Does the fact you have not gotten a promotion at work keep baffle you? You have been in your job for several years and actively apply to job openings as they become available, but the promotion just never happens.

When you ask your boss or human resources why you are not getting promoted, you probably here that you are not ready. Do they tell you how to get ready?

One of the reasons you may not be getting that promotion is that you do not have a backup. No one may tell you that not having a backup the reason you are being passed over – and quite frankly it should not be the sole reason but it happens.

What is a backup?

A backup is someone who can step into your position and handle your responsibilities if your job becomes vacant with minimal training time. Backups might be someone internal or external to the organization.

Why don’t you have a backup?

Here are some of the reasons I have heard why people do not have a backup for their position:

  1. No one is my department is ready to assume the responsibilities.
  2. The company eliminated the supervisor or manager role so the gap between my job and my subordinates is too wide.
  3. If I train someone for my job, the company may decide to let me go.
  4. No one can do my job.

Many of these reasons pose a challenge – though not insurmountable, except possibly getting past your fear of being let go. The truth is if you are too afraid to train your replacement, you probably aren’t ready to be promoted – that’s the real reason you are getting passed over.

Succession Planning: Use it to your advantage

The reason organizations do succession planning is to create their backup plan for turnover or promotions of key employees. When those key positions in the organization are vacant, the company increases their risk of not meeting their financial and strategic goals. Succession planning involves the identification of backups and the commitment to train or develop people to become functional backups.

Traditionally, succession planning is done at the executive level; there is no reason why you can’t think about doing it within your organization –no matter where you fit in within the company structure. In fact, it is a smart move because when the time is right for you to move to a new position, you will have someone groomed to take your position.