After years of doing good work, you may reach a point in your job where you feel like it’s time to move onward and upward, but getting a promotion there isn’t as simple as just asking for it.
Very rarely will organizations promote someone simply based on their performance. While one recent survey found people saying hard work was the key to getting a promotion, experts responding to the survey said hard work alone isn’t enough.
If you want to get ahead in your career, you need to be a strong self-advocate. This isn’t easy. It requires confidence, networking and a bit of strategy. If you feel confident in your performance and you’ve made some connections throughout the company, then consider the following strategic advice on asking for a promotion.
How Do You Ask For a Promotion?
Figure Out What You Want
Before approaching your boss and then making your case for a promotion, you should understand what you are hoping to achieve.
If you simply want to make more money, then maybe you should consider asking for a raise, not a promotion. If you’re looking to take a professional step forward, you should figure out what that looks like; maybe a leadership role or greater autonomy.
Figuring out how a promotion can increase your job satisfaction and improve your career will help you frame your argument and a potential negotiation with your boss.
Know What You Bring to the Table
With an objective in mind, you should begin to consider what you bring to the table and what is reasonable.
Start by considering how your qualification fit with the company’s mission and values. Talk to your colleagues to better know your strengths and weaknesses. Try to get a sense of how you are perceived throughout the company. If you can frame your request in terms of how a promotion will benefit the company, it greatly increases your chances of success.
Quantify Your Performance
Judging someone’s performance at work is a subjective exercise. When making the case for a promotion, you need to take subjectivity out of the equation.
Build your case by preparing a brief memo that describes you are a proven track record using concrete metrics. For example, you could show how much money has been saved by process improvements you have helped to implement. Or, you could show how your customer satisfaction scores or sales figures are better than those of your coworkers.
You can strengthen your case by showing you’ve helped to train less experienced colleagues. This not only shows leadership, but it also suggests that someone can quickly step into your shoes if you are promoted.
Get the Timing Right
While preparing for success is essential to achieving it, it’s also important to be in the right place at the right time. If you ask for a promotion after a round of layoffs, your odds of success won’t be very high.
The best time to ask for a promotion is when things are going well. If success is causing the company to create a lot of new positions, you should absolutely make the case that you’re ready to grow along with the company.
We Can Help You Move Your Career Forward
Sometimes, there isn’t much room for advancement at a company, and when this is the case, you need to look for outside opportunities. At The Finders, we help talented job seekers move their careers forward with best-fit job opportunities. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your career.