Many people think asking for a promotion makes you vulnerable – it puts you in a position to be judged and criticised as to whether you deserve what you’re asking for.
What if your boss doesn’t think you deserve a promotion or salary increase? What if they think you’re going to leave if you don’t get one and start treating you differently? The truth is… if you don’t ask you don’t get and the worst thing that can happen is for them to say no.
There are many reasons to think you’re deserving of a promotion but you won’t know if your boss feels the same until you ask them. Consider whether you’re relied upon, have you been given more responsibility, have you improved your skills or have you been approached by another employer?
There are a few steps you need to take before asking for a promotion which can increase your chances of nailing it.
1. Establish what you want
If you’re thinking about asking for a promotion there will be something you want – Is it money? More responsibility? More power? By establishing what you want it enables you to create a pitch to help you move towards reaching your goal. Think why you want something so you can explain what and why you want that promotion when you’re asked about it.
Look into what other companies are paying, how long people are in the position for and whether you could potentially get another position somewhere else – this isn’t to jump ship if it doesn’t go to plan but it adds leverage onto your request if you need it. Compare yourself to others in the company and compare the value to bring to the company vs. others. Research the role you want (if this is what you’re really looking for) and what makes you the perfect person for the role.
3. Prepare your case and how you will present it
This is the step where you put all your research together and establish an argument for why you deserve a promotion. Track records, deals, comparisons and your personal value to strengthen your case. Emphasise your successes and why you think you deserve a promotion. This is all about self-promotion and making sure the right people know your value and what value you could bring to a new role.
4. Find an appropriate time
Asking for something is all about timing. Face to face meetings are a good way to plant the seed and encourage the right people to think about your points and ideas, but don’t expect an answer straight away – plant the seed and keep demonstrating how valuable you are to the company.
5. Ask for a review
Not all managers and leaders are great at reviewing people, some companies don’t have an annual reviewing policy so a lot of people can get left behind when it comes to promotions and pay reviews if they don’t ask for one. Put it in the diary and give your manager some time to put together some points you do well and some points you could improve on and do the same for yourself. A review is a great time to ask for what you want when everything is out on the table.
If a promotion or pay rise is not on the table right now – you’ll know what you need to improve on to get it in the future!
It’s important to remember that no one will hold your hand through your career. If you’re serious about your career and progressing, you need to be prepared and willing to ask and work for what you want!