How to Ask for a Promotion

How to Ask for a Promotion

We all strive to be the best we can in one way or another. For many people, their job is their place to shine and their place to really make a difference. The problem is that a lot of these people are overworked, underpaid, and not being recognized for all the good that they do. And, one of the reasons for this is that they just don’t know how to ask for a promotion in their job. Thankfully, this article will take you through some of the ways in which to go about this.  
Ask for a Promotion

Reflect and record: The very first thing to do when preparing to ask for a promotion or a pay raise is to ask yourself what is it that you truly want. Are you looking for a promotion simply to get more money or do you want more responsibilities and a change of role perhaps? Are you happy with your current position? Why is a raise justifiable? Is the timing right? Are you going down the right career path in your current position? Think about where your skills fit in within the organization and what you’ve brought to the company as this will help strengthen your argument with your manager for being worthy of a promotion. Are there any instances that you can point out in particular where you’ve saved the company money? Write all of these things down regarding your current role on a piece of paper as they will be the focal point of your conversation when asking for a promotion.     

Get ready to prove your worth. You know that you deserve a promotion and a pay raise; you just need to convince your boss of that now. Taking all the points you listed from above, the next thing you need to do is arrange a meeting with your boss so you can relay this to them in a way that will make them seem crazy for not promoting you. 

Prepare, prepare, prepare! Asking for a promotion is a daunting process, but it’s less daunting if you prepare for your meeting in advance. Make sure you know what points you want to get across in your meeting (i.e. what achievements you’ve made, any money you’ve saved the company, and any solutions you implemented).

Recommend someone to fill your own boots. One of the first things your boss is going to think of when you ask for a promotion, is who’s going to fulfill your current role? If you can have an answer for this already, it will be a big help. Is there someone that you work closely with that you feel you could train up to take over your role? If so, suggest this to your boss as part of your proposal. It will make it harder for them to say no to your promotion if they feel there’s a suitable replacement to hand.  

Be calm but confident in your meeting. Although you may be quivering in your boots when the time comes for you to finally ask for that promotion, you don’t want to come across that way. Remain calm but promote yourself and your accomplishments in a way that makes you sound confident. Believe in yourself and you naturally shine.

Be patient. It’s unlikely that you’ll get an answer to your promotion question that day, so be patient. In the meantime, carry on performing as you would and try to remain positive. Even if you do get turned down this time, there will be a reasonable explanation for it, and no doesn’t necessarily mean never. Whether there’s just no money in the business for a promotion right now, or the company doesn't feel that you’re ready, don’t despair. Simply take it on board as constructive criticism, evolve from it, and try again in the future.

Things not to do when asking for a promotion

While there are many things that will increase your chance of a promotion, there are also quite a few that will scupper them too. The following are a few things that you should definitely not do when asking for a promotion:

  • check
    ​Don’t give your boss an ultimatum. Unless you’ve been offered another position elsewhere and are serious about considering it, playing the “other offer” card should be avoided at all costs during the conversation. Even once it’s been said, and you’re given a promotion as a result, that business relationship will have taken a hit. It’s a dangerous tactic and should only ever be used with great caution.  
  • check
    ​Don’t assume that just because you’re asking for a promotion means you’re going to get it. Coming across as arrogant will have the opposite effect to appearing confident. And as mentioned earlier, a promotion is not usually something that will be confirmed at your initial meeting. Several meetings may follow; some may be with other managers. The last thing you want to do is come across as a pompous idiot to half the staff. This will not help your chances.  
  • check
    ​Don’t wait until your annual review comes around. Timing is important and if you feel that you’re worthy of a promotion now, why hold back. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s very rarely ever set in stone that companies can’t promote staff at certain times of the year, so what are you waiting for?  There’s no time like the present.
  • check
    Don’t just ask on the fly, even if you are prepared. Just because you’ve taken the time to prepare yourself for asking for a promotion, until you give them a clue by suggesting a meeting, your boss is still clueless. Springing it on them at the coffee machine on a Monday morning probably won’t do you any favors. Instead, schedule a time with them so that they can be ready too. Even if they don’t know what you want to talk about they will know that it’s serious and will be able to give you their full attention.  
  • check
    Don’t be put off if things don’t go your way. If you do get turned down for a promotion or get offered something slightly less than you hoped for, don’t let it deter you. Take that negative and turn it into something positive. Just because you didn't succeed this time, doesn’t mean to say you won’t the next time around.

​The trick in asking for a promotion is not to over think it. If you truly believe that you’re worthy of a promotion, then you will know the reasons why. Now, it’s just a case of displaying that to your boss in a way that makes them see it too.