You're reliable. You get the job done. Colleagues and clients sing your praises. If others are getting promoted while you remain stuck on the same rung of the career ladder, it's natural to feel concerned about the lag in advancement.
We have a tendency to think that surely our hard work will be noticed and appreciated, with accolades, raises and promotions to follow.
Here are 9 attributes that may be hindering your career path.
1. You are a perfectionist.
This trait gives the illusion of being positive, but in reality, it creates big problems. It can lead to paralyzing indecision or an inordinate amount of time spent on to-do's that aren't that important in the big picture. This quality can also lead to low morale if you insist on handling everything yourself because you believe no one else will complete tasks the "right" way.
2. You don't stray from your comfort zone.
You are great at what you do; so great, in fact, that you are completely uninterested in taking on anything new. Bosses look for individuals with a growth mindset; employees with a curiosity who want to know more, do more and become more. Showing interest in all aspects of the business and in handling new roles will position you as a future leader worth the investment.
3. You do everything yourself.
You may be proud of the fact that you worked until 2 a.m. to prepare for a big project, but a perceptive manager might wonder why you didn't ask for help. If you are the type who goes it alone and doesn't delegate or involve others, that's a red flag for supervisors. As you assume more responsibility, you will need the ability to lead a team to carry out your vision. If you don't do this in your current job, employers will hesitate to put you in a position that requires managing others.
4. A failure to communicate.
You are doing excellent work, but no one knows about it. Most of us were raised not to boast about ourselves. While that's generally an admirable trait, it can translate into a tendency to stay too quiet about your achievements. Informing supervisors of your accomplishments doesn't make you a braggart; think of it as the sharing of good news. Pass along big news as it happens; proactively report overall progress to the boss at least monthly. Providing credit as appropriate shows that you are a team player.
5. You aren't open to feedback.
Nobody likes being criticized, but to improve, you need constructive pointers on your performance. If you get defensive or angry when a supervisor gives you tips on doing things better, it's a sign that you are not mature enough for more responsibility.
6. You are a pessimist.
You may be smart, productive, skilled and talented, but if you have a tendency to see the glass as half empty, you could be unwittingly sabotaging yourself. While it's important to consider what could go wrong in a given scenario, growing businesses are fueled by people who think of what could go right.
Pay attention to your outlook, both your internal voice and how you communicate with others. Do you frequently expect the worst, shoot down others' ideas or find the reason why something won't work? A change in perspective will make a huge difference in the way others perceive you.
7. Your appearance needs an update.
The old saying is true: dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If it's been awhile since you've refreshed your look, it may be time to find a more current hairstyle, invest in a few new wardrobe staples or schedule a makeup consultation. Like it or not, appearance counts. People make judgments based on what they see, and your image is very much a part of your executive tool kit.
8. You don't roll with the changes.
If you are easily thrown off course by unexpected developments, you might be passed over for a leadership role. Everyone in the business world has to deal with curve balls and unforeseen situations. The way you react is critical. How you handle surprises, setbacks and disappointments can shape how far you go in your career. Brooding and sulking, rather than digging in and out of a situation says a great deal about how you handle challenges.
9. You didn't ask.
You may picture yourself in the corner office, but you'll get there much faster if you let your supervisor know that's what you want. It's entirely possible that your boss thinks you are content in your current job. Tell your supervisor that you are up for new challenges and responsibilities. If they are not forthcoming, ask for ways you can improve to work toward your goal.