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The REAL Reason Why You Are Failing to Advance Your Career (And How to Fix It)

Are you stuck in the same job for too long, failing to advance your career? Have you ever wondered why some people get promoted FASTER while others get left behind?

If the answer is "yes", then what you are about to read below may be the single most important message of this entire year for you.

You see, after working with hundreds of ambitious Fortune 500 professionals, I have discovered that most of them make the EXACT SAME handful of mistakes that lead to failure to advance their careers.

I call these mistakes "Career Blindspots".

Here is the thing - these blindspots, once corrected, can help professionals like you land a job promotion within 6-12 months (sometimes even less). What's most interesting about these blindspots is that they typically fall in one of the four categories:

(NOTE: Want to learn 6 proven steps to landing a job promotion? Click here to get this FREE Cheat Sheet.)

Career Blindspot #1: You are terrified to talk about your success at work.

careerblindspot_01

According to the recent @Work study done by LinkedIn, 46% of the professionals said that they do not feel confident talking about their achievements at work.

They feel that if they talk about their successes, it would come across as bragging.

In order to compensate for this, they keep working even harder, hoping that their results will speak for themselves…only to get ignored and passed over for job promotions year after year, calling other people schmoozers and growing more resentful with each passing day.

Underlying problem: You don’t have the SKILL to talk about your success in a sleaze-free way, so you persuaded yourself that results should speak for themselves. They won’t. They never do.

Quick fix: Share credit with the team that helped you to achieve success. It will ease you into verbalizing your own achievements.

Career Blindspot #2: New career opportunities are being HIDDEN from you

careerblindspot_02

In other words, you work your ass off all year long but you DON'T SEE any room to move up. There are simply no new job positions on the horizon that would be a fit for you.

Then one day you hear that your colleague Matt just got promoted to a newly created job. A job that would have been a perfect fit for YOU. You start to wonder what the hell happened…

Underlying problem: You keep waiting for new job openings to be publicly announced before you apply for them when in fact, 70% of new job openings are NOT publicly announced. In other words, these jobs are filled BEFORE they are made public. And yet, a large majority of professionals are solely focused on publicly announced jobs that account only for 30% of all new jobs.

Quick fix: Find out which parts of your organization are poised for growth over the next 12 months.

Tip: In public companies CEOs and senior executives talk publicly about parts of the company where growth is expected to come from. That’s where the money will go and new positions will be created.

Career Blindspot #3: You crave recognition and reward...but you are NOT getting any.

careerblindspot_03

In this scenario you work hard but no one seems to notice...

You consistently meet or exceed your goals but when you sit down with your boss to have the annual performance review, you end up getting average grades. You earn the EXACT SAME salary for the three years now (or best case scenario, every year you receive a measly 1-2% annual increase).

You start to feel frustrated and try various tactics to get more visibility and recognition but somehow other people end up getting all the credit. Over time, you start to feel UNDERVALUED and UNDERAPPRECIATED, seeking way out...

Underlying problem: We have been conditioned to “be good” since our childhood and learned to connect the reward and recognition from our parents with our self-worth. At workplace, we expect similar recognition from our boss when in fact, we can get that recognition from other people and stay focused on what matters more - the next level job.

​Quick fix: Start GIVING informal recognition to other people. It will encourage them to have the same attitude towards you.

Career Blindspot #4: You (mistakenly) blame it on your boss of office politics.

careerblindspot_04

Even though you are competent, hard-working and deliver results, your boss stays negative about you and your abilities.

Even worse, he BLOCKS your job promotion.

When you try to initiate a discussion about your career development, he either avoids it or keeps coming up with an ever growing list of new skills you need to develop.

To make things worse, office politics and favoritism start to prevail. You find yourself sitting in meetings where your boss consistently praises your boot-licking colleagues instead of you.

Over time, you start to resent your boss and blame him for your being stuck in your career. You may even start to bad mouth him, naively assuming that he will never hear about it…

Underlying problem: You are not accepting the fact that YOU are in charge of managing the relationship with your boss and learning how to expand your circle of influence.

Quick fix: Take a piece of paper and map out people who are essential for your job promotion. This would typically include not only your current boss, but also your future boss, three future peers and one influential person who is at least a peer of your future boss (that person should become your mentor).

Once you’re done mapping, write down ONE action you will take for each of these four groups of people.

Avoid These Costly Mistakes By Getting the FREE Cheat Sheet “6 Proven Steps to Landing a Job Promotion”

If one of these career blindspots speak to you and your current situation at work, there is good news.

I have recently created a FREE Cheat Sheet “6 Proven Steps to Landing a Job Promotion”.

Inside this cheat sheet you will find the EXACT steps I used to land 6 job promotions in 6 years and go from being an underpaid Sales Representative to becoming a Senior Global Director at a Fortune 500 company, managing a $5 billion worth product portfolio)

Click here to get it now free of charge.

