Getting promoted and advancing your career is as easy as counting to five

According to an article written by Amy Levin-Epstein and published in CBS Money Watch, those hoping for a promotion tend to make the same five mistakes that keep them from advancing beyond entry- or mid-level work. Fortunately, there are five solutions to solving the mystery that is occupational stagnancy.

First of all, Levin-Epstein notes, you may be getting passed over for a promotion because the skill set you have, the set you demonstrate everyday to the best of your abilities, may be the perfect set of skills for the job you currently have, not the job you strive for. While this may be fine for the mid-level manager not looking to move up a rung, it can create serious problems for someone trying to exhibit personal development and get a promotion. Instead, decide the skills necessary for the desired position, and display these to your boss and coworkers.

Another obstruction to promotion lies in being too quiet. You may be doing great work, but if nobody knows about it, you won't go too far. Go out of your way to make sure your good work gets noticed by the right people, but be subtle. Screaming your success from the rooftop won't get you promoted either, the author warns.

If you fear you may be seen as simply "the guy who knows the fax machine code," then you probably are. If you want to be taken seriously for an executive position, Levin-Epstein writes, follow the old adage "dress for success" and understand well-timed office humor.

Speaking in a way that commands respect is an important aspect of being promoted. Present yourself in a manner that exhibits your personal growth as an employee, and jump at extra-work opportunities.

And finally, according to Levin-Epstein, get your timing right. Network with coworkers that know the inside scoop of a company, and use this information to your advantage.  

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