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Four Not So Obvious Reasons People Get Fired Or Rejected For Promotions

By Lisa Woods (1122 words)
Posted in Human Resources on August 19, 2012

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Besides all the obvious reasons such as theft, lying, not showing up for work and poor performance, there are other underlying reasons why people are let go when there is a downsizing or restructuring.  They are the same reasons they are passed up on promotions and opportunities to advance their careers.  Take a look through them and ask yourself if you are at risk.


Here Are Four Not So Obvious Reasons People Get Fired Or Passed Over For Promotions.


They Are Not Good Listeners

Another way to describe this characteristic is someone that always thinks they are right.  When you think you are right, you don’t feel the need to listen to other opinions or ways of doing something.  Most Managers do not see a future for employees that make it difficult for them to implement changes they want to make.  It takes too much time to get things done, and reduces the flexibility of the department.


…Instead, individuals that make an effort to ask their boss for their opinion are more likely to be asked the same by their boss.  Creating this exchange on a regular basis will build a mutual respect that will allow your ideas and opinions to be heard and bought into.


They Believe They Should Be Doing Something More Important

Employees that carry a chip on their shoulder because they think they are better than the job they currently have rarely get taken seriously.  If they were so great they would actually have the job they keep talking about. 


…Instead, individuals that focus on their current job, excel at it, and offer assistance to others, including the person with the job they are interested advancing to, actually get taken seriously for advancing into that position.


They Don’t Make An Effort To Adapt

Employers want to grow the business, move forward, and stay ahead of their competition.  If an Employee is not moving at the speed of their boss, is not staying updated on technology, concepts and training, and is not bringing new innovated ideas to the team, then the Employer will not have confidence that that employee is worth investing in to move the company forward.


…Instead, individuals that take charge of their own professional development, grow their knowledge base, continue their education, stay updated on industry and professional innovations, and bring new ideas to the company, prove they are invaluable to the company’s future.


They Don’t Know How To Effectively Communicate

Managers want to know what is going on, they want to see progress and understand problem areas are being addressed.  Often individuals are good at their jobs but do not know how to share information.  They are seen as brick walls and are passed up for individuals that can be informants upwards and ambassadors to those below and beside them.


…Instead, individuals that create regular, detailed reports to their boss, whether that be via in-person updates, or weekly/monthly reports, are considered more trustworthy.  Especially if they are reporting both positive and negative information, along with action plans for improvements and status updates.  Improving presentation skills of all forms (one-on-one dialog, reports, & presentations) will help no matter what you


So to sum it up, if you think you are always right, if you are overly focused on your dream job instead of perfecting your current one, if you have not spent time improving your skills, and if you think reporting information is a waste of time...you are at risk during a downsizing and probably not on anyone's radar for promotion.  The good news is that you can change how your boss sees you, and impact your future, by focusing on what you can do...Instead.


Take the time to develop new skills, perfect your current job performance then volunteer for additional assignments, seek out opinions to improve your work, and become an active/productive communicator.  The changes you make in yourself will be noticeable, you will feel better about your contributions, and your company is more likely to find you invaluable.


For more information see the following related articles:

Two Ways to Address “Perfect Employee Syndrome”

Five Steps Great Managers Take Before Letting Someone Go

Three Personality Traits That Hurt Your Career AND How to Fix Them

Eleven Really Useful Techniques for Successful Presentations

Only you can answer the question: “How do I get promoted?”

Ten ways to ensure innovation is driving your company’s future.

Six ways to improve your communication skills.

Three tips to channel your ego for good.



Written by Lisa WoodsPresident & CEO ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, dynamic business leader & author with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth in the corporate world. Today she provides Management Tools, Do-It-Yourself Training, and Business Assessments for small to mid size companies, Lisa utilizes her experience with integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and strategic revitalization to help other companies succeed.  Closing the gap between strategy and hierarchy through the use of effective communication skills, Lisa's techniques successfully develop employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors that collectively exceed objectives.


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Comments (8)

Rennette Grace posted on: August 20, 2012

This is a short article that job-seekers can learn from also. If you're job-hunting and you can see yourself doing the four things mentioned, you may want to follow the advice given so you don't end up in an interview and displaying the four traits that are discussed.

Marcin Wojnarowski posted on: August 21, 2012

Great article!
My only doubt is about reason 1: "They Are Not Good Listeners". I learned that if you are poor listener and you enforce your opinion on others, you can be raised, supported and promoted and you can become a powerful person. Especially, if regardless your approach to people you achieve positive business results.

HR Manager posted on: August 21, 2012

Excellent article!

Kim Faulkner posted on: September 12, 2012

Some very valid points....

Kathryn Baer posted on: September 28, 2012

This is a good article. Thanks for posting it. I would add a fifth reason: They are negative. In other words, their first response to a new idea is why it won't work, problems it will cause, etc.

Michael Cook posted on: September 28, 2012

It's often how they talk about their work on a day-to-day basis. Don't rely on email to get your bosses attention about your work. It's also how you show your thought process which is best done in discussion. If you show your boss that you have a balance of strategic and tactical thinking, then that's much more promotable than just telling all the steps you did, which is typical of process improvement communication. You're also more promotable if you show if you are a good collaborator. When you talk about your work, show you how you worked with others, used input from others, and worked cross-functionally.

Bob Ricker posted on: September 28, 2012

Unfortunately, your boss is important, but often if you are really good your boss will not recommend you for a position that is equal to his because then you become his competition. Work hard on impressing his boss with your abilities - if he really likes you , your boss will not get to blindside you. Just a thought!

Rbashir posted on: October 14, 2012

To an extent I believe. From my past experience it has to do with the politics of the division. You can have all of the above and still not get the promotion. I think this article gives a false sense. They Don’t Know How To Effectively Communicate=Micromanagement.

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