#1 Bestselling Book 'Promoted'
Bozi Dar
 

Bozi is a career advisor to Fortune 500 executives and author of the #1 bestselling book 'Promoted'. After struggling for years to advance his own career, he discovered a simple 6-step formula which helped him land 6 job promotions in 6 years and increase his salary 15 times. Over the years, he refined and perfected his system based on the the actual corporate experience (no fluff and no theory), helping thousands of ambitious professionals to advance their career fast.

  • Great career advice here!

  • Imagi

    Hi,
    I should be honest and say, a little bit of all the 4 elements are present in my own career. I say this not because I am not capable of speaking for myself or because I do not keep my eyes open for new opportunities; but because I am not consistently avoiding these blind spots and once in a while, I get hit by them.
    I do have a good career and career growth, but I know it can be better and a lot of what the author of this article, Bozi Dar says makes sense to me. If I can improve my chances even by 50% by following the tips he provides, I would consider that a great improvement.

    • I can definitely suggest to get the book as it addresses the question on how to grow your career in 10x fashion (5x results in 1/2 time). Thank you for sharing!

  • lisa

    Hi Bozi,
    I agree with you, the four examples you speak about are very common factors in the business world.
    the explanation and the quick fixes with the specific steps are clear and VERY GOOD.
    Currently, I am partially retired and only dedicating few hours a week to my family business.
    The largest Blindspot, as you call it, I experienced was office politics (I was never part of that) and professional jealousy from some of the people in the bosses’ selective group and even from the bosses. However, during my last bad experience with a poor leader as a boss and favoritism was the # 1 qualification, I did what you suggest in this program and ‘ it worked”.
    thank you for taking the time for sending this valuable information.

    • Great to hear that Lisa! I would be curious to learn what you specifically did to turn-around that situation (sounds like it worked really well).

  • Viral

    Bozi, You just read my mind.

  • Beth Schoenberg

    Blindspot #3 describes me perfectly. Like you describe, I grew up conditioned to think in terms of making others feel good, but never drawing attention to myself. Over time, being recognized for my actions turned into a negative — it meant becoming a target for criticism, putting down the accomplishments of others, and “getting too big for my britches” (I had a very colorful grandmother!). I even started out my career pursing a field where success was measured by how “invisible” I was; the only time people in this profession are noticed is when they make a mistake.
    I recently changed careers and have had to reevaluate my relationship with the world. I’m undergoing a job search now and I’m having to purposefully practice (in front of family and friends) talking about what I’ve done. I sometimes record myself and I’m always surprised how weak and lackluster I make my accomplishments sound. It takes coaching, from others who know me well, to be able to formulate a powerful message about my successes — and then experiencing saying those things in public. It’s harder than I would have imagined to turn this around!

    • Thanks for sharing Beth and “owning” #3 (something magical happens when you start owning your challenges)! I would highly suggest an action from #3 (give informal recognition to other people. It will encourage them to have the same attitude towards you) in the form of one email sent to one person, today.

  • Paul Stockinger

    Hi Bozi,

    Depending on the year or however a corporation reorganized itself most recently, each of these have been at play during my career. With the dull, stagnant economy and more mouths to feed than when I was a single professional, #2 weighs heavily as I would love to find the next great opportunity and location closer to our extended families, but have a lower risk appetite than in my 20s.

    PS

    • Thanks for sharing. There is definitely a process to finding that perfect job without waiting for it to be publicly announced!

  • Herbert Chiou

    Hi Bozi,

    Good points here and here are some comments based on my past experiences.

    #1: A lot of people are ‘work introverts’ and would like their work to be focus on rather than themselves. They feel uncomfortable and get stuck in that cycle that you have described – unfortunately it is who they are. It was like one of the companies I had worked for in the past where they are too humble for majority of their history and now that company is starting to change that image with presence online and social media (their efforts are rewarded recently by bumping Google off the number one spot by taking that spot for Companies where top Millennials want to work at).

    #2: These positions are usually created for the person – not pre-filled. If you want a certain role, speak up to management and their management about what you can bring to the organisation and where you want to fit in – basically put the suggestion in their minds. Once the opportunity comes around where your ambitions matches the organisation’s direction, they will remember you and can create the role with your skills as the job description. They will have to post the position for legal reasons, but unless there is their twin with the same skill set as them that role is basically theirs. This may take some time because what you have in mind may not be the same direction for a while.

    #3: This is similar to #1, where people don’t want to talk about themselves. Some companies do have peer-recognition programs and the ones I like are where employees recognise each other without management involvement (more authentic). Management will get to see how peers are recognising the same person for their various contribution (and impact), thus having a better indirect feedback on things happening within their organisation. The hard part is getting it started, and the nominators should also be rewarded/recognised for taking time out of their busy schedules to recognise their peers.

