Recommended, 2023

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Why does not my boss want to promote me?

Always hunched, worked overtime - and there was never a recognition. Henrike Feltges and her coaching talk about disappointment and new self-confidence

Depressed, Carola Merdig, 48, sits opposite me.

Henrike Feltges advises women around the topic of job.

She asked me not to give her real name here. "You know, " she says, "my supervisor is retiring, and I've always been sure that I'll get her job, now I've heard that you're looking for a replacement externally." Stunned, the petite woman in the gray costume shakes her head.

Her posture is that of a powerless and exhausted person, completely sunk in front of me. "How did you even know about the external job advertisement?", I would like to know from her. "I saw an ad in the newspaper and the profile fits in exactly with the position in our company." Carola Merdig looks visibly outraged. "Who knows about your plans in your company?" I ask. She looks at me in amazement. "Nobody knows about it, only my best friend."

I had already feared that. It corresponds to the behavior of many women. They do a good job, but they do not talk about it. Instead, they wait for their superiors to become aware of them by themselves. After all, a boss has to see what you can do. I do not tell Carola Merdig these thoughts. Instead, I challenge her a bit and say in an exaggerated voice, "Well, how could the boss just ignore you when only your best friend knows about your plans ...?" For the first time, my counterpart relaxes, smiles and takes a more comfortable posture. "Yes, yes, " she says with fine irony in her voice. "We women love to be discovered, but let's be honest, I do not like the boisterous behavior of my male colleagues, they only talk about how great they are all day long, but talking alone does not make the work any less." I can understand my client well, but make it clear why it is just so important in professional life, advertising on their own behalf.

At the end of our first meeting, I have the impression that she sees her situation with new eyes. We arrange that she will think about three questions for the next meeting: which projects did she work on without talking about it? What does she do for additional work, although it is not part of her job? Did she receive further training in private seminars?

At the second meeting, I like my client much better. Her eyes light up, she sits upright and keeps eye contact. Carola Merdig has done her "homework" conscientiously. On the basis of her notes and documents, we set a strategy: She should promptly seek an appointment with the Human Resources Department and say that it is about filling the position.

Then we discuss the arguments for the interview. Why is she teasing the new job? What is important to her - and what does not she want? What skills does she bring? What do you enjoy outside the profession? And where does she get involved? This point is often forgotten by women. Private activities often reveal a lot about their professional strengths. In Carola Merdig's case, it is the volunteer work in a non-profit second-hand shop, for which she creates the rosters and incorporates the employees.

This is practiced employee management - and an important additional qualification, which they can attach easily for the advertised job. Carola Merdig is surprised. "Of course I would not have come up with the idea to mention such a thing in a personal interview." She says goodbye to good things.

"It went really well, " she tells me a week later on the phone. The process is still open, but Mrs Merdig has good chances. "I'm so glad to have taken this step, it felt good to represent myself and my interests clearly, my company now knows what I want, and the response has been very positive."

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