True Career Story (because you can’t make this stuff up!):
I’d been at my job 5 years when this happened. Things were finally going really well. I had made huge progress from the early days at my tech support engineer job, I was performing at a very high level compared to the rest of the team, and my boss was extremely happy with me.
Plus, for the first time after the certification fiasco, I was feeling excited about my career again. You see, when I got the highest industry certification put out by my company in the only second year of service, I was sure my promotion was a shoe-in. I’d have bet my life on it!
After all, that had been the message from upper management and my own boss and all my peers, that was the dangling carrot in front of me from Day 1 of joining the company.
And that was a lie. A big fat ugly disgusting lie.
I was passed over for promotion. I was passed over for recognition and for raise.
But I got over it.
I made peace with it and I worked hard for the next three years. I improved my knowledge and performance and at this point in time, I felt optimistic that finally things were going to happen.
My boss had made several specific mentions of an upcoming promotion for me and I couldn’t wait.
The new cycle came and went. The new fiscal quarter started and ended. Performance reviews came and went. And I did not see that promotion.
I found out later that my boss had cheated me out of the promotion behind my back and saved it for someone else. But what I didn’t see were the obvious signs that he was doing it. And if I had been smarter, I’d have seen these signs coming.
Now I’m telling you this story because I eventually cracked the code of getting ahead and the good news is that you can tell really fast signs your boss is lying to you and cheating you out of your well-deserved promotion and raise behind your back.
Reminder: Did you know we have a step-by-step course here to teach you everything you need for getting recognized, getting promoted and creating your dream career at your job?
5 Signs to Tell Your Boss is Cheating You out of Your Promotion
Please note: For ease of use, I use “he” as a default for boss and indicate he/she as much as possible.
1. He avoids the topic and gets uncomfortable when you raise it.
Naturally, when the boss has once promised a promotion, you’re curious to know how the process is going. An honest boss should never promise on what he or she cannot deliver but also, he or she should never feel uncomfortable discussing the terms and the updates with the employee.
If you detect a level of discomfort in your boss upon bringing up the topic of your promotion, or sense that he is always avoiding the topic, there’s trouble. It means something is not going well with your promotion and he or she is not willing to openly disclose it to you.
2. He gives you the constant runaround.
When you ask your boss how the promotion is going, he or she is giving you excuses, such as “I’ve got to check with my own boss to see how things are going.” or “We are still waiting to hear about the budget updates to see how many promotions we get.
Sometimes, these are true circumstances, but if you hear the same excuse over and over, and no actual action to move things forward – such as the boss hasn’t talked to his or her own boss as they said they would and shows no sense of urgency to take any action towards your advancement, chances are he is not going to promote you anytime soon.
A rule of career management is that all bosses will, eventually, be replaced. Be nice, be honest but not arrogant about your ambitions, and ask for help. Usually you’ll get it. ~Donald Asher, Author.
3. He changes his general disposition towards you.
He is acting aloof or unavailable towards you whereas before, he was engaged and interested and available. You are sensing this, even if you may not be able to put your finger on it. It’s still a sign that something has shifted and you need to pay attention.
A boss who is ready to promote you to the next level should take more interest in you, not less. This is the time that the boss spends nurturing you and preparing you for the next level, and if you are sensing the opposite behavior from your boss towards you, things are not going well on that promo!
4. He excludes you from critical meetings and communications.
Whereas you were totally in the loop on the critical happenings of the team and the organization and your boss would pull you in to share the intimate details of the project or ask your opinion on a regular basis, now you’re being left alone and shut out.
You’re missing one meeting here and another there. You don’t get invited to closed-door discussions. You’re left off a communication that went out to a group and you accidentally found out.
If you sense this happening, your boss is not interested in promoting you or advancing your career anytime soon, because getting left off a meeting or an email may be an accident once but never twice!
5. He’s secretly grooming someone else to do your projects.
You may have noticed that suddenly, someone else on your team or in a different group is showing more interest in your project and offering to help out. Perhaps your boss even introduces you to this person and asks you to be a resource or a mentor and show the ropes of your own projects and processes to them.
If this is happening unexpectedly and you had not asked for such a resource, chances are your boss is looking to either eliminate your position down the road, get rid of you somehow or hand over your promotion to another person. Not a good sign!
So what should you do if you detect these signs from the boss?
Your first reaction when you realize that your boss may be cheating you out of your well-deserved promotion and accompanying compensation is anger and frustration.
You may feel the urge to confront and ask him or her about it. You may also feel very defensive and betrayed for all your hard work and the lack of commitment on his or her part.
You’d be justified in all of your feelings, but none of that is going to help you get the promotion.
One quick tip to put to use right away if you notice these signs: Set up an open communication meeting just between you and your boss to discuss it. Label it as an urgent concern. Request that he meet with you immediately and set aside no more than 20 minutes. Do not offer hints about your concerns until you meet. This way there is no warning as well as no way for the boss to excuse himself or herself because curiosity will get the best of them and they will meet with you. During the meeting,
I work with clients who struggle with leading this conversation so I’ve created a specific dialogue outline on how to conduct this conversation as well as many others with your management in such a way that is effective on enabling you to get everything you want from your boss, without selling your soul!
If you have the right strategy, you will not be cheated out of that promotion. Not this time or all the future times when you’re up for advancement in your career. So to learn more about how these strategies can help you win at the work place and work smarter, get better results and get ahead, sign up below and I’ll send you your first lesson right away: