12 Reasons Why You Cannot Get a Promotion at Work

Your Attitude Toward Work Could Keep You From Advancement

Supervisors are in a position of power to make decisions that affect your career. One of those decisions is whether or not you deserve to be promoted to a higher level of responsibility. The boss may ask him or her to make a recommendation for a line employee to supervise a district of their own, or become head of their department. A boss may ask the supervisor for a suggestion or list of worthy people to interview.

A supervisor or manager will review all of the employees under his or her control. It is a big decision. It will reflect how well the supervisor can acknowledge and assess leadership potential within the company. The supervisor knows that a bad recommendation could have a negative impact on his or her own career and decision-making processes.

Promotions are for people who give the extra amount of work. They consider the company’s needs almost above their own to the extent possible. A person who shows maturity and loyalty to the company is always noticed. So is an employee who provides a constant seamless quality of work.

You may feel that you have given all you have to your company. Yet, you are tired of seeing other people in your department get promotions ahead of you. You can’t understand why you are constantly passed over.

The twelve reasons why an employee hasn’t received a promotion can be summed up in two words – Bad Attitude. The bad attitude of an employee is manifested in their work, their relationships with their supervisors, and is possibly why you can’t get a promotion.

Here are some reasons why your expectations of a work promotion are not being achieved:

  1. You only Do what you are Told to Do, nothing more, and nothing less. You are giving as much to the company as you get back. Your attitude is, “I do my job every day. Why do overtime when the company isn’t paying me for it?”
  2. You are a Clock Watcher. You take your breaks on time, your lunch on time, and you leave the office on time. Even if everyone, including you, is working on a special project with a deadline. Even if you see your peers spending a few more minutes talking to the boss. You think it’s a waste of time, and leave. You have things to do.
  3. Your Boss Considers you a Follower, not a Leader. In fact, you are a leader - of the watercooler crowd. Not a good place to be for a future supervisor.
  4. You haven’t Asked for a Promotion. Supervisors are not mind readers. When you are going through your annual employee evaluation, have you ever indicated that you would like to advance in the company? How about when a staff vacancy comes up?
  5. You don’t Participate in Staff Meetings. You show up late, if at all. You sit at the table with nothing to say. You don't even take notes. Staff meetings are to inform, correct, and connect. Don’t you have any ideas to contribute? Why stay silent? Your boss may think it’s because you don’t want or care to participate or give ideas.
  6. You don’t Volunteer for any Special Assignments. Special assignments give you the opportunity to shine, stretch your knowledge of the company and show your strengths. You conveniently have something else to do when asked to help.
  7. Your Web Site, Blog, Articles, etc. are Offensive or Immature. Everything you put on the Internet is public knowledge forever. You trash your company, your work, and some of your co-workers. Then you wonder why no one wants to go to lunch with you. Or why your manager doesn’t give you assignments that could showcase your talents.
  8. Poor Credit Report, Poor Driving Record. Companies do background checks before and during your employment. Especially if you are in the running for a promotion. The promotion may entail some travel. You may be expected to travel to different branches of the company. The job comes with a company car, but you aren’t eligible because of your speeding tickets
  9. Work Quality is So-So. It’s clear you put your work together as quickly and haphazardly as you can. There are always typos and grammatical errors in your work. Worse, you make excuses for why your work is not up to company standards
  10. You Consider Your Work as a Job, Not a Career. This attitude permeates and affects your attitude and work efforts. It means you have no expectations of staying at the job or the profession. It’s just a paycheck to you.
  11. You Don’t Dress as if You are Ready to Move Up in the Company. You wear clothes for yourself, not to represent the company
  12. You Don’t Talk to your Site Manager or Supervisor. You don’t ask how he or she got promoted. You don’t talk to them about your own promotion dreams or ask for tips.




How to Change to Make Yourself Promotion Worthy:

  • You have value as an employee. Take a good look at your skills and make an evaluation. List your strengths and showcase them at work. For any weaknesses, take some classes or make a plan to address those skills you know you will need in order to be considered for a promotion.
  • Speak up at staff meetings. This is your time to show the company your worth, and that you are interested in seeing the company advance and prosper
  • If you want a promotion, you have to stand out from the crowd in a consistently positive way. You can’t hang with the water cooler crowd every day and expect to be considered a leader
  • Speak up for yourself. If there is an upper echelon position open in the company, your resume should be the first one submitted
  • How do you expect to supervise your team if you are constantly late for work? If you aspire to be a supervisor, you should be the second person at the job next to your supervisor
  • Work as if you take pride in what you do. Work as if you enjoy what you are doing
  • Get your personal house in order. A supervisor must be a cut above the staff. If suspended due to unpaid tickets, pay them and get your driver’s license back. If possible clear up any legal matters that may be on your criminal record
  • If you have a drug, prescription, or alcohol problem, don’t think no one knows about it. If you want to move up in the business world, get some help taking care of your addictions
  • A company gives you a job. You have to turn it into the career you want
  • Invest in a good dictionary and thesaurus. These are work tools that can help improve your correspondence and reports
  • Join trade organizations and sit on a few committees. Join those organizations that your boss patronizes
  • Look at how your supervisors dress. Then go shopping and buy similar clothing
  • Do your work. Stay off eBay and the adult sites. Stop playing solitaire for hours, and checking your email four times a day. Meet your deadlines
  • Don’t put anything on your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or MySpace account that you wouldn’t want your mother or your boss to see. What you post could be a professional career killer
  • Work as if every day you are being considered for a potential promotion

You may look at this list and think, “Why should I do all of this without a guarantee I will be promoted?” Well, that’s another reason why you are not given supervisory responsibilities. You want a promotion to be handed to you. It doesn’t work that way.

Maybe what you really want is the extra money without the responsibility. One thing is clear by the negative behaviors outlined here. The employee has no loyalty to the company. He or she intends to do just enough work to keep the job. If staff layoffs are needed, unless you improve your attitude and work, you could be on that list

You can find some control over your job if you decide to give 100% of your efforts. You need to put together a plan. Think about what kind of a career you want to have, the kind of leader you know you can be if given the chance. Establish yourself as an added value employee if you want more responsibilities. Otherwise, find another job that you like, appreciate, and where you are appreciated.

Do you enjoy your work? If yes, others will see it in your face
Do you enjoy your work? If yes, others will see it in your face | Source

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Comments 70 comments

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts

I hate to say, "good Hub" (because "good Hub" is sometimes overused), but I thought this one is a good, solid, one. I hope it gets lots of views. :)

When I was working full time (before I had three little kids, which was in the early eighties), the secretary in our department (who's going-home time was 4:30) would pack up her desk by 4:15; sit her big, giant, pocketbook right in the middle of the desk, and smoke. She'd watch the big wall-clock, and if anyone (who didn't know better) approached her desk, she'd point at the clock, and say, "I'm going home." LOL She was a likable enough lady (which is, I guess, why she wasn't fired), but she was also someone who had a read "attitude" about not being promoted. :) I don't know what ever happened to her, but I'm guessing she may have retired from that same level position somewhere along the way. LOL


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 5 years ago from Boston Author

Thank you for your comment. The good and the bad news is that everyone in the company knows who wants to advance and who doesn't by their behavior.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To Carolyn2008: Great hub. My parents told me this long ago. When I first started working, I used to complain when my supervisors used to give me assignments beyond my job level. My father told me not to complain but be thankful for the learning opportunities.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 5 years ago from Boston Author

Thank you. Having a job is a sprint. Having a career is a marathon. This is especially important to remember in this tight job environment. My parents told me these things, too, when I was working. I complained at home, but I always had good jobs that appreciated my work efforts.


thehemu profile image

thehemu 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

Very Valid points Carolyn. But the above points are not applicable only to employee but they are applicable to all in some reference or other i.e. some of your points are applicable on student if you change boss with teachers and all that.

For a person to be successful in every field, he or she needs to be sincere and true to the work. thanks for sharing such great article, a vote up from my side.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 5 years ago from Boston Author

Correct. Do work you love, and you'll be the best in the business.


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

Thanks a lot for the nice post..We need good behavior to get promotion ..


Rockrby1788 4 years ago

Great article


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

People get hired because of what they know and the skills they have. But moving forward in one's career is a matter of attitude. Similarly, it's the wrong attitude that gets people fired.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 4 years ago from Boston Author

The pity is that some people don't realize that they are getting in the way of their own success.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

That's true carolyn2008. Some are too dense to know others are just deeply misguided. They firmly beleive what they are doing is right and appropriate when everyone thinks otherwise.


