the skills to move up in that position, or were you focused on perfecting your work performance? 

What can you do now to help improve your skillset? 

Do you have the desire to transition into a leadership role, where you can excel and make an impact where you work at? 

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below, I look forward to reading them and I’ll gladly respond promptly.

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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. 

He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. 

Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” 

In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. 

You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

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