Want a promotion? Here Are 10 Mistakes You Should Avoid

Want a promotion? Here Are 10 Mistakes You Should Avoid
BY ARUN MAHARA · JANUARY 2, 2014

Only an employee knows how stressful it is to ask for a promotion. Especially in the current scenario of global economic crisis, the situation becomes more stressful. When you are asking for a promotion or a raise, you know very well that you are putting yourself at some level of risk. There’s always a kind of fear inside you for what will happen next. So, asking for promotion at such times can probably trigger unnecessary missteps at times. But, being strategic about your pursuit on the other hand can help you avoid most of the common mistakes you can make while asking for a promotion.

It is always suggested to ask some genuine questions to yourself before asking for a promotion. Do you think you are ready to handle the new responsibility and new challenges? Is this the right time for you to ask for a new role? Do you have what-it-takes approach? What’s your image in the eyes of your Boss? What do your colleagues say about you? How much have you contributed for the growth of the organization? And many more questions can be there. But on the other hand, be sure of the fact that mistakes do happen. Yes, chances are you have committed a lot of mistakes. And amidst those mistakes, do you think it is right time for you to ask for a promotion?

I have prepared this article as what-not-to-do-guideline before you are planning to ask for a promotion. What are the mistakes most people commonly make when they simply ask for a promotion? How to work on avoiding the mistakes prior to asking for a promotion? Here, I have pinpointed 10 mistakes you should avoid before asking for a promotion.

1. Pretension
In cases when your boss happened to ask to you something, let say some questions about something he wanted to get it done. Generally, you have the right answers to his questions. But chances are you don’t know exactly what the proper answer to his questions is. In such cases, you should never make random guesses to look smarter. The bottom-line is, do not pretend to know something you don’t. Chances are you are going to be a complete fool.

2. Backbiting
It’s really difficult to find a boss who’s cool. Only very few people exactly like their boss. There can be many disagreements from your side, obviously. But if you backbite about your boss with your colleagues, it will simply invite trouble to your career. It’s better to discuss with your boss himself if you are not satisfied with something. Do not regularly talk behind his back. It’s better off not discussing your dissatisfaction with your co-workers.

3. No, it wasn’t my fault!
Naturally, things can go wrong when you are working for your company. If something wrong happened, the most critical thing is to focus on fixing it, instead of playing the blame game. Do not conceal your mistakes. Never deny your responsibility for the mistakes you have made. Do not say it wasn’t your fault, whether or not you are directly involved in the issue. Understanding and sharing the actual information about the problems is of paramount importance in any organization.

4. Putting high expectations at once?
If you are asking for too much raise or too much new responsibilities at once, chances of your boss getting frustrated becomes high. So, do not put high expectations all at once. Knowing your priorities and working down the list succinctly will help you make better impression to the management.

5. Are you always full of excuses?
Throughout your career, you are definitely going to make a number of mistakes. Regardless of how hard you work and how smart you think yourself to be, occurrence of some mistakes is beyond your control. The point is you should always accept your mistake if it’s really yours. Once realized, make some genuine attempts to learn from it as well. Do not keep coming with a pile of excuses to your boss for the similar mistakes. It makes a bad impression to your boss realizing him that you are not likely to learn from your past mistakes. It’s not gonna make your way up to promotion.

6. Hitting the iron when it isn’t hot?
Make sure if you are hitting the iron when it’s hot. Always be sure of the place and time of discussion to be right enough. So, timing is always an important thing to consider before asking for a promotion.

7. Complaining a lot?
Do you complain a lot about the things happening inside the company? If you are the one who always whine about others, it will do nothing but harm to yourself. It detracts your own credibility and your own professionalism. And the other thing is, do not compare your worth with others who are already in the position you are seeking to be at. Always be optimistic and positive. Moreover, be positive. Do not let negativity overpower your words and actions.

8. Causing irritation?
Are you aware of the importance of social skills in organization culture? If you really want to get promoted, you need to have better skills to make smooth conversations at the right time. By saying this, I don’t mean that you need to be an enigmatic extrovert in order to get ahead in your career. But of course, you need to have the skill to hold a conversation without making it irritable. If you sound irritating, you won’t have positive impression to your boss and he will unlikely to promote you.

9. Not honoring your own promises?
How good are you at keeping your own words? Do you do the things you say you are going to do? When you say that you are going to accomplish something, all you need is to accomplish it. Never say yes to everything just to make the temporary impression. Say yes only when you really mean it. Make sure if you can do something you’ve promised. If you are not honoring your own words, most probably your boss is unlikely to promote you to the next position.

10. Can’t deal with criticisms?
Problem dealing with criticism? For the effective professional relationships, you need to be able to handle criticism easily. Your boss will definitely tell you for the corrective actions if he finds some problems with your performance. If you are not good at dealing with criticisms, maybe you are less likely to get promoted as well. Do not get angry or upset if you face any kind of criticisms. So learn to handle the criticisms and prove yourself more professional employee.

Conclusion:
This list of mistakes you should avoid before asking for a promotion is just a snippet of things where you can go wrong. But meanwhile, let me remind you one more thing that the key doesn’t lie so much in avoiding the mistakes really. The key doesn’t even lie in bringing your boss a cup of coffee every morning. Rather, it lies in keeping the mistakes as minimum as possible. The key lies in your capability, your contributions, and your potential to handle new challenges. So, be confident and optimistic about the strengths you have. Don’t you think YOU are responsible for inventing new position for you? May you get promoted to the next level, my best wishes!

[P.S.: For the ease of my writing, I made use of ‘he’ or ‘him’ to indicate ‘boss’. But clearly, the ‘boss’ refers to both the ‘male’ and ‘female’ in charge of an organization. So, ‘he’ or ‘him’ means ‘she’ or ‘her’ as well. No sex discrimination is intended.]

Tags: bossBusinessCareerCareer Advicecareer solutionspromotionpromotion tips

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Arun Mahara
It’s me behind this blog Solution Breakthroughs. I am a bit of music-lover, a bit of IT-graduate, and a little bit of everything, definitely a good writer in the making. Currently getting my hands dirty with some projects on writing, blogging, web development, and search engine optimization. Want me to work for your projects? Let’s get connected via Google+.