Most of us would love to be promoted. And many of us believe we have done enough to warrant a promotion. So, why haven’t you been promoted yet? Because it’s really, really uncomfortable to ask for a promotion. And, since very few of us have had training on how to ask for one, we often make mistakes when we do. So, we have rounded up the top three tried-and-tested ways how you can ask for a promotion.
- Not asking for a promotion and thinking good things will come to you
This is an outdated approach. Some companies and some managers might recognize your efforts and promote you unsolicited. But very few. Plus, if you never speak up for yourself, your boss might think you are happy in your role and don’t want/need a promotion.
What you should do instead: Pretty obvious – if you want a promotion, ask for a promotion! Yes, that can be scary. But, if you wait for your employer to give you one, you give away your power and let them dictate your career.
Of course, you have to be smart. You should wait until you’ve proven yourself in your current role before demanding a better one. But, even asking too early is better than not asking at all – at the very least, you’ll get some useful feedback and it’ll let your boss know you are hungry to advance.
- Comparing yourself to other people when asking for a promotion
There are other people in your department who did less and still got promoted (at least, in your opinion). So, you are going to bring that up in the conversation, right? Wrong. Doing that comes across as trashing your colleagues and perhaps your boss as well – who likely made the decision to give your colleague the promotion.
What you should do instead: Make the business case. Every promotion needs to be justified. So, make the business case for why you should be promoted. Maybe you think you can add more value to managing others or maybe you have a record of success in your current role and would like to see it expanded. Make the case. But don’t focus on others – let your boss know why you are worth the additional investment.
- Not knowing the state of the business when asking for a promotion
You are crushing it. You rocked your three last projects and are getting rave performance reviews. Now is the time to ask for a promotion, right?
Well, not if your company just had a round of layoffs and the stock price is tanking. If you ask for a promotion in that situation, it could come across as out-of-touch and hurt your reputation.
What you should do instead: Just because your business is doing poorly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for a promotion. Conversely, just because your business is doing great isn’t license to blindly ask for a promotion.
Instead, you need to understand the state of your business, to understand where your company is investing, Citroen said. For example, maybe the business is doing poorly – you can make the argument that promoting you and giving you more responsibility means the company won’t have to backfill another position.
Or, say the business is doing great, but investing in an area that’s not directly tied to your workstream. You can make the case that promoting you and giving you a team will empower you to focus more on that key company initiative.