    #4: There is a different approach/views that I have seen (and have read about) on this – if you are too valuable to your boss, the less likely you can move out of your current role. In order for you to move on/up, you have to mentor/develop someone else to take your role so there isn’t a void when you leave. Once your boss sees that you have a replacement, then they are more free to deploy you elsewhere. By doing the mentoring/developing of a peer, you are also showing some leadership skills which helps your boss have a better reason to move you up.

    Another thing for #4 is something one of my mentors had told me a long time back, make sure you understand your boss – what they want/expect from you. If you deliver what they need so they can do their job, they know they can depend on you – and if you make them look good, they will in turn make you look good. If you have to prioritise your work, make sure it is work that your boss assigns you and then within that, what they need urgently.

    Having said all of these, one should not only drive for a ‘promotion’ but to end up where you want to get to. It may also be a sidewards move to a role that you want to be in (may not be a more senior role or more pay). I won’t drop their full name, but your readers should also look into Aaron’s purpose economy as I also agree that purpose that can make you happy in your work. If making more money and increased responsibility is your purpose (and there is nothing wrong with that), it all applies.

    Life is good,
    Herbert

    • Thank you for very insightful comments Herbert! Which of these blindspots have you personally experienced in your career (on your skin)?

      • Herbert Chiou

        Hi Bozi,

        I would say a variation of #1 although it could also be a new blindspot. In my situation, it isn’t about being afraid to talk about successes, but not having the time to think about it. Previously I have been doing a lot of work and traveling around places – my focus was on multiple projects and getting the final products out that I didn’t spend time looking at what I wanted out of my career. I wonder how many people are in the same situation – where they don’t have time to ‘breathe’ in their work (and spilling into the family life), let alone time to self-evaluate.

        When I took a step back from the work (as I was feeling that I may be starting to burn out), I realise that I was a small cog in a large smooth running machine. This is when I evaluated what is meaningful to me from a career standpoint and made the decisions I end up doing. Ironically I could see the blindspots that you have described in others while working with my colleagues but I just didn’t have time.

        • So easy to get caught in day-to-day things…and deprioritize your career. That’s what lot of my students struggle with before they join my program. It only takes some time blocking for your career first thing in the morning and magic starts to happen over time. Thank you for sharing genuinely!

  • Sabbit Patrick

    Hello Bozi,
    i must say that you are genius in career development and thanks for the continuous support, all the points you outlined as blindspots to career development all apply in my career,i have changed companies with the aim of getting promotion however the end result is that a land a less paid job compared to the previous Job that i left, in that case it has turned out to be a nightmare for me to think i can be appreciated by my Boss for the job well done let alone being promoted. My motto my remains the struggle continues. Thank you very much for your informative article.

    • Thanks for sharing. I would highly recommend you get the book in order to speed up career progression in your new place, especially chapters around networking and getting a mentor.

  • Nishit Gandhi

    Hi Bozi,

    I love these practical tips especially the one on mapping of stakeholders. Funny we do these in our projects but never thought of doing it for my own career. Thanks a lot for the very helpful guidance. Best wishes, Nishit

    • Exactly! We somehow do all thees other things for our day-to-day work and they are no-brainers, but we fail to prioritize our career and end up NOT being strategic about it. Great catch!

  • Mary Chacko

    Thanks for the regular tips and effort to engage. I must be honest to say that I am not convinced that career blindspots can be compartmentalised in the four areas as identified. My personal experience: a major restructure in the organisation was kept under wraps until the date of the crossover or reorganisation. Up to this time the staff were told that “no one would lose their job”. Implied here was that we would get redeployed or upskilled for the new roles and functions that the division was morphing into. Well, none of that happened. An entire dept was closed with staff being told to look for new jobs. We had 6 months to sort this out, failing which, we were to leave the organisation. The career blindspot here would not be any of the 4 categories but a lack of transparency and concern for staff from a management unwilling to take responsibility for the changes it endorsed.

    • Firstly, I am very sorry to hear about what happened…it is never a good spot to be in. As for the blindspots – #2 touches upon the topic of predicting the right place to be in in the organization (typically where the growth is going to come from). With large companies there is always a part of the company that is poised for either growth or turn-around and that’s where the money goes. Being able to predict these is invaluable skill (and entirely learnable, one tactic being shared above under blindspot #2 > Quick Fix).

  • user

    Dear, Bozi, I appreciate these tips. I was interested in the one about knowing at least a peer of my future boss. This article is pretty important for many people that may not be where they want to be right now. New career opportunities could be being discussed on twitter. I learned that from someone that is friends with Scott B. I hope to have some more time to read helpful, brief articles like this one. I am sincerely interested in a free copy of Promoted. If it is free, then there should be no need for payment information details.

    • Thanks for your kind words. The book itself is for free (the content inside took 8+ years to develop and test), but there is a small fee for shipping and handling.

  • SHANAISHWAR ADHAPURE

    I have all these career blind spot.
    After rereading this artical I will improve my self in next job.