So you think you’re ready for a promotion, but how do you tell your boss you are down to embark on this career advancement? It won’t be easy; I am telling you. You cannot just go up to your boss, jump onto the topic, and say, “I’m ready!”
It takes the right mix of effort, self-evaluation, and preparation to gear yourself up in asking for that promotion.
Before you can ask for a promotion, you need to know you deserve it. It’s the first thing your boss will ask you, and if you can’t come up with an answer, don’t expect your request to be granted.
Preparing to talk to your boss
Upon the realization of needing to move up on the career ladder, what are the factors that made you decide on it? Here are some telltale signs that show you are in dire need of a promotion:
- Tenured employment
- Availability of higher positions
- Proven expertise over core functions
- A need for a higher compensation
- Preparedness for bigger contributions
Whatever reasons you have, they’re all valid. The only thing you will have to worry about is the proper delivery of your proposal. And to execute it, you have to have a lot of prep time.
Here are the preparations you need to do before talking to your boss:
- Know the right time to ask.
You might think that the ideal situation to get promoted is when a higher position becomes available in time for your 9th year anniversary. However, there is really no such thing as “right time” to ask because anyone should advance in their career when they truly deserve it.
- Create a timeline of achievements.
To convince your boss that you are a team performer, you will have to do some extra work before you ask. This way, you have concrete achievements that you can cite in your discussion.
Three to six months before the proposal, amp up your game and prove that you are an asset to the company. You can earn written praises from teammates and managers, which you will consolidate in one document. This document will be the proof of your excellence and value to the company.
- Practice how you will converse.
Find someone you can rehearse the proposal pitch with so you can build up your confidence. Having practiced the scenario will prepare you to come up with the right answers, know the potential questions, familiarize yourself with how you should act, and more. You can ask a coworker with a higher position to practice and reap some useful advice.
How you should talk to your boss
Here are helpful tips on how you can effectively approach your boss:
- Be straightforward.
There’s no point in being vague when you talk to your boss. Just directly ask if there is room for promotion. Sounds easy when you are friends with your boss, right? However, it would be best if you kept the professionalism intact as it makes you appear more sincere.
- Highlight your value.
Mention the remarkable achievements you have done in the past. It’s easier to convince your boss that you deserve to move up the career ladder when you have actual proof. This is where the timeline of achievements will help you manifest excellence.
You see, accomplishments will be the core of being considered, as these show your strengths.
Also, remember not to seem entitled to a promotion. The company doesn’t owe you that. If you feel like you are undervalued, you have the liberty to find greener pastures.
- Don’t compare yourself to colleagues.
Putting yourself above others demonstrates arrogance. Rather than saying you outperform everyone, why not just focus on yourself? Comparing yourself to others is not a rational justification to bump up your position.
Do not question how a coworker who did less or was newer and got promoted faster than you. You all have your own pace. Avoid mentioning others’ paths to promotion as it’s unnecessary.
- Discuss how the company will benefit from you.
Asking for a promotion isn’t entirely about you. It’s more of how the business will benefit from you. Without mentioning how the company will generate more results if you get promoted, you are not showing any value.
You are likely to secure the promotion if you share the bigger contributions you can provide to the organization. You can mention figures and numbers backing up past achievements to relate these to your next position’s responsibilities.
- Don’t expect to get promoted because you are friends with your boss.
Just because you get along well with your boss doesn’t mean you have a higher chance of being approved. It doesn’t work that way. As the old saying goes, “Business comes first.”
What you need to do is justify your desire for a promotion with concrete results. Provide milestones and recommendations that prove your excellence. Make it easy for your boss to decide by laying out facts.
- Don’t threaten.
Saying that you will look somewhere else if you don’t get the promotion is just plain unacceptable. Any company will not be happy hearing such comments upon a promotion proposal.
If you think of ditching your job for a better opportunity, you are free to do so. But never let your boss know what you are up to—this ruins your reputation. Just stick to what you need to say and face the outcome.
- Keep your emotions at bay.
Before you start talking to your boss, keep yourself composed and accept that whatever the result is, so your emotions will not get in the way. Prepare yourself for both outcomes, and don’t lose hope if you get rejected.
Remember, you took your shot, and you made yourself clear about what you want. Your boss will give you feedback regardless of what the outcome is. Stay calm and be receptive to comments, suggestions, and more. What matters is the company is now aware of your need for promotion.
Asking for promotion may not be easy. But if you put in the time and effort to prepare for it, it will be all worth the hassle. Just set your eyes on the prize, execute the work, and eventually, all your efforts will bear the fruit of hard work.