Have you ever been told that you’re “just not ready” for a promotion, despite a successful track record? This type of feedback often means that you’ve spent too much time building your skills — and not enough time building relationships.
If this rings true, ask yourself whether decision-makers know what’s special about the way you work. Perhaps you’re a strategic thinker, who can spot trends and connect seemingly unrelated pieces of information. Or maybe you’re a clear communicator, saying what needs to be said in a way that ensures everyone hears it and takes action.
Once you’ve identified what you’re good at, think about how you can share your skill more widely. For example, if you’re good at presentations, offer to provide feedback on a colleague’s dry run before their next big meeting.
Or host a brown-bag conversation where you and your team members share tips on how to present to senior management. When the boss understands your special skills — and sees how well you work with others — they’ll be more likely to bet on you the next time a promotion opportunity opens up.