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4 reasons you're not getting promoted

Promotion

Getting passed over for a promotion and watching one of your co-workers rise to the challenge is one of the most difficult things you can experience as a business professional. When you feel like you've been giving it your all and you're still not getting your chance to climb the career ladder, it can start to get frustrating. You might feel like you're stuck in your current position with no hope of ever advancing. But that's entirely untrue. There might be some hidden reasons behind why you're getting overlooked in favor of other people in your office. Instead of resigning yourself to the fact that you'll never get anywhere in your company, ask yourself whether these four reasons might be responsible for your lack of progress.

"If you don't express your desire to move up and grow, your superiors probably won't assume that's what you're looking for."

1. Your boss doesn't know you want a promotion
Bosses may be capable of a lot of things, but they definitely can't read your mind. Just because you've been working hard in the same position for a while doesn't necessarily scream to your boss, "I'm looking for a promotion!" As the Classy Career Girl blog pointed out, not everyone wants to be in a leadership role, so if you don't express your desire to move up and grow, your superiors probably won't assume that's what you're looking for.

Instead of sitting back and waiting to get noticed for the work that you're doing, take action and make sure that your boss knows what you've been up to and what you'd like to achieve going forward. Set up a meeting and ask your boss what it'll take to move up and get promoted. Have a chat about what your career goals are and how you're working to meet them. Bosses love to know that their employees are up for a challenge, and they'll appreciate the fact that you're being assertive and working hard to get what you deserve. After all, that's part of what makes a good leader!

2. You lack the necessary technical skills
As Forbes magazine noted, just because you're excelling at your current job doesn't necessarily mean you'd be successful in a higher position. 

"For instance, someone who excels at data entry may need additional education or training to become a data analyst, a job that requires strategic thinking and problem solving abilities," the source added.

But just because you don't have the skills you need for the job you want now doesn't mean you're out of luck. Start with some business market research, then get familiar with the experience requirements, daily tasks and skills necessary for success in the job you want, then do your best to get your own skills to that level. Don't forget to include your boss in the process: Let him or her know that you're interested in advancing and ask what you need to do to get there.

3. You lack the soft skills required
On the other side of the coin, sometimes you might be lacking the soft skills necessary to advance - not the hard ones. Forbes pointed out that the skills you need for a higher position aren't necessarily technical, which may be why you're stumped as to why you're getting passed over.

"Particularly if you're moving up to management, you'll need to have mastered some soft skills - like conflict negotiation, diplomacy, and business communication - and coming up short might very well be a deal breaker," the source noted.

Just like with the technical skills, it's up to you to make sure you're equipped for the job you want. Take a look at the job specs and develop a plan for learning and exhibiting the soft skills you need. Make a point to volunteer for projects that will allow you to flex your abilities and show that you're developing these skills. When you head into a performance review with your boss, you'll have a solid list to back yourself up with.

Soft skills are just as important as technical ones when you're looking for a promotion.Soft skills are just as important as technical ones when you're looking for a promotion.

4. You aren't as professional as you should be
When you move up the career ladder, you're expected to get more professional with each rung you climb. But there are a lot of reasons why your boss might not view you as being as professional as you should be. For example, in a recent ProOpinion poll, 21 percent of business professionals thought that complaints about other colleagues and bosses are discussed most often at the water cooler. If you're participating in this office gossip, there's a chance it's getting back to your boss.

Pay close attention to how you interact with your co-workers. While it's fine to discuss troubling business trends and issues that you're running across in your department, it's important to make sure you're not just complaining about them idly. Look for solutions to these problems, and use your co-workers as sounding boards.

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