How to Ask for a Promotion


It may be one of the most daunting things you will ever have to do in your life. Asking for a promotion is nerve racking even for the most confident of employees. It requires you to put yourself out there in front of your superiors while you anxiously wonder in the back of your mind whether they will say yes or turn you down flat.

Yet many of us will be faced with this challenge, in fact some of our career dreams may hinge on it. If you are ready to move forward in your company, you need to stand up and ask for a promotion. Even though we may dream of opportunities simply being handed to us, the reality is if you really want something, you have to ask for it.

If you are planning to ask for a promotion, the most important thing to do first is to take sufficient time to prepare. When you actually ask the question, you are going to be asked to show your superiors that you are truly ready to take the next step in your career. Be sure to emphasize what you have already done in your current position to show your value and potential. Think about making a list of your accomplishments to use as a guide to refer to. Also, make sure that you highlight any and all steps you have taken to go above and beyond your everyday responsibilities in your current position.

After you have established all this, it’s time to drive it home and specify the position that you want and why you are ready to move into that role. Give details about how you can fulfill the position and execute all the responsibilities well. Identify concrete examples of what you have already done that prove you are right when you ask for a promotion.

Exactly when you ask for a promotion matters

Now you are prepared to blow them away; so when do you actually ask the question? If you are close to your annual review, this is an excellent time to broach the subject and ask for a promotion. However, if there is an opening for the promotion now and your review is still lingering months down the road, take the initiative and set up the meeting.

If you have been doing an outstanding job for a long period of time in your current position, then you are most likely ready to ask for a promotion. Remember to do your homework ahead of time so you know exactly what to say.

Also, remember what NOT to say. In other words, don’t act as though you are entitled to a promotion (be humble, not rude), don’t compare yourself to other employees (this is about YOU, not anyone else), and don’t get upset if you do not receive the promotion (calmly review why and make the changes you need to ensure you receive the promotion in the future).

And if you receive the promotion, get out there and celebrate! You earned it so make sure you reward yourself for all that hard work!