I recently received an email from one of my readers expressing his concern over being continuously passed over for promotion. He wrote:
As for me, I’m a grown man who has been stuck in middle management for over ten years now between a few different companies. I have met the requirements for promotion but I’m always passed up. I know my job very well and I know the job of my promotion very well. I have trained people who got promoted before me. I now know that hard work, dedication, loyalty, and a host of other tiresome clichés don’t matter all that much. I’m so passed the “self-motivated” quotes.”
Reader, let me tell you, I can understand your frustrations. Although I haven’t worked in middle management personally, I would like to think there are many parallels between the 9 to 5 and professional sports.
I’ve been a professional athlete for 6 years now. Up until this year, I felt the exact same way as you do now. (I created this site before this “break out” year, my about section speaks from a time where I still hadn’t become a starter) I’d done the hard work, been dedicated to my craft and loyal to the league that started me out on my professional path. Unfortunately, I saw players (in my opinion) not half as good as I was, making literally 10 times as much as I did, and playing every single minute of every game.
I felt as though I met all the necessary requirements to get my “promotion” (playing games to show my true value) but for one reason or another, I was continually passed up. Continually being passed up for recognition or promotion can become more and more discouraging, as I’m sure you know. Through experiencing this, however, I realized I needed to re-evaluate my situation. I sat down, took a look in the proverbial mirror and asked myself some tough questions.
The first question I asked was:
“Am I really doing every possible thing to achieve my goal?” My goal, of course, was achieving real and meaningful playing time on the field. Yours may be a promotion, a raise, or any other aspect of life you aspire to. Now, I didn’t mean “every possible thing” in the cliché since, I meant literally. I then asked myself a few more questions:
“Am I WILLING to do every possible thing?” (This one was key)
“Am I training and dedicating myself to my goal 10 times more than the guy in front of me?”
“Am I truly only focused on achieving this goal?”
“If I am (which I wasn’t at the time) what more could I be doing?” (No matter what the case, there’s always more you can be doing)
Asking myself these questions, and answering them honestly was what made me realize that at that time, I didn’t really want to play or “get the promotion” as badly as I thought I did. I knew this because for me, when there is something I want to learn or do, I live, breath, and think it 24/7. I spend every waking minute dedicating whatever time I have to learning and improving at it however I can.
This has held true from way back in high school days when I got hooked on Texas Hold’em, to when I taught myself how to modify my Xbox, to learning pole vault, to learning mixed martial arts, Judo, and online marketing and sales funnels. In all those cases (and many more) I would sit down in front of the computer and do nothing but read forums, watch tutorials, and buy products until I completely understood everything that had to do with what I wanted to get better at, learn, and perfect. I wouldn’t do this for just a few hours here and there either. I mean 15-18+ hours at a time, every day until I got it.
I will literally forget to eat and sleep because I am so focused on learning, improving, and achieving that particular goal that I can’t be bothered with those basic human necessities. Through realizing how I act when there is something I really want to learn or do, and answering those questions truthfully, I realized I didn’t want to play as badly as I thought I did.
I used the fact that I had been playing for as long as I had, and the fact that I had already put years of work into soccer as reason enough for me to have found success by then. This weak reasoning was the very thing keeping me from dedicating the additional time I obviously needed to be putting in (or in completely changing my current circumstances) in order to get my opportunity and capitalize on that opportunity once it came.
The point I am trying to make is this: we don’t know what the guy next to us, below us or above us is doing in their spare time to be better or get better than us. For all you or I know, the guy you trained that eventually beat you out for that position could have been spending all of his free time doing additional tasks for your boss, with the hope that he would one day repay the favor. He could have been coming back into the office everyday once everyone left to get a head start on everyone for the next day. Heck, he might not have ever left the office. You never know.
On top of all this, in your case as well as mine, we are in career paths where our movement (up or down) is at the discretion of someone else. This means that the reason we are not moving may have nothing to do with our quality of our work. It could be because we are not showing the desired leadership skills, or are confrontational, or too passive. These are criticisms we need to be eager to ask about and prepared to hear the truth regarding, because they are the only way to understand what it is we need to improve on.
It is easy to attribute our failures or missed opportunities on outside factors and excuses. It is much harder to look at what we’ve personally done and the decisions we’ve made that have contributed to where we are now.
But there’s hope. We can always make the decision to change our circumstances. So my questions to you are: What are you doing presently? What could you be doing better? What could you change about what you do to be the best candidate for that promotion you want? (These are questions others reading this should be asking themselves as well with regard to their own personal situations.)
We don’t know what our competition is actually doing. All we know and have control over is what we are doing or could be doing.
I read this post a little while back about Kobe Bryant:
I think it speaks very closely to what I’ve written about and it has inspired me to always remember that someone’s success is more about what you don’t see than what you do. Thank you Reader for providing this great topic. I hope all of you can learn from this and, as always…Please feel free to contact me with any questions or advice you may need!
**Note from author**
Hey guys, Quincy here. I really enjoy writing articles and creating additional content that speaks directly to my subscribers and followers like I have here. Because I would like to dedicate more of my time to doing this, I have been busy creating what I’ll be calling the “Quincy Community”. This is something I’ve been spending a lot of time creating and will be an awesome community of individuals who want to be proactive in creating and achieving what they want in life; whether that’s personal, business, or relationship related. This is something that will be launching soon. If you would like to know when the Quincy Community will officially be launching, be sure to join the newsletter right now by clicking here. Looking forward to having you become a part of what I know will be HUGE. Speak soon,