8 Factors hindering you From Moving up the Corporate Ladder

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Written by Seun Oyediran

8 Factors Hindering you from moving up the Corporate Ladder

There are over 157 million Americans in the US workforce, and many of them love their jobs, but can’t seem to do the right things to get up the corporate ladder. At some point, most people employed remain in the same position for years without any promotion to show for their hard work and time invested in the company. Although the rules of promotion are oblivious when you are hired and some companies play favoritism, the standard duration to work before getting one is 18 to 24 months

This allows the company to study, analyze, and see what you bring to the table. If you are not aware of this golden rule, now you know. So this gives you enough time to negotiate a timeline for your promotion before you start working with a company.

With this in mind, how long have been working without a promotion? Do you think you need a promotion? Have you invested an adequate amount of time, skill, and purpose into the growth of the company to deserve a promotion? Well, if you find success hard despite all your efforts, these are 8 factors hindering you from moving up the corporate ladder.

  1. Non-Exceptional & Differentiated Performance

How do you judge an employee who has not brought anything to the table? How do you know that such an employee deserves a promotion? The non-exceptional and differentiated performance is a process companies use to classify their staff before implementing a promotion.

81 percent of companies use this process of putting employees in three categories – strong, average, and weak and analyzing their performance before a promotion. Although this may seem harsh, it allows the company to place the employee in the categories that suit them hence a proper analysis conducted with those of their level. This process is fair and allows for credible and deserving promotion.

If you happen to fall into the weak category, now is the best time to reassess your working priority and push for the next promotion in the future.

  1. Politics of Working with Different Opinions & Diverse People

Except you are starting with a company, diversity and your ability to work with different people will boost your speed up the corporate ladder.  As diversity and cultural inclusion become the order of the day, many companies are on the lookout for employees with experience in working with diverse and opinionated people. 

Now, every office has internal politics in promoting their best or to-be best, and while this works for some people who climb up the ladder faster than others. Companies opt for diverse and experienced people as they work better in a team, communicate better, and work well without supervision.

Remember that job-hopping is not working with a different opinion and diverse people. Diversity includes culture, religion, gender, value, travel experience, and many others.

  1. Working in a Company that is Underperforming

Employees rely on company appraisal and feedback to boost their morale. However, 63 percent feel like their companies do not do enough in this category. However, when the reverse is the case – when the company is not performing up to par or underperforming, what do you do?

You could decide to leave the company? That is the best option, or you could draft up a proposal to steer the company into a better position in the market. However, should you remain in one position for so long with a company, this is a substantial factor that you should consider?

  1. Misalignment with the Company’s mission

A company’s mission states its long-term goal for it to succeed in the current market. The mission statement is inspiring, clear, powerful, and a path for all employees to follow for the success of the company.

 Employees that align themselves with the organization’s mission will climb the corporate ladder. While those that fall behind do not get a promotion regardless of how much hard work they put into the company.  Employee engagement with the mission is necessary for a company’s success, but misaligning with it will never get you a promotion. Misalignment can disrupt meetings, targets, and confuse the team.

  1. Awarding oneself additional job responsibilities

Humans seek comfort, but if you are in the corporate scene and want to climb the ladder, comfort will not take you anywhere. Now, assigning more responsibilities to yourself or helping your colleague may not go down well with other people on your team. However, ignoring a task or responsibility means sitting in the shadows instead of showcasing yourself and your capabilities.

However, if you intend to use this process to climb up the ladder, then direct your energy into positive elements that will boost your skills in the company.

  1. No Powerful Mentor and Sponsor to help advance one’s career

This statement is on the fence. Some people have mentors but do not put in as much effort as the company needs to grow or succeed. Hence climbing up the ladder will never occur. On the flip side, having a good mentor in the company you work for that notices your effects and contributions will help you climb the ladder faster. 

According to the Center for Talent Innovation, they found out that 23 percent of employees with a sponsor or mentor move up the ladder faster than those without one.

  1. Expecting one’s achievement to speak for itself

There is a familiar saying; a closed mouth is a closed destiny. This clause says a lot and has prevented many people – qualified individuals, to make it far in life. We are not saying rub your successes in other people’s faces, it is wrong. 

However, when your achievement comes up in a discussion, it will be well to identify with it respectably, especially when your superiors are around. So stop holding yourself back and speak up when it is right.

  1. Lack of Negotiation Skills and Leverage to Seek Promotion

As funny as it sounds, most people do not talk about their promotion ever during their job duration. They just wait for it to come to them. Sometimes, the management needs a bold and assertive person to go to the next level.

While it might seem disrespectful, you need to speak up or remind your boss of what you have accomplished and your goals for the future of the company.


Climbing up the corporate ladder is not easy, especially in a competitive setting. However, if you feel deserving of a promotion, then the above 8 factors are hindrances you must watch out for. So make a plan to determine your weakness and how to improve on them.

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