How to Ask for a Promotion and Get the Recognition You Deserve

Do you know how to ask for a promotion at work? Better yet, do you know how to successfully ask to be promoted?

Every employee worries about the day they decide to ask their manager or boss for a promotion. You might feel both nervous and excited about the outcome at the same time. It’s natural to feel anxious and unsure. It’s a big deal! You’ll ask for more responsibilities and money while attempting to prove why you deserve it.

It can be even more challenging if your manager isn’t on your side and doesn’t see things the same way you do.

Thankfully, there are steps you can follow when asking for a promotion that will help you successfully get one. You can confidently ask for a promotion by understanding that you deserve the promotion and demonstrating to yourself and your supervisor that you are the right person to take on increased responsibilities. Here’s how.

1. Find an Opportunity for a Promotion

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The first step is to identify promotion opportunities that you want to apply for. Think about what you want by changing your career. Is it a pay raise? A new title? More perks? New assignments? Being promoted to manager?

Then, look for promotion opportunities within the organization that will help you achieve these career goals.

There’s not much point in asking for a promotion if there is nowhere for you to be promoted to.

If you work for a small company, there simply may not be any positions available. If business is slow, there may not be any new projects or clients coming in, and you may have to wait for something to change before there’s a chance for a promotion.

On the other hand, if business is booming, use that to get ahead on your career path.

Has your job description grown? Has your workload changed? Do you feel you should be promoted? Don’t wait for a position to open up – be proactive and make your own opportunity! Ask for a raise or job promotion by negotiating a new, higher-level role for yourself.

2. Why Do You Deserve to Be Promoted at Work?

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You can’t expect your manager to understand why you should move up the corporate ladder over your colleagues if you can’t justify it in your own head first.

Think of some recent wins and accomplishments in your professional career. What have you done in your current role that has been valuable to the company and made you look great? Have you learned new skills or done anything outside of the company that has boosted your qualifications, experience, or education?

These small things will help you create value for yourself, so when you pitch it to your boss, they understand why you should get promoted.

It’s smart to make a list of the reasons why you believe you deserve to get a promotion so that when you approach your manager, you’re already set to back yourself up.

Doing this will also make you feel more confident and less nervous about it. You’ll feel like you deserve to be asking your manager for a promotion, and your manager will be able to sense that same level of confidence.

3. Make It About Them, Not About You

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A great way to improve your chances of getting a promotion is to make it about the company rather than about yourself.

How have you improved the company’s bottom line? Did you bring on new clients and make more money for them? What unique skills do you bring to the team? How do you make your boss’s job easier?

Focusing on how you can help reach the goals of the organization is one of the best ways to move up the ladder.

4. Set Up a Meeting

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Once you have the confidence to ask for a promotion and have your reasons ready for why you deserve one, the next step is actually getting one. This involves more execution than preparation.

When you approach your manager, make sure it’s in a one-on-one setting. Asking for a promotion or a meeting to discuss a possible promotion in front of your coworkers will make you look unprofessional, and frankly, it’s none of their business.

Send an email requesting a meeting or talk to your manager privately and ask to schedule a meeting. This way, your manager will clear space in their schedule for you, and you’ll have ample time to discuss a promotion.

Be sure to give them some context of what this meeting is about by mentioning you’d like to discuss your performance and potential opportunities for advancement. If you don’t, the meeting might not go the way you had hoped because your manager hasn’t had time to prepare or think about your contribution to the team. You want them to be prepared, too!

5. Practice Your Pitch

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Now that you have a time set to ask for your promotion, the next step is to plan what you’ll say before you actually do it. If you phrase your wording the right way, your chances of getting what you want will improve.

The best way to do this is by practicing it a few times when you’re alone. Your pitch for a promotion should start conversational and then take a serious turn when you get to the “ask.”

6. Set the Tone

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In your meeting, don’t immediately launch into your pitch. Start by asking your manager about their day or the weather, something light and conversational to break the ice. I know small talk can seem pointless or boring, but it’s an important part of creating connections, showing respect, and setting the meeting’s tone.

Don’t skip the small talk, but don’t waste too much time on it, either. You want to get to the point of the meeting and not spend your time socializing.

7. Demonstrate Why You Deserve to be Promoted

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Next, briefly list your most recent accomplishments with the company and how much of a help you’ve been. This will put you in a positive light and remind your manager how valuable you are to your company.

Give examples where you can and really sell yourself – but again, keep this short. You are highlighting your accomplishments and contributions, not explaining every little detail.

Tip: Prepare a Short Written Summary

To impress your boss or senior manager, prepare a 1-2 page summary outlining your track record and why you should be promoted. Include specific examples, concrete numbers, and metrics that are supported by documentation and data as much as possible, and avoid feelings or emotions.

Some examples include:

  • praise from your performance evaluations
  • testimonials from clients
  • customer satisfaction ratings
  • examples of when you went above and beyond
  • how you have increased revenue and decreased costs
  • problems you have solved
  • systems you have developed
  • project outcomes or targets you have met
  • new ideas you have implemented
  • training you have complete

Having something in writing helps you prepare your talking points when asking for additional responsibilities and gives the decision-makers something to reference as they consider your request.

8. Ask for a Promotion

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Now is where you actually ask to be promoted. Be direct and say, “I would like to be considered for [the new position or project],” followed by how well you think you’ll be able to handle the new role and new responsibilities.

This is where confidence is key.

If you sound shaky about handling a new role, your manager will see that and have doubts. But if you’re serious and confident about how well you think you’ll do, your manager will also have more confidence in you taking on the position.

9. Let Your Manager Respond

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Once you’ve given your pitch and have asked about a promotion, stop talking and give your manager a chance to reply.

Pay attention to how they respond because this will tell you a lot!

Whether they are excited and open to the idea of promoting you or they have any apprehensions, their body language and facial expressions will give you clues. So will what they say and what words they use.

Just like in a job interview, if your manager is smiling and asking follow-up questions, that’s a good sign.

But if they seemed closed off and disinterested, that could mean your chances of getting a promotion are slim. Try not to let this discourage you, though. They might respond this way for many reasons, or they could just be having a bad day.

Most likely, your manager won’t give you a solid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ immediately after you ask. They might say something about taking it into consideration and getting back to you. This is your cue to thank them for their time and leave so they can think about what you said.

10. Wait Before Following Up

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After your meeting, your manager might give you a timeframe for when they will have an answer or when they would like