Everybody knows that things get tougher in the workplace the higher up you go. Look at your boss for goodness sake! When she first got promoted she had a full head of hair and was in a happy marriage – now she’s divorced and has a drink problem since taking a step up the professional ladder.
Promotion isn’t for everyone but you still have to be seen to be interested in furthering your career with the company or you’ll never get a pay rise ever again.
It’s therefore important that you learn the art of appearing driven and focused, but also demonstrate just enough professional incompetence so that no manager in their right mind would ever consider promoting you.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re never taken seriously as a promotion prospect in your office ever again:
1. Keep Schtum
Never discuss career progression with your boss – ever! The last thing you want to do is to start being seen as someone that has a genuine career goal in mind. Your aim is to be seen as somebody the company doesn’t mind employing, but who’ll never realistically be considered for the big jobs. If you start banging on about your plans for career progression at the pub after work, people might start to believe it’s you rather than the beer talking!
2. Deny your successes
You might actually be quite good at your job, but the important thing is to make sure nobody else is aware of this. You should therefore keep a lid on any of your accomplishments and where possible, try to attribute them to someone else (the intern perhaps?). None of your colleagues will deny that they were the source of a great idea they have been credited with, so you can feel safe knowing that you won’t have to worry about having to get in early to do reports, or all the other boring stuff that people who get promoted have to do.
3. Avoid extra-curricular study
Okay, so you’ve just signed up to do an evening course in bee keeping because it’s the latest fad that everybody has taken up. You must however think about what this will do for your career. If the bosses at work find out that you’re the sort of person that is prepared to spend their own time diligently studying to acquire new skills, they might believe that you’re the sort of person that could lead the business one day – be careful!
4. Turn down any opportunity to work in another department
Horizontal moves are one of the tactics management use to help people progress in the company. You must avoid this at all costs. As long as you stay where you are, you can be pretty sure that the person above you will do all they can to block any opportunity that may arise for you to move upwards.
5. Become a yes man/woman
It’s important if you’re going to stay in the sweet spot between the work experience kid and senior management, that you don’t show any initiative. There’s nothing quite like disagreeing with the boss to get them thinking that you might have what it takes to become just like them. You must therefore avoid expressing any opinions or having any unique ideas – or the next thing you know it will be you that has a parking space near the front entrance of the office.
6. Never show a willingness to solve problems
Your market share is down this quarter by 10% so what did you do? You told your boss how you planned to solve the problem. What on earth were you thinking? All the boss is going to think now is that you might actually be more than an average asset to the team. Solving problems at work is one of the quickest ways to get yourself earmarked for future success. Stop it! Now!
7. Try to repeatedly make minor errors
Get your figures wrong, occasionally turn up late for work – not enough to get you the sack but just enough to keep a check on your internal work profile. Remember, people can get promoted at any time so it’s important that you make sure everybody knows you’re scatty and accident prone to put paid to any ideas they might have about promoting you.