It’s that time of year. Many companies are completing annual reviews for employees, and many people are thinking about promotions they feel they deserve or have been working towards achieving by the close of 2013. Wanting to be promoted as a way to keep moving forward in your career is perfectly reasonable. For those of you for whom this is top of mind right now as you prepare for your appraisals, here are 10 common mistakes (according to Forbes) employees are known to make when asking for a promotion:-

1) Asking for too much at once. Often an employee will demand a promotion, salary increase, new benefits and more -all at once. Have a concise list prepared and be realistic – it’s highly unlikely you’ll get everything all at once

2) Believing that promotions are based on merit alone. If you’re career-minded and want to climb the corporate ladder it’s important that you understand your company’s culture to determine what you need to focus on to gain positive attention and recognition that is promotion-worthy

3) Neglecting your long-term goals. Employees get so wrapped up in the promotion that they stop thinking about their overall career path and goals. Always ask yourself:- Does this support what I ultimately want to do in 5 or 10 years?

4) Trying too hard. If you work hard, focus on doing your job well and being aligned with the office culture, you’ll go much further than being transparent, trying to impress your boss at every opportunity and ultimately not gaining respect from co-workers

5) Overshooting your target. Trying to impress your manager by handling their responsibilities, rather than just doing yours, can be interpreted as offensive or even threatening.  Focus on completing your assignments ahead of schedule and superbly to keep you ahead of your competition. This may come in the form of starting your next project early, helping one of your peer-level colleagues, or even just asking your manager if there is any other way to contribute.

6) Not having your facts about job responsibilities and how they match up with your credentials prepared.  Have a logical flow of reasons (experience level, more responsibility, achievements and your personal file) in writing to back up your motivations

7) Not having a recent significant achievement or milestone that supports your request.  Ensure you have a valid reason for being promoted for example, excellent results over a long period of time, or significant wins for the organisation due to your input.

8) Inappropriate timing. Make sure the venue is suitable for the discussion and that you’ve scheduled it advance, with enough time to hold a reasonable discussion and plan of action. Avoid pre-lunch and end of day and if your boss has had a major setback or horrendously busy day, better to wait.

9) Jumping ship prematurely. A big mistake employees make is that they start a new job search due to fear of asking for an internal promotion, Taylor explains. “You could go from the proverbial frying pan into the fire if you just avoid approaching your boss and search elsewhere as a ‘safer option.’ Or you might just be wasting your time.”

10) Thinking a promotion will “fix” everything. A promotion or raise will not grant instant happiness. If it is a short-term fix to a ‘broken job’ then perhaps a new job is really what you should be considering?

If you’ve been passed over for a promotion that you think you deserve, try to get to the bottom of it.  Approach your manager in a non-confrontational manner and ask candidly why a coworker was promoted over you. You should learn what to focus on moving forward so you are at the top of the list for the next opening. It is key to remain neutral and not let your emotions get the best of you.