How Not to Get Promoted

Lately I have been doing a lot of coaching with folks who are struggling to get a promotion. That’s why this article caught my attention.  It covers a lot of common sense ideas on what not to do if you want to get promoted.

To recap the nine problem behaviors…

  • Backstabbing
  • Gossiping
  • Taking Credit for Someone Else’s Work
  • Emotional Hijacking
  • Announcing that You Hate Your Job
  • Bragging
  • Telling Lies
  • Eating Smelly Food
  • Burning Bridges

You should avoid all nine of these problem behaviors — especially the smelly food one.  I never brought my leftover Indian food to the office. 🙂

I tell members of my career mentoring site that being a good colleague is the first step in getting promoted.  Engaging in any of the nine behaviors listed in the article is a way to get yourself branded as a bad colleague.

In my career success book Success Tweets, I provide 20 ways to brand yourself as a good colleague.  Here are my favorites…

  • Get genuinely interested in others.  Help bring out the best in everyone you know.
  • Keep confidences and avoid gossip. Don’t embarrass others by repeating what they share with you – even if it isn’t in confidence.
  • Use every social interaction to build and strengthen relationships.
  • Everyone has something to offer.  Never dismiss anyone out of hand.  Take the initiative.  Actively build relationships.
  • Get to know yourself. Use your self knowledge to better understand others and to build strong relationships with them.
  • Pay it forward. Build relationships by giving with no expectation of return.  There is no quid pro quo in strong relationships.
  • When meeting someone new ask yourself, “What can I do to help this person?”
  • Be happy to see others succeed.  Use their success to motivate you to your greater success.
  • Trust is the glue that holds relationships together.  The more you demonstrate trust in others, they more they will trust you.
  • Treat conflict and disagreement as an opportunity to strengthen, not destroy, the relationships you’ve built.
  • Be a consensus builder. Focus on where you agree, not disagree, with others.
  • Be responsible for yourself. No one can “make you mad.”  Choose to act in a civil, constructive manner in tense situations.
  • Do your job. Give credit to others for doing theirs.
  • Own up to your mistakes.  You’ll become known as a straight shooter — honest with yourself and others.
  • Deliver on what you say you’ll do.  If you can’t meet a commitment, let the other person know right away.

You can read all 140 success tweets by logging on to and entering your information.

If you avoid the nine bad behaviors listed in the article and adopt the advice in the tweets above, you’ll be on your way to branding yourself as a good colleague — and getting the promotion you want and deserve.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.



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