Career Advice

How to Ask for a Promotion at Work

asking for promotion

Did you know that a shocking 40% of employees never bother to approach their manager to discuss a promotion or career progression! According to a survey conducted by Robert Half Finance, nearly 82% of employees actually want to discuss their career prospects, but almost half of them never actually do.

There appears to be a major disconnect between employees and their managers over the subject of career progression, even though 32% of employees want a job with a steady career path. In a survey conducted by LinkedIn of more than 11,000 employees, career progression was the number one thing they looked for when considering a position.

There can be nothing more disheartening for an employee to realize they don’t have a decent shot at landing a promotion at work. Managers need to let their employees know exactly where they stand. If it becomes clear that you are in a job with little to no career progression, you will know when it is time to look for another job with better prospects.

Should you be in a job that promises good opportunities and decent prospects of advancement, then you should know what you need to do to earn the promotion you are after.

Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to prime yourself for asking your boss to consider you for a promotion:

Do your research

Prepare yourself well before you approach your boss. Be prepared to respond positively to a knock-back should your boss refuse your request. Don’t take no for an answer if you truly believe you are long overdue for a promotion or a pay raise.

Approaching your boss can be quite stressful or even intimidating, so don’t cave into their casual brush-offs or if they try to blame outside forces, such as the state of the current economic climate. Prepare yourself with plenty of research that can counter their arguments and provide them with some pretty persuasive evidence that works in your favor.

Take some time to write out exactly what achievements you have brought to the table that have been beneficial to the company. You need to emphasize your value to your manager and to the company as a whole. Be specific and list individual examples of how your work has boosted levels of profit or productivity or improved efficiencies in the workplace.

Target exactly what you want

When approaching your manager for a promotion, you cannot be vague about what you want or expect from the move. Whether it is applying for a newly created role that is in a higher band or wanting to take on more responsibilities for a higher salary, you need to make it clear to your manager what you want and are prepared to do.

If you are applying for a managerial role that involves looking after staff or team members, then you will need to demonstrate your leadership skills and give examples of projects where you took the lead or steered the progression.

Plan the timing of your approach

There are times where your manager may be so wrapped up with their own issues and deadlines that it wouldn’t be worth your time and effort to approach them for a meeting. So for example, if they are busy trying to meet a deadline for a quarterly review or report, it may be wise to hold off until after their submission and things have calmed down for them.

Is the company going through any restructuring?

Quite often a company will go through a period of restructuring where they may review and update their structure and the roles within each department. This can happen after a major tech upgrade that can render some roles obsolete, or when a company is looking to make more efficiencies by streamlining departments together, relocating external offices and merging production facilities.

Company reorganization can be looked at as an opportunity to step up and discuss with your manager how you can see yourself fitting in with the new structure as the changes take place. If the company is downsizing and faced with deciding between two workers to keep, employers are more likely to choose to keep a staff member that is pro-active and has their finger on the pulse.

Book a meeting with your manager

Unless you have an annual review coming up where you can bring up the subject of a promotion, then you will need to book a meeting and give yourself enough time to pitch a decent appeal. Start by sending an email to request a meeting and ensure that you spell out that you want to talk about your work record and potential career progression.

Knowing exactly what you want to discuss with them, your manager can pause for thought and reflect on your work performance and achievements. They will not be taken off-guard about your request and will be more open to discussing your needs.

Deliver your argument and give plenty of examples of how you have contributed to the company and how you want to further contribute to the success of the company moving forward.

Good luck!

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