How to Get the Promotion You Deserve

Scoring a well-deserved promotion at work takes strategic planning. Sure, you’ve gone above and beyond the job’s required duties. You’ve learned on the job and you’ve taken on additional responsibilities. When the moment comes to make your case for a senior title, you’ll want to make sure your manager knows that you are a worthy investment. Your success may rest on demonstrating your commitment to the company’s future as well as picking the right time to make your request.

Be prepared for several discussions about a promotion as your employer deliberates whether the new role is the right fit for you and the company. Keep in mind that your manager is interested in how the change will benefit not just you but the company as well.

Timing is everything.

Time your bid for bringing up a promotion to coincide with your scheduled performance review. Your manager will have reviewed the work you put in during the year, so if you’ve worked hard, you will likely be in a good position for them to evaluate your request. Gauge your company’s financial picture. Asking for a bigger role and higher pay could be pointless if your employer has just announced a round of layoffs. The boss may be more inclined to consider your promotion If the company has just won significant new business, and if you were helpful in that success. 

Sell your achievements.

Show that you are ready for the next move by selling yourself as the best candidate for a more senior role. Prepare your case by collecting examples of how you’ve gone beyond what was required in your job to add real value to the organization. Demonstrate how your efforts increased productivity and contributed to the company’s bottom line. If you brought in new business, be able to provide the dollar amount or examples.

Define the role you want.

Give some thought to what type of role you want and think through your career goals. An open-ended proposal such as “I think I can handle more responsibility” is easier for your boss to dodge than a definite request such as “I am ready to fill the opening for our accounting department’s supervisor.” If your department doesn’t have an empty role, you may find an opportunity in another department if you keep an eye on the job boards for open positions within the company.

Don’t expect to tell your boss how much you expect to earn in your new role but be aware of pay for comparable work. The subject of money might not come up in your first discussion about a promotion, but you don’t want to be caught unprepared if the hiring manager brings it up. 

Rehearse your presentation.

Rehearsing with someone you trust allows you to practice in a safe environment and get honest feedback on your argument. Honest criticism will prepare you to feel more relaxed when you present your case to your boss. Confidence will make your presentation more effective. Your practice audience may help you prepare for questions you haven’t considered.

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