You feel like you work hard and stay out of trouble. When promotions are handed out, you never seem to be a recipient. A lack of career advancement may be the result of something as simple as your are not a family member in a family company. However, most of the time, the reasons are more about you than the company. Consider the following reasons why many people see their careers stall.
Staying too long in your current job.
Loyalty is an important trait in employees. Unfortunately, managers sometimes learn to rely heavily on certain employees and become reluctant to move them up the ladder. In this instance, working harder only helps cement you to your current position. The only way to break this pattern is to move on. Look for a new job one step above yours. In some instances, you may be able to do a boomerang. By giving your notice, you new company may suddenly realize that they would prefer to promote you and give you a raise rather than to lose you.
Too much job hopping.
The opposite of staying too long is to move too much. When companies target people for promotions, they like to select individuals that they can count on to stay for a while. It costs money to give a promotion and the training that goes with it. If you are seen as someone who is just hanging around to have an office and phone to help you land your next job, career advancement in your current company will not happen.
Lack of education.
Although this one may seem obvious, an educational credential may be essential for the company to reach certain types of clients. Or, you may need a specific license that requires formal education for qualification. This is especially true in the medical field. But, it can also be true of electricians, auto mechanics and a host of other career fields.
Failure to understand what is required to advance.
Some people go along in the work oblivious to anything that goes on around them. Believing raises and promotions fall from heaven is not enough. You need to pay attention to what the people being promoted are doing in order to advance. Learn what is needed to take the next step and pursue it.
Keeping your circle of friends and associates small will keep your advancement potential small as well. Spend time getting to know the people who have the ability to open doors in your career field. Use these individuals as mentors and references. This type of contact can make a huge difference in the way your ability to be promoted is perceived.
Lack of career focus, commitment and drive.
Do no be a lump. Decide where you what you want to attain or achieve and point your career in that direction. Work hard to stay on track and keep the goal in view at all times. Push yourself to reach your dream. Do not miss an opportunity because you were too lazy to go for it.
Every company has employees who want the world, but they only want it on their terms. Compromise and flexibility are requirements to go upward in your career. Sometimes, you may have to take tasks that you are not thrilled about to get the chance to reach the job that you really want. If your boss sees you as inflexible, it is unlikely that person will drop your name in any conversation that is positive for you future.
Being too soft means that you are so flexible that you lack resolve and backbone. You are not seen as a leader or a person who can influence others. Both of these are real career killers. Superiors need to think of you as someone who can be decisive and passionate.
Too many personal problems.
Unless you have no choice, leave your personal life at home. Whining about your spouse, children, finances, and neighbors will lose you respect with your peers and your superiors. Personal problems can keep you from giving the priority to your career that it deserves.
Poor choice of career fields.
One of the worst choices a person can make is to pick a career path that holds little personal interest for the individual. If you do not enjoy what you do to earn a living, you will consistently give it less than your best efforts. Having a lethargic attitude toward your job will quickly translate into career stagnation. You will be unhappy going to work each day. Others will see this lack of job satisfaction and equate it to eventual poor job performance. No wants to promote a person who is destined to fail.