In the working world, there’s a good chance you’ll come across at least one of these unique personalities when it comes to promotion time.
While we all know the eager thirst of wanting to climb the rungs of the corporate ladder, these personality types are highly unlikely to ever be promoted.
Here’s why and what you can do to make sure you get your next promotion – the right way!
1. The Brilliantist
This personality type usually works hard, but not smart. Brilliantists believe that they are knowledged, experienced and brilliant at their job, but though their productivity is high, results and quality is often average or low.
Their ego is inflated and they almost always have delusions of grandeur when it comes to promotion time.
- No matter how hard you’re working, think realistically about the results you’re producing. Have you got rock-hard evidence to back up your brilliant claims?
- Before applying for a promotion, ask for tips and advice from your managers or peers. Don’t go for a promotion assuming that you’re brilliant and that you already know everything. You might be giving it your all, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to beat the competition and get the job hands down.
- When you are given feedback, don’t jump on the defensive. Remember that even successful people have weaknesses and often need constructive criticism. As Steve Jobs once said, “the most important thing you can do for someone who’s really good … is to point out to them when their work isn’t good enough.”
2. The Schmoozer
The Schmoozer tries to secure promotions by schmoozing – making small talk, trying to be likeable and ultimately sucking up.
But Schmoozers rarely get promoted because they are short-term thinkers who put all their energy into getting something for themselves rather than collaborating for the good of all.
- How can you avoid being a Schmoozer? Be a Networker instead. Networkers are geared towards cultivating long-term relationships and they are interested in what they bring to the next role, not just what the promotion can do for them.
- What’s the key to great networking? “Ask good questions, then shut up,” advises famed Silicon Valley executive Guy Kawasaki. “The mark of a good conversationalist is not that you can talk a lot. The mark is that you can get others to talk a lot… Ironically, you’ll be remembered as an interesting person.”
3. The Lifer
“I should get this promotion because I’ve been here the longest!”
This common quip is the key trait of the Lifer. In their mind quantity = quality. Lifers usually feel they are owed a step up because they’ve been with the business forever and know its ins-and-outs.
But Lifers always mistake loyalty for capability. And when passed over for a promotion, they usually don’t understand why.
- While company loyalty should be valued, it’s not a reason for promotion.
- You might have extensive knowledge about the business, but do you really have the skills to fulfil each function of the role you’re hoping to be promoted into?
- Concentrating on your talents, achievements and abilities, rather than pushing for the job based on your longevity, will leave you in a much stronger promotion stead.
4. The Boss Sucker-Upper
Boss Sucker-Uppers are real phoneys. They shoulder rub the boss at every turn, but they don’t bother fostering great relationships elsewhere. As such, Boss Sucker-Uppers often lack respect from co-workers.
Thus, they won’t have the support they need if they decide to apply for a promotion. And even if they are promoted, they are likely to have a hard time.
After all, no one really wants to work for a phoney.
- Don’t play dirty politics. If you want that promotion, let your boss know, but focus on your knowledge, experience and competencies when putting your hand up.
- Establishing a strong working relationship with your boss is important in the workplace, but it won’t necessarily get you that promotion – and it won’t earn you any workplace respect.
5. The Gossip Columnist
This personality type is essentially writing a gossip column in their spare time.
Gossip Columnists might be good at their job, but they aren’t trustworthy employees – they can inadvertently or deliberately promote rumours, fuel conflicts, disrupt relationships and create workplace tension.
- How not to be a Gossip Columnist? There’s a difference between discussing workplace issues and gossiping. As a general rule, don’t engage in ‘business’ gossip or spread rumours around.
- If there’s something you want to talk about, organise an official sit down with your manager/colleague.
- And, if you choose to partake in personal gossip, don’t forget that it can put your job at risk, as it did for this woman in this Fair Work Australia case.
6. The Middle Lane Driver
If you’re going for a promotion, particularly at higher management levels, the worst thing you can be is a Middle Lane Driver.
Middle Lane Drivers frequently lack ideas and direction. Instead, they build their success on the vision or decisions of others, while rarely offering input or taking risks of their own.
- Don’t be a Middle Lane Driver! Being passive when it comes to business will never get you anywhere. After all, who’s going to promote someone who can’t make decisions, innovate and lead others?
- According to Randstad’s World of Work Report, Australia is facing a leadership crisis. Those going for promotions up to the leadership level need to be both creative and adaptable as well as confident with risk and uncertainty.
- The lesson here is to formulate and share your own ideas, and contribute to key decisions in the company, even if it means a little bit of risk taking.
7. The Detonator
Tick, tick, tick … boom!
We’ve all seen the colleague that explodes. Or the boss that simply loses his cool and bursts into a tirade against a coworker.
This kind of behaviour is central to the Detonator personality, and it also demonstrates an incredible lack of professionalism. Not to mention an inability to cope with pressure, lead by example or deal with conflict.
- Being a Detonator can be detrimental to your career, so if you find yourself getting wound up, aim to focus on solutions rather than problems. If you do need to let off steam, do so away from the office.
- A talent for innovative solutions and the ability to remain calm in the face of pressure are two key markers of a professional with potential. Those who blow their top can pretty much count on losing a lot of respect – and being passed over come promotion time.