MEE 4 years ago

ITS ALL TRUE


jf 3 years ago

what if your boss doesn't want you to move up. YOu have try very hard and doing everything you should be doing. I see some bosses have their own pet to move up instead of the hard working people.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

It's true that some supervisors want to have their own team around them, especially if he or she takes a new executive position. If everything you have done is met with resistence, getting a new job may be in order. You want to work where your education and skills are appreciated.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Carolyn,

This is a great hub and you make some very good points. In looking back on my career with the federal government, it was very easy for me to get regular promotions up to GS-13 which is considered mid-level ranking. After I hit GS-13, promotions stopped and I was frozen in grade for almost 20 years until I retired. I considered myself to be a good, dedicated company man, but unfortunately I did not "toot my horn" enough and demand or campaign for a promotion. I didn't develop close personal relationships with the big bosses who were handing out promotions. During the year when I had my best shot at being promoted to GS-14, a new guy came into the office who had worked previously with the new boss who was signing off on promotions. They were both very good friends, and guess who got promoted. If I had played my cards differently and had a promotion plan instead of expecting someone to promote me, I probably would have made at least GS-14. Voted up as useful and sharing.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Excellent points here about not getting a promotion at work so well accomplished and one should carefully consider these tips when in a position of a promotion.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Paul, I like the idea of a "promotion plan", which is essentially what I wrote. Employees often complain saying, "Why did he get the promotion?" without looking at that person's work record. Also, it is sometimes hard to compete for a promotion with a boss who has an established relationship with an employee.

Thank you for your comment, DDE. If an employee is constantly looked over, it may be time for another job, where in-house advancement is the norm.


PaoloJpm profile image

PaoloJpm 3 years ago from Philippine

These are very useful! Glad to have read this, I may refer this again as soon as I graduate and working for my job.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Thank you, Paolojpm. A positive attitude at work goes a long way.


cbarbar 3 years ago

Thanks for writing this Carolyn2008 and voted up! I believe the most important thing that is needed when one is seeking a promotion is actually loving their--seeing it as a career. If one truly loves the work they do, a lot of these points you mentioned will follow.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Excellent points! I think working hard is part of the job no matter how daunting it seems. As long as you put your best foot forward and do your best, it will get noticed. Thanks for sharing these tips !


bydojo profile image

bydojo 3 years ago from Romania

My only comment would be that time spent in the office shouldn't be more than the normal. I know it's customary to do over-time and stay longer hours, but it's not always productive. I would rather have an employee that is out of the door at 5 sharp, but is very efficient, than someone who's just lingering there, cause they all do.

Anyway, in many companies this is indeed promotion must, so it's great you mentioned it. All the other points really make a lot of sense. If you want to go up the 'ladder' constantly deliver excellent work, be there for your firm, be a leader and always try to improve. Someone will surely notice ;)


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

As in any organization, the ability to get along with people and be a good team player is very important. IQ alone is not enough, you must have EQ. It's better to have a good EQ with a lower IQ than to have a good IQ but a lower EQ.

My brother-in-law is a hardworking but very quiet guy who doesn't like to socialize. He was once asked by his boss: "Who do you think will get a higher increment? The guy who works very hard or the guy who goes out for lunch with his boss?"


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Cbarbar - I agree with your point. At the same time, some employees don't cover all their bases. Working hard is not the only way to be noticed.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

I agree, Alecia. There are some employees who work hard in their cubicle. In order to get a promotion, one should love their job, do hard work, and get noticed on these points on both counts.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Bydojo - Hard work should be a given. I agree that it is not always necessary do to overtime every day. Being noticed doing hard work is key. Leadership at work is almost always noticed by employers when a promotion is available.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

WalterPoon - A boss is looking for a well rounded employee who works hard, shows leadership, and has good decision-making skills. A quiet employee who works hard may be considered a soldier rather than a leader. Something must be done by the quiet employee to get noticed. There is room for both.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

Carolyn2008, of course if you have both, you will be a sure winner. But not many people have both. I am actually referring to an either/or situation. Even my sister was complaining about this, just the other day. Seems like those who are not working much are getting much better increments. These people know their weak point and so they are more cunning and scheming. They talk the right thing at the right time, knows what the boss wants to hear and speak accordingly. Some people on the other hand, work so hard, become so focused on their job, so much so that they get upset and irritated very easily when the job doesn't turn out right. It's left to those who don't do much work that can keep their cool and be the nice guy around, trying to cool tempers, LOL. But, of course, not all companies behave this way. I am referring to the situation that is very common in my country where the corporate culture of most companies are more "people-oriented", rather than task-oriented.


nataliejs profile image

nataliejs 3 years ago from Farmersville, CA

So now people can't get promoted at work because of their poor credit? *facepalm* Bad credit is probably the reason why people seek a promotion in the first place! lol. That's awful that employees are unfairly judged like that.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

Nataliejs, as a retired human resource manager, I can tell you that people with poor credit are security risk. You never know what they can do or will do when they are desperate. Your argument that "bad credit is probably the reason why people seek a promotion in the first place" is faulty. It doesn't matter why those people are seeking a promotion, it's whether they deserve one!


