6 Tips to Get Ready to Ask for a Promotion

William S. Burroughs said: “When you stop growing you start dying.” I believe this in my soul. The amount of knowledge and experience one can obtain is never ending. And while that may seem daunting, there is a level of excitement in it! The opportunities are endless! Most of us are working in the real world, and that means we’re gaining skills, confidence, and knowledge to excel at our jobs. At some point, most would want to move on to the next level. That’s when it’s time to get ready to ask for a promotion!

In addition to the notion of “when you stop growing you start dying”, I’m a believer of “you don’t get what you don’t ask for”. Meaning, you can’t expect other people (your boss, your partner, your friend, anyone) to know what you want. You need to express your desires and ask for what you want! If you’re ready to move up in the workplace, I’m sharing 6 tips to get ready to ask for a promotion. That way you’ll be your most confident and prepared self as you ask for what you want!

6 Tips to Get Ready to Ask for a Promotion

#1 List your accomplishments, awards, and recognition

As you get ready to ask for a promotion, you’ll want a thorough record of everything that would validate your ask. What have you accomplished in your current role? What awards did you receive? What recognition was sent your way? How did you help the company become more efficient, save money or generate sales?

Ideally, you’ll be keeping a list of your wins and accomplishments throughout your time at work. Not only does it provide a great boost of confidence, but it comes in handy when you have reviews with your manager. Before you ask for a promotion, take some time to list out your accolades in your current role. Be ready to give examples of each as you make your case for a promotion.

#2 Assess your ability to take on more

With more money comes more responsibility, especially in the workplace. When you ask for a raise or promotion, you’ll need to be ready to take on more work at the next level in your career. Are you ready for that? If your new role requires you to work longer hours than your current role, can you make it happen? Do you want to make it happen?

It’s important to realize that promotions and raises aren’t just about the money. Sure, it’s a nice perk, but would it be worth it for your overall wellbeing? If your goal is to start a family soon, does it make sense to take on more responsibility at work? Before you ask for that promotion, take the time to assess your ability and capacity to take on more, as that will likely be the requirement.

#3 Practice your opening statement

Unless you’ve already let your manager know that you’re looking to grow in your role in the company, when you ask for a promotion, it may be the first time they’re thinking about the idea. That means you’ll want to nail your opening statement. A great rule of thumb is to share that you’re ready and looking for a promotion and then list the reasons why. This is where your list of accomplishments will come in.

Before your meeting with your manager, practice your ask. Look at yourself in the mirror as you articulate your desire for a promotion and why you’re worthy of it. This practice will give you a boost of confidence – you’ll want all you can get when the time comes to talk to your boss.

#4 Schedule 1-on-1 time on your boss’ calendar

Asking for a promotion should never be done via email. When the time comes to get ready to ask for a promotion, request time on your manager’s calendar as a 1-on-1 meeting. If 1-on-1 meetings are rare in your company, your manager may ask what you’d like to discuss. Keep your response concise. Something along the lines of “seeking a meeting to discuss opportunities for growth in responsibility” will do just fine.

Often times, meetings are all-day. Don’t expect your boss’ calendar to be open instantly. Keep your expectations in check and find a time slot that gives you enough time to share your ask and the why behind it. If that means it needs to be a week or two out, that’s okay. Try to catch your boss first thing in the morning, as opposed to the end of the day. That way you have their focus before the workday kicks off.

#5 Be open to feedback

Just because you ask for a promotion and make your case as to why you’re worthy, doesn’t mean it will happen instantly. The goal is for your manager to know that you are looking to grow and that you’re capable of handling more responsibility. There may not be any open opportunities at this time, but they can keep you in mind for the future.

Your manager may also have additional insight into what you can do to prepare for the next level of responsibility. Be open to their insight and take all feedback and apply it. Let your boss know that if there is a position they hear of that would be a good fit, you’d love to be considered.

#6 If you don’t get what you want, give it a time limit then move on

After you’ve expressed your desire for a promotion and your boss gives you an idea of what to expect, the ball is in your court. You can stay on your boss’ radar and wait for the next opportunity and see what happens. Or, if after a certain amount of time nothing is happening, you can choose to move on. I’d recommend setting an internal time limit before looking outside of your department or your company in general.

For example, if after a year of expressing you’re ready for more responsibility and nothing has changed, it may be time to look elsewhere. It can be scary to accept that fact, but don’t let that stop you from going after what you really want. At the end of the day, prioritizing your desires needs to be your number one focus.

Related: 6 Tips for Finding a Career You Enjoy

It can be scary to ask for a promotion, but that isn’t a good enough reason to avoid it! The tips I shared can help you as you get ready to ask for a promotion with confidence. Remember, you don’t get what you don’t ask for, so be empowered to go after what you want! Have you ever asked your boss for a raise or promotion? How did it go? Drop a comment to share!

The CGS Team
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