Being confident, savvy the key to promotion

  • 01/09/2016
Laurel McLay
Laurel McLay

Sometimes, it can feel like everyone around you is getting promoted and you're being forgotten.

The old cliché says it's a squeaky wheel that gets the oil - and career expert Laurel McLay says the truth is that sometimes people are simply too good at their jobs for promotion.

"I was speaking to someone just this week who was raving about a particular team member, and I said 'You could put her in this role', and he looked at me in horror and said, 'I can't let her out of that role, she's too good for me there'," Ms McLay explained.

"We often get well-meaning bad advice, which is 'work really hard' - but sometimes you work so hard, they don't want to move you anywhere else because you're too good."

Ms McLay says it's important to be savvy if you feel as though you're in that position.

"What it's about is talking to the right people and providing them value...really you've got to just look at where else you could be adding value in that organisation," she said.

Leadership skills and confidence are vital ingredients for promotion, Ms McLay says - but that needs to be tempered with not being showy or making too much noise about yourself.

"If you're not full of substance and you're sitting there displaying egotistical behaviour then no one's going to want that - because they're going to look at you also as what sort of person you are to work for.

"Don't just focus on working too hard, and sometimes it's savvy to say no, because people will look at you pushing back. Have the right relationships with the right people - get known - and develop those soft skills; be confident and take initiative."