Five Ways Not to Get Promoted

by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

"Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go; From 7-3 it's misery; Hi ho, hi ho."

Time Management has a lot more to do with "investing" our time wisely rather than just "spending it." A lot of people are not getting the returns from their time that they desire because they are not investing their time effectively, keeping them from getting promoted and advancing beyond where they are, more rapidly. They view their job as just that - a "job" - where they exchange their time for money rather than viewing it as a "position", a platform and a springboard to even greater success.

In my twenty years as a professional speaker, I have met many who lament that they are stuck where they are at and are not getting the advancement they desire, thinking that external forces are keeping them from moving up the ladder. In some cases, this is true. In most cases, it is not. A lot of why we do not get what we want in life is because of what we are and are not doing. Time Management, you see, is not doing the "wrong" things quicker. That just gets us nowhere faster. Time Management is really about doing the "right" things.

And so, here are the five surefire ways *not* to get promoted.

1. Don't plan your day

Go to work each day without a plan in mind. "People don't plan to fail but many fail to plan." Respond to whatever comes at you, the loudest voice demanding your attention. You will work "hard" but maybe not "smart."

2. Do the minimum

Many have the attitude "they don't pay me for that." They do what is required of them to cover themselves and fail to recognize that in order to qualify for a raise, we have to do more now than what we are already being paid to do. Like a wood burning stove, many stand at the cold stove and demand its heat without recognizing that you have to put the wood in first, start the flame, and wait a while for heat to radiate.


3. Rely on your current base of knowledge

Half of what we know today, we did not know fifteen years ago. The amount of information has doubled in the last fifteen years and it is said to be doubling every eighteen months hereafter. The world, our companies, and our jobs are changing whether we are along for the ride or not. It has been reported that within five years, 60% of us will be doing jobs that are not even in existence today. Statistically, if we continue to do what we do, the same way, within five years most of us will be obsolete and the world will pass us by.

4. Voice your complaints

Every job has something to complain about. The pay, the hours, the location, the facility, your boss, your co-workers, the customers, etc. Since we can never be sure whether those around us are aware of our particular discontent, be vocal about what you don't like. It will keep you and them from doing what really needs to be done and it will send out a message to the "powers that be" that maybe, just maybe, you won't be here in a few months, so why should they give you any more money or any more responsibility? And you may not mean anything by the complaining, but it does have a tendency to send out a negative message about your commitment to the organization and call into question whether or not you will be here in a few months.

5. Don't share the credit

When something goes right, put your name on the top of the list of those who made it happen. Don't acknowledge others' contributions. If something doesn't work out well, point the finger at someone else. "Victory has a thousand fathers. Failure is an orphan."

Dr. Donald E. Wetmore, a full-time Professional Speaker, is one of the foremost experts and speakers on Time Management and Personal Productivity and the author of "Beat the Clock". If you would like to receive a free copy of his companion article, "5 Practices to Get a Promotion", send your request for "practices" to [email protected]