Primary Blog/Career Growth & Guidance/Why Your Work Experience Isn’t Getting You Promoted

Why Your Work Experience Isn’t Getting You Promoted

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where despite being good at what you do, despite being reliable, disciplined, and focused, you see less experienced colleagues getting promoted ahead of you? It can be frustrating and seem unfair. Not understanding these three levels of value is a significant problem that can hinder your career progression, resulting in unnecessary stress, burnout, and dissatisfaction.

Each level represents a different set of skills and responsibilities in the workplace, and understanding them can help you navigate your career progression more effectively. When you can identify where you currently stand, then you will know what skills to develop, and how to position yourself for advancement. Let's delve into these levels of value and explore how you can leverage them to accelerate your career progression.

First Level of Value: Implementation

In the professional world, you might find yourself in a position where you're highly skilled, disciplined, reliable, and focused. You're the one people can depend on to get the job done. This is the role of an implementer, the first level of value in the marketplace.

As an implementer, you're the doer. You're hired for your specific skill set, your technical knowledge, and your expertise. You're expected to be diligent, focused, and reliable. You're the one who moves things forward, who gets things done. Implementers are essential in society and in the workplace.

However, there's a challenge that comes with being an implementer. Often, you can find yourself stuck at this level. Despite your hard work and dedication, you might feel like you're not getting noticed or gaining visibility. This can be frustrating and disheartening.

The reason for this is that implementation is the lowest level of value in the marketplace. While it's crucial, it's also the least valued. This means that if you're operating at the level of the doer, you're likely to have the least influence, the least impact, and the least recognition. This is not because your work isn't important, but because the marketplace places a higher value on other skills.

So, while being an implementer is important and necessary, it's also important to recognize that to advance in your career, you are required to move beyond this level. This doesn't mean abandoning your skills or your role as an implementer, but rather expanding your skill set and taking on new challenges.

Second Level of Value: Unification

The next level of value in the marketplace is unification. This term, derived from the root word 'unify', signifies a shift in your role within the organization. At this level, you're no longer primarily hired to perform a specific task. Instead, your role expands to managing people, processes, and/or projects.

This level of unification involves:

- Managing people: You're responsible for leading a team, ensuring they're motivated, productive, and working towards the organization's goals.

- Managing processes: You oversee the various processes within your department or organization, ensuring they're efficient and effective.

- Managing projects: You're in charge of various projects, ensuring they're completed on time and within budget

Unification is a higher level of value in the marketplace. As a result, you generally have more impact and a higher income.

However, unification also comes with its challenges. Many managers at this level feel undervalued and unappreciated. They often believe they need more education or must work harder to prove themselves, leading to a cycle of burnout.

This feeling of being undervalued and unappreciated can lead to two common misconceptions:

1. The belief that more education is needed: Many managers at this level return to school, earn additional degrees, licences, or certifications only to still feel unappreciated and undervalued.

2. The belief that they must work harder to prove themselves: This often results in managers working longer hours, taking on more projects or activities, and ultimately feeling burned out

These misconceptions can lead to a cycle of 'churn and burn', where managers feel stuck at this level, wondering why they're not moving up or why opportunities aren't coming their way. Understanding the value of unification and how to navigate its challenges is crucial for career advancement.

Third Level of Value: Communication

Communication represents the highest marketplace value because competitive advantage goes to those who can compellingly share vision while spurring action toward goals. Strong communicators influence decisions, shape thinking, rally commitment and drive change through the power of their expression and connection. When you speak with clarity, confidence and authenticity, you capture attention and demonstrate credibility. People sit up and take notice. They are moved by your vision and gravitate to your leadership.

That is why you may see colleagues with less expertise quickly promoted over you. Despite your diligent work ethic and managerial competence, they have mastered the marketplace-winning skill of communication. While you keep your head down implementing tasks and unifying teams, they are vocally presenting ideas, making pitches and forging bonds with influential leaders. They know how to package their thoughts and ideas persuasively, tailor messages to different audiences, tell memorable stories and establish quick rapport. They have developed their presence to be engaging and influential.

Individuals who excel in communication often experience a faster and farther career trajectory. They are more visible, recognized, and become the preferred choice for opportunities. This is because the marketplace highly values communication skills.

However, many professionals struggle with communication skills, often due to societal and educational programming that emphasizes technical knowledge and hard work over effective communication. This can lead to feelings of frustration and unfairness when less experienced or less educated colleagues advance faster in their careers.

The good news is that communication can be improved through deliberate practice and training. As you strengthen your ability to articulate ideas, speak authentically, connect with people and inspire action, opportunities will unfold. People will take notice and look to you more often for decisions and direction. With this highest-value skillset, you are positioned to advance upward into senior management and executive roles.

Understanding and leveraging the three levels of value is crucial for career advancement and personal growth.

Implementation: Being a skilled, disciplined, reliable, and focused doer. This level is essential but can leave you feeling stuck and undervalued.

Unification: Managing people, processes, and/or projects. This level offers more impact and higher income but can lead to feelings of being undervalued and unappreciated, often resulting in burnout.

Communication: The highest level of value, where effective, confident, and leadership-oriented communication skills can unlock new opportunities and accelerate career progression.

Not understanding these levels of value can hinder your career growth and lead to misconceptions about what is needed to advance. By recognizing the importance of each level and focusing on developing strong communication skills, you can increase your value in the marketplace and position yourself for career advancement.

Invest in communication training and seek feedback to improve your skills. By doing so, you can overcome the challenges associated with each level of value and unlock your full potential. Remember, your career trajectory is not solely determined by your technical knowledge or hard work; effective communication is the key to unlocking new opportunities and reaching executive levels and beyond.

Are you eager to elevate from knowledge absorption to transformative application? Join my exclusive executive coaching program and embark on a powerful self- and career-development journey. This implementation-to-results program is designed for growth-oriented executives like you, seeking career fulfillment through becoming the most skilled version of yourselves.

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© Mastery Insights Inc. All Rights Reserved