Crazy hiring decisions. They happen all the time. It can be maddening to see people who are clearly unqualified get the best jobs and promotions. Things usually go something like this: You’ve worked at your company for a few years and you just know you’re up for the next big promotion. You’ve taken time to advance your skills by getting certifications and you even regularly offer to help your boss with last-minute projects. As you go over your list of achievements, you start to imagine what your new business cards will look like. But then, to your shock and surprise, one of your much less experienced colleagues is promoted over you. What just happened? Most likely, your co-worker had some kind of magical inside connection you weren’t aware of. Here are a few reasons why the wrong person got promoted.
If you’re left scratching your head after someone fresh out of college gets a high-level job at your company, the answer may be simple. The newbie could be related to the CEO or some other influential manager at the company. Being part of a successful family has its perks. This is especially true if mom or dad owns a company. In most cases, that translates into instant employment. The downside is, there may be more deserving co-workers who should hold the position. Nepotism is often to blame in situations where someone with very little experience, education, or both gets a plum job. So the lesson here is to be cordial to everyone — you never know who is related.
Another reason an incompetent person may score the big promotion: They’re friends with the boss. Does your boss always have lunch with the same three people every day? You might have to wait in line when it comes to career advancement. Those special office friends could be ahead of you when it comes to getting promoted. Pay attention to the colleagues your supervisor seems chummy with. It’s likely the cronies in her clique will quickly rise through the company’s ranks. However, if you see your supervisor’s friends getting special treatment, don’t fret. It may help to get to know them so that you can be closer to your supervisor’s inner circle. You may get wind of changes happening at the company before anyone else does. Knowing this type of information could help you prepare in the event of upcoming layoffs, for example.
You may chuckle when you hear jokes about sleeping with the boss to get a promotion, but in some cases, it’s how promotions happen. We’re not condoning this practice, but it does work for some people. So if you’re wondering how your boss’s administrative assistant suddenly got promoted to human resources director, we’ve taken some of the mystery away for you. Maybe for the next team meeting you should wear something just a bit more revealing than usual (we’re just kidding…sort of).