Do you feel it’s time to ask for a promotion? If you’ve done an excellent job in your current position, it’s only natural to want to advance and grow. Yes, the ask can be intimidating, but there are ways to show your boss that you’re ready to climb the corporate ladder. Here are a few tips for initiating the conversation and getting a well-deserved promotion.
1. Build a strong case
While you can start by sharing your opinion, it’s best to develop a case by compiling any data, metrics, facts and other proof you might have to validate your performance. Demonstrate how you’ve learned to handle more responsibility, delegate properly, or manage greater risks. You can also share actionable ideas for improving your department to show that you have forward momentum.
2. Highlight how your advancement would benefit the company
Though your boss may like you as a person and want to help you on some level, he or she is likely primarily concerned about how you perform as an employee and what you can do to increase the company’s profits. So, when you sit down for the big conversation, don’t make it all about yourself. Tell the employer that you care about the growth of the company. Explain what you have already done to boost the company’s bottom line and how you would like to continue your efforts.
You can say something like, “I love working here, but I really feel as though I could do a lot more for the company in a senior role,” and back it up with a solid case.
3. Go the extra mile, but don’t lose your sanity
If you identify an opportunity to work on a task or project that goes above and beyond your job description, grab it! If it’s something you feel would impress the boss, then make space on your calendar. Don’t over-exert yourself, though. We’ve seen people try to prove their worth by taking on loads of extra responsibilities, only to burn out and fail at both their main and bonus tasks.
A better approach is to assess your workload and be considerate of yourself when you evaluate such opportunities. In other words, be smart and choose opportunities that will offer the most bang for the buck—without stressing you out.
If you’ve been in your role for at least 12 months, there should be managers who are keen to assign more responsibilities to you. Just make sure to pick projects that relate to the position you wish to secure.
4. Never compare yourself to others
What’s one way to make a bad impression on your boss? Saying something like, “Well, Brittany got promoted to a new position. Why can’t I?” Requesting a promotion because one of your colleagues got one doesn’t make a compelling case. Brittany probably got her promotion through the good old-fashioned approach of working hard and backing up her case with data and referrals.
You’re much more likely to find success if you can focus on your own contributions and how you can help the company going forward. Doing the opposite can come across as undermining your coworkers and perhaps your employer as well.
5. Keep expanding your skillset
There’s no doubt that the factors that determine whether or not you’ll get a promotion include an evaluation of your skills and abilities. In order to demonstrate that you have what it takes to work in a higher position, you must never stop acquiring skills. Training and online courses are key elements to learn new skills.
Pro tip: Try signing up for continuing education courses that will help you build on your existing skillset. Whether it’s advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel or new ways to manage a department, always look to gain new proficiencies, even if you don’t have any immediate plans to work in a senior role.
6. Watch your timing
Although there is no perfect time to request a promotion at work, some occasions are a lot better than others. For example, your semi-annual or annual performance evaluation provides an easy opportunity to discuss potential opportunities for career advancement. If you’re looking to ask for a promotion outside of that time, request a meeting with your boss at the month’s end, and make it clear that you want to discuss your progress and potential.
You can also discuss a promotion when a client praises your work or when your efforts lead to a positive company review on social platforms. Match your timing to an occasion where it’s hard for your boss to say no.
Whatever happens, know that you’re in control of your future. If you find that there’s no scope for a promotion right now, line yourself up for future opportunities. An astute boss will notice your good attitude, work ethic and devotion to the company and may even approach you about a promotion without your having to ask for it.
If your company doesn’t offer the kind of mobility you’re looking for, you may need to make a change to get where you want to go. Our staff includes marketing, HR, executive, clerical staffing, and administrative staffing recruiters—and much more. We can help connect you with the companies that will allow you to grow and develop and achieve your professional goals.