Raymond Baxter profile image

Raymond Baxter 3 years ago from Lowestoft, UK

I enjoyed reading this and it shines true, however I would disagree with a few points. I manage a team and I think the first and foremost qualification for promotion is to display leadership skills. You can put in a ton of donkey work and talk to the boss as much as you want, but without those leadership skills.. nada.

Also your team is an ultimate reflection on yourself and your leadership; if some of the above is happening then I would question my own methods, and I would try and inspire them more


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 3 years ago

The information is useful. Great hub!


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Thank you.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

I agree. Still, people skills go a long way toward career success. It requires task-oriented employees to step up and learn how to present themselves to further their career. Once I realized that being quiet and working hard wasn't going to get me where I wanted to go in my career, I took a public speaking course. I then volunteered on committees that forced me to speak up. Eventually, it became natyural to me and I was looked at as a more rounded employee with leadership potential.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Companies where their employees handle cash need to be careful to whom they trust financial responsibilities. A credit report which shows what kind of debt the employee owes can tell a lot. A determined employee who makes payment arrangements on bad credit shows that he or she recognizes having a good credit score helps career advancement.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

I agree.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

QUOTE: " Once I realized that being quiet and working hard wasn't going to get me where I wanted to go in my career, I took a public speaking course. I then volunteered on committees that forced me to speak up."

Carolyn, you are a highly intelligent go-getter. People like you are worthy of respect, rather than people who climb the ladder by wit and back-stabbing.


bisnar6665 profile image

bisnar6665 3 years ago from Irvine, California

Interesting hub. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Something that I've found to be particularly important when trying to move up at work is building relationships with your boss. I own my own business now, but when I was in the workforce I used to get pissed off cause I worked the hardest, but did not get moved up as fast as I wanted.

I decided to start building relationships with my bosses at work. Until then, I was spending so much time working and showing people that I was working, that I didn't take the time to make sure my bosses felt that I was "cool".

The workforce isn't entirely composed of popularity contests, but definitely something to think about adding to your arsenal for your yearly review.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

Well said, Bisnar. It's not popularity contest but rather being a lovable (or is it "likeable") team member. Let's face it. How many bosses are really objective? If he likes you, you get a raise, even though you are not as competent (he will rationalize the promotion or increment for you), but if he doesn't like you, you can camp in the office and yet nothing happens.


sriramapriya profile image

sriramapriya 3 years ago from India

Thank you for publishing Great hub.


smallbusinessblog profile image

smallbusinessblog 3 years ago from Sydney

Well written. Thanks for sharing this.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Thank you, WalterPoon. Success doesn't happen by accident. One has to look around at successful people, and figure out which traits you can do. It isn't easy, but if one wants something hard enough, success can be achieved.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Thank you.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

Carolyn, you mentioned that success doesn't happen by accident. I am not too sure about that, although I agree that it sounds very, very logical.

I was working in a publishing firm and as administration manager, I dutifully recorded the minutes of all meetings in which I attended, although I was not required to do so. (I did so because most of the meetings were so badly run that it was wasting my time. The same issues were raised again and again and decisions made in the meetings were not carried out, etc etc)

My boss actually told me, "Poon, you are just wasting your time. Who's going to read the minutes, anyway?"!!! Can you imagine him saying it when the minutes were always read at the beginning of the following meeting? Mind-boggling, right? (I was the one who proposed to him the idea of going through the previous minutes at the start of each meeting. He didn't like the idea because he just wanted to proceed with the meeting immediately. Moreover, I have this feeling that he didn't want to be committed to whatever he said in previous meetings.)

One day, the company applied for a bank loan and who else prepared the loan report, if not me? (By right, the report should be prepared by the Accounts Department, of which the boss was also the so-called Finance Manager, but he couldn't write a straight sentence.) When the report was submitted to the bank, the bank manager told him, "I've been a bank manager for more than 10 years, and I have yet seen such a well-written and comprehensive loan report!" Needless to say, my boss was very happy to hear that and from then onwards, he never condemned me again when I recorded the minutes of the weekly meetings.

