You're not meeting the unspoken requirements of your job.
You hit every monthly target your boss sets and clock the longest hours on your team. But when it comes to leadership roles, higher-ups are looking for people who also have robust "soft skills" like communication, collaboration and presentation. More than three-quarters of employers surveyed by Career Builder
said that such skills are just as important as "hard skills" that can be learned on the job. But soft skills may not be spelled out in a job description. Your move:
Find a company leader in a position that you'd like to be in someday and emulate her actions. Communicating authority can be particularly tough for young women, whose speech patterns may make them seem more junior than they are, says Tara Mohr, the author of Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead
. Make sure you're not undermining your own credibility by starting sentences with "I'm sorry, but...” or raising your pitch at the end of a sentence to make it sound like a question, Mohr says. Taking an improv or public-speaking class can give you confidence and poise and help eliminate such habits.