This company recently gave a supervisory position to a guy who had no qualifications but is a fishing and hunting buddy with the managers. I, along with others that applied, have more qualifications than he does - but I'm not buddies with management. I welcome any useful suggestions.

Dear Molly,

During 13 years at my job, I've improved the position and found ways to save the company money. I've also applied for 12 different promotions, and been turned down. I interviewed for two of the jobs but was never considered. When I get my yearly review, I am patronized on my performance. It seems I am where I am and I can't move.

This company recently gave a supervisory position to a guy who had no qualifications but is a fishing and hunting buddy with the managers. I, along with others that applied, have more qualifications than he does - but I'm not buddies with management. I welcome any useful suggestions.

-Bob

Sounds like you might have bumped into an extremely irritating version of that old saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know."

While doing a really good job is always a requirement for getting promoted, it's usually not enough. The extra variables depend on the tone of the corporate culture you're working within. In this case, it appears a game of office politics is being played. What fun!

I think it's fair to say that you're working in an unhealthy culture, so don't expect anything to change. The only thing you have control over is your own reaction to what's happening around you.

But first, it's time for a reality check. Has your frustration grown with each missed promotion? If so, you're probably feeling super-resentful by now. Don't kid yourself - others have noticed.

Unless your part-time hobby is taking acting lessons, it's likely that your boss and others have read your body language, interpreted your words and felt your negative energy. And it could be leading to a prime position on that much-dreaded blacklist we've been talking about lately. If that's the case, you've got your work cut out for you.

It's time to either let it go or make a move. If you decide to stay, work on releasing those negative feelings so you can transform your professional reputation. Working harder won't achieve what you want; you must rid yourself of resentment or your hard work will go unnoticed, as it has up to this point.

If you do stay, you'll need to find out what your boss really expects of you. Don't wait for your next performance review. Be proactive and obtain this critical information now.

If your relationship with the boss is so bad that you can't have a productive conversation, simply watch for clues as to what his expectations and priorities really are. It's easier to figure out than you think.

Molly Luffy, MBA, is a local business coach who helps people shift from surviving to thriving at work. Have a tough work situation? Send your questions to molly@jobpromotionsecrets.com. All submissions are kept strictly confidential.