Make Yourself Promotable at Work and at Home

At some point in your career at work and as a mom, you may have considered the possibility of being promoted. Let’s leave the idea of being promoted at home for just a few minutes and concentrate on being promoted at work.

Whether you’re ready for the next challenge, more money or have a burning desire to move up the ladder, a promotion may be the only way to meet your goal. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of advice about how to accomplish your goal that isn’t based on practical experience or real life situations.

As you consider the ideas below, think about how well they fit your abilities, your workplace and your interests. There isn’t one path to promotion, but there ARE strategies that will set you back faster than they’ll promote your efforts.

And, because these two lists are essential to your advancement AND are both too long for one article, we’ll split it in two. Today, let’s talk about the negative tactics you may be using, purposefully or inadvertently. Next week we’ll address the positive traits that management looks for.

But, before you take my word for it, you should know that I worked in management for many years at several hospitals, have been promoted multiple times and fired once. It was interesting, fun and taught me a lot about people and raising children. (Ok – being fired wasn’t fun, but it did teach me a LOT about politics at work.)

Which leads me to the idea that you can be promoted at home.

Every relationship has layers. It’s a bit like an onion. Every layer you peel away reveals new secrets, more intimacy and a stronger foundation. Every layer you peel away with your child or your teen leads to the same benefits.

And, finally, at the center of the onion, is the sweetest part of any relationship. This is when you both have trust, love, grace and the ability to talk with each other about anything. This is a solid relationship that lasts a lifetime, based on truth, honesty and transparency.

Truly a difficult place to reach.

And ultimately, you have to be promoted to this position.

You don’t reach the center of a relationship based on haphazard decisions and poor choices. You don’t get promoted using those strategies either.

When you want to be promoted at home, in the eyes of your children (or even a future spouse), it’s time to make decisions based on reasons, strategies, vision and mission.

Start with defining your own vision statement, so you know where you are and where you’re heading.

Next, identify the negative tactics you’ve been using and resolve to STOP IT.  Finally, next week, identify the positive strategies you’ll implement.

It reminds me of the skit Bob Newhart did for MadTV.


These are the 9 things I’ve seen employees do that ensure they won’t get promoted.

ONE: You Have a ‘Tude Problem

Attitude will get you in trouble every time. It’s exactly what gets under your mother-skin when your teen starts mouthing off. It is attitude and no one likes dealing with it.  Take an honest look at your behavior with your co-workers and your children. If you aren’t sure, then ask. If really want the truth, you’ll get it – and, if you have a problem and will fix it, you’ll reap rewards beyond what you may have imagined.

TWO: You Overlook the Power of Politics

I hate politics. Truth be told, it’s probably the biggest reason I started working for myself. You might not think it’s fair or right – but you have to figure out who holds the power and be sure you’re in their good graces. You shouldn’t lie, cheat or steal to be the right person for the job – but you have to know what makes people in powerful positions tick, and then provide them with what they need.

The same is true at home – except at home you’re the person in power and it’s your job to teach your children how to work within a system without compromising who they are. Some of this they’ll learn by watching you and some you’ll teach them. Some of this they’ll learn by hearing and watching and some of it they’ll only learn by making their own mistakes. It just depends on your child.

THREE: You Take on More Than You’re Currently Capable of Achieving

If you want a promotion then you HAVE to complete the tasks set before you. If you consistently take on more responsibility than you can handle or can reasonably expect to achieve, your bosses will make the assessment you aren’t able to accurately manage your own time.  If you can’t manage your own resources, how can you be expected to manage others?

FOUR: You are the Office ‘Suck-Up’  

You might think you’re playing good politics, or giving the bosses what they want, but if you’re sucking up and not honestly and authentically interested in the other person, the job or the project, everyone knows. You aren’t fooling anyone but yourself.

FIVE: You Forget to Practice Patience, Patience, Patience

Nothing happens quickly – whether it’s a promotion at work, earning the trust of your teenager or learning a new skill. Life requires patience and it’s one of the hardest things to learn – or it has been for me and I’m still learning it!

SIX: You Have Gotten Lax with Your Achievements

On the opposite end of the spectrum from taking on too much is taking on too little. If you aren’t achieving your goals at home or work – or worse, you haven’t set goals! – then you can’t expect your boss or your children to respect your efforts. You can rest on the laurels of your achievements from yesterday, but only for today. Once 24-48 hours have past, people forget. Memories are short, including your own. Keep your eye on your goals and make decisions every day that bring you closer to those goals.

SEVEN: You are Unclear About Your Own Direction and Goals

If you don’t know where you’re going or what you want to achieve, how do you expect your boss or your kids to go along with you? Define your vision, your purpose and your goals before heading out in the wrong direction.

EIGHT: You Don’t Have Your Facts Straight

Want to make someone angry? Make assumptions and act on information without having all the facts. Whether you’re working through a situation at home or pulling together a project at work, get the facts.

NINE: You Give Up Too Quickly

Never, never, never give up.  It’s hard, overwhelming, nasty, challenging and sometimes it’s just downright hell .  .  .  but don’t give up. The stories of people who have experienced success are preceded by years of trying, failure, pain and suffering. Don’t let those emotions go to waste though. Learn from the pain, the mistakes, the suffering – then do it differently so you can experience different results.



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