So…you’ve been working really hard in your job and have gained lots of valuable experience. What’s next? The chance of getting a promotion and climbing the career ladder.

Promotions don’t come around that often. But, when they do, we all hope that our efforts will be recognized and rewarded so we can move forward and progress. 

If you want to reach the top in your profession, you need to be aware that certain behaviors and attitudes may hinder your progress. To help you avoid this, here are some things you should never do when you want a promotion. 


1. Be too pushy or giving ultimatums

It’s always good to be driven. However, you should avoid crossing the line and becoming too pushy. If you’ve already talked to your boss about a promotion, make sure you give them some time to think it over before you ask again. 

It’s particularly important not to give any ultimatums – these are rarely necessary! Instead, be patient in waiting for a response. You can quickly turn off your employer when they may have been considering offering you a higher position. 


2. Avoiding additional responsibilities 

If your employer is giving you extra work tasks, it’s likely they are testing you to see how well you cope with these changes and added responsibilities. 

Remember to keep this in mind at all times. If you’re trying to get a promotion, never refuse additional responsibilities, or you may be overlooked for new roles in the future. 


3. Blaming others and making excuses 

If you want your superiors to take you seriously, you need to show accountability at all times. Everyone makes mistakes. This important thing is showing you’re willing to take responsibility, and that you’re able to learn from them and grow professionally.

If you make a wrong decision at work, don’t make excuses – it won’t get you anywhere! Take ownership and fix the error. This is the best way to show your maturity and ability to advance. 


4. Poor communication skills 

Communicating well and having strong people skills helps in all areas of life, and it’s essential for progressing in your career. If you struggle to get along with others, your bosses will notice and you will be unlikely to get promoted. 

Conflict in the workplace is never healthy. And if you’re the one causing problems, you could be putting your career in jeopardy. You should always avoid conflict and disrespectful behavior towards others, as this will make you a poor fit for more senior positions

Your superiors want to see that you’re on good terms with your co-workers and that you’re an approachable person. Someone who raises company morale and keeps everyone happy is much more likely to make a positive impression.


5. Not updating your skills and knowledge 

Employers aren’t looking for laziness. They want people with drive and a passion for learning new skills. If you want to get that promotion, now’s not the time for slacking off. 

You should aim to put in the extra hours now so you can learn new, valuable skills. This shows you’re willing to go the extra mile, not just do the bare minimum.

6. Lying and being dishonest 

If you want to get promoted, you need to prove yourself as a trustworthy and reliable person. This means that, if you’re caught lying or being dishonest, you will create the wrong impression. 

Always aim to tell the truth, and avoid lying at all costs, especially about other people. If you get caught doing this, it’s guaranteed to put off your superiors at work and you won’t be promoted. 


7. Dressing unprofessionally 

Never underestimate the importance of dressing professionally. If you want that promotion, you need to look the part. This means showing up to work in appropriate work attire and practicing personal hygiene without fail. 

Do not arrive at your workplace in wrinkled, baggy, or revealing clothing. If you do, there is a good chance your superiors will not see you as a good candidate for a promotion. Not only that, but your coworkers may have less respect for you.


8. Being unreliable 

 Reliability is a crucial factor in who’s chosen for a promotion. Your employers want to know that if given more responsibilities at work, you will have it totally covered. They need to know they can trust you. 

If you come across as unreliable, your superiors (and your team members) are sure to notice. Because of this, it’s important to stay organized and complete all your tasks on time. 


9. Doing personal tasks during working hours 

When you’re in the office, you’re on the company’s time – so make sure you don’t waste it! You need to show that you’re willing to work hard all day. This means that, from the minute you get to work, you should be focused on your work tasks. 

Always be professional: leave your emotions at the door, put your phone away, and get straight to work. If you have personal tasks to do, save them for your break or lunchtime, or do them when you get home. 


10. Regularly leaving early 

Nothing says, “I’m not serious about this job” like leaving before you’re supposed to. If you really want that promotion, do not shorten your work hours, unless it’s an absolute emergency. 

You might be tempted to leave early some days, especially if your boss isn’t around. However, this is a big mistake. Your fellow employees are bound to notice and they will see you as someone that doesn’t deserve a higher position. 

If you want to prove yourself as worthy of a promotion, maintaining a high level of respect from your peers and superiors is of the utmost importance. 



Getting a promotion is such an amazing experience, especially when you’ve put in lots of hard work to get there. Remember, if your superiors know you want to move up in the company, they will be keeping a very close eye on you. 

To create the right impression, you must have an excellent work ethic, and this includes avoiding all the behaviors listed above. With a little patience and effort, though, you’ll be well on your way to getting that promotion!

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