If the bank loan report is not an accident, then what is? You don't apply for a bank loan everyday. And not that I had done anything different. I had been dutifully writing minutes for some 3 years and all it took was just a passing remark from a bank manager to change my boss's views of those minutes.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

WalterPoon - You took initially took minutes to save your time. When your boss scoffed at the idea, you continued to do so anyway. You didn't have to introduce the minutes into the corporate framework. You could have kept those notes to yourself. At some point, you knew that taking minutes was the right business thing to do.

You did the right thing, even if it took 3 years for your work to be acknowledged. Doing what you know is right for your company is not done by accident. There are employees who will always do good work because it is in their nature. Whether or not anyone gives a compliment.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

Carolyn, when you say, "You initially took minutes to save your time", I believe you didn't understand what I was trying to say. What is the point of keeping the notes to myself? Meetings were drawn out until late in the evening, talking about the same thing over and over again. What I wanted was to tell the boss that the matters had been discussed and decided upon. So how does keeping the notes to myself helps? And it's not just my time but everybody's time.

Recognition for me came as a result of a passing remark by an unanticipated person. Many are the good workers who never get recognized. Would they get a promotion or a good increment if they are not recognized? I thought this is the issue that is being discussed in this hub. Or am I the one who is mistaken?


alexshale 3 years ago

As for me, if you cannot get a promotion at work and this has been lasting for a long while, just give up, quit and look for another job. Yeah, this may be a challenge but eventually you may realize that you made the right decision. Otherwise you may spoil all your life if you don't make any efforts to change that. That's my personal option though...


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

WalterPoon - I've taken notes at business meetings, especially those which are confusing, for my own sanity. Others became curious as to what I was doing, and were impressed that someone was keeping the important points raised at the meetings on paper. Soon they asked me to continue with the minutes for the entire group. Later, when a project manager, committee chair or a proposal was needed, I was selected because I was recognized as a self-starter, organized thinker, a good writer and a creative thinker. This is an example of a good idea that was initially for my personal use that became recognized by my peers and supervisors as a public and professional boon. It's one example of how 'working up the corporate ladder' is started.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Alexshale -These are suggestions as to what may be keeping an employee from getting a promotion. The article speaks to impediments to career advancement. The point is that sometimes it is the employee's issues, not the supervisor, that may be the problem. If not addressed directly, these impediments will follow an employee from job to job.


Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen

I simply used to think why I don't get any promotions. I really didn't use to think deep on it's reasons. But your article has given me the confidence to give 100% of my efforts. Thanks a lot. I am sure it would be very useful for the success in my career.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

To get a promotion or a good increment, you must sell yourself first. Many of us are so absorbed in our work that we forget to do that. I found that out only after I retired, LOL.


nataliejs profile image

nataliejs 3 years ago from Farmersville, CA

WalterPoon, I understand what you're saying, but I still don't think that an employee's honesty should be judged by their credit score alone. Their criminal background and general reputation should be considered, as well. Just because a person has a low income and bad credit, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are a potential thief. That's all I'm saying. And yes, many employees do seek promotions to remedy their financial difficulties and improve their credit so that they can support themselves and their family! I never said that an employee shouldn't work hard to deserve their promotion.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

QUOTE: " I never said that an employee shouldn't work hard to deserve their promotion."

Nataliejs, did I give you the impression that I said that you said that? It is me who said that it is not necessary to work hard to get a promotion. This is what I have observed in many companies that I have worked with. An ability to curry favor seems to beat "working hard" many a times... if your boss likes you, you get a promotion, otherwise you can work until the cows come home. That was what I was saying!


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Kevin Peter - Thank you for your comment because your response was the one I was hoping for - to encourage employees to think more about their career path.


nataliejs profile image

nataliejs 3 years ago from Farmersville, CA

QUOTE: "Your argument that 'bad credit is probably the reason why people seek a promotion in the first place' is faulty. It doesn't matter why those people are seeking a promotion, it's whether they deserve one!"

WalterPoon, yes, actually you did give me that impression. I guess you and I have separate definitions of the word "deserve," because I think that anyone who is honest, hardworking, loyal, and a successful leader deserves a promotion, compared to the employee who just happens to be best buddies with the boss and is constantly sucking up to them. But sadly, this is how the world works.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

QUOTE: " But sadly, this is how the world works."

Nataliejs, that's exactly what I am driving at. I have been a human resource manager for practically all my working life and I see so much injustice around.

There was once a case where the Plant Manager wanted to fix a supervisor. When a major customer complained about high rejects that was coming from another shift, he wanted me to sack this guy instead. Together with the Quality Manager, the Plant Manager then went about falsifying the records in the customer complaint to "prove" that the rejects came from this guy's shift. I refused to join them in falsifying the records, when asked to do so. And remember this is no small family business but an American MNC. I told the Plant Manager, "The guy has done nothing wrong and if you still want to sack him, sack me first." Not that I am a hero or something, but I don't want to face the Labor Department after the sacking. I retired at 48 with a clear conscience and I have no regrets...


nataliejs profile image

nataliejs 3 years ago from Farmersville, CA

Well, good for you for having the integrity to do the right thing. I've worked for so many managers who had a range of little to absolutely no compassion or appreciation for their employees. Some people work hard all their lives and never get what they deserve, yet there are employees who skate effortlessly to the top just because they suck up to the manager and wait on them hand and foot. It's so unfair, and corporations don't even realize how bad it makes their business look.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

Integrity comes with a very heavy price tag and not many people are willing to pay for it. It's easier to play along and get rewarded for it. That's why I always feel that motivational books are of little use. If you want to succeed in life, just read Chin-Ning Chu's Thick Face Black Heart. Having said that, not many people can do what she advises, either. She wrote about an ancient Chinese magistrate who knew all the ways to climb the ladder but never used any of the techniques that he had written in his book.


condominium profile image

condominium 3 years ago from Philippines

To add to this dynamic conversation, I think it is good to consider that walterpoon does have a point-- office politicking is necessary in order to advance in any corporation. We have to acknowledge that being part of a human society means making deals and knowing that doing so means getting ahead. Getting ahead is not a bad thing.

However, I do also believe that nataliejs also has a point. Too much of this "sucking up" without actual results leads to a very corrupt system of corporate management, and if businesses do not address this, then the quality of business is reduced. It also reflects poorly upon the society we exist in.


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

Condominium, actually I would like to agree with Nataliejs. I wish the world has been more meritocratic. And by meritocratic, I don't mean just working hard but also knowing how to get things done through people and working as a team. But the reality is that those who spent time scheming rather than working seem to get ahead faster and not the other way round.


EyesStraightAhead profile image

EyesStraightAhead 3 years ago from Florida, USA

Dani Johnson notes that we should "Prosper where we are planted." She gives the concept of an "Employeeprenuer," which is an employee who thinks and works like an entrepreneur. I think the tips you provided and her theories on how to prosper combined make a great recipe for success in the workplace!


WalterPoon profile image

WalterPoon 3 years ago from Malaysia

EyesStraightAhead, don't be too sure of that. What works in one corporate culture may not work in another. I learned it the hard way. Some companies reward intrapreneurship, others don't, especially old, established companies.


MelonieGilchrist profile image

MelonieGilchrist 3 years ago

Excellent article full of information that people should read and apply to their jobs. In my experience one other thing can cause issues, be careful how you point out mistakes that your superiors are make. People don't like being told they are wrong and if you approach this type of situation the wrong way it can spell disaster for your career. Voted up!


thomsondata profile image

thomsondata 3 years ago from USA

Great Stuff with Clear Ideas. Carolyn, No doubt You done good job to give this such a nice hub. These are the exact problems and situations where the employees face in their oraganisations when they're looking for the promotion. The problems are enough to say not to do those and overcome those from your side and the result will come automatically.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Let's look at "sucking up" as less being a toady, and more of seeking to better understand the company by using your supervisor as a mentor.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Thank you. I am of the "plant your seeds where you are" philosophy, and if they don't grow, find another plot of land.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

I agree. There is no "one size fits all" in seeking to move up the corporate ladder. One must understand how the company wants its business to be run.


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 3 years ago from Boston Author

Good point, and thank you!


Sally 22 months ago

I would like to say that sometimes if you have a boss come in who was promoted due to his boss being promoted and his boss putting him in there to watch out the division for him we'll that guy tends to want to promote those who are newer or dumber should I spay than himself instead of someone with years on them all only because it names them more comfortable....we'll all those bs theory's I see posted above don't hold up to this crap . It's all a favorite fame in the end even if you have went out of your way for the company - in the end we all end up like those who are in he line for

Why they don't get promoted its a no win game sometimes due hi jerks jerks and mire jerks no wonder we are loosing ... It's a no brainier


Carolyn2008 profile image

Carolyn2008 21 months ago from Boston Author

Whether a complete stranger or someone he has known for years, every supervisor wants to operate with someone he is comfortable with at work. Of course, the person promoted must also be able to do the work. Those are two essential elements of a promoted person. If that means that promotions are ‘rigged’ for a boss’ favorites, those two attributes would be a part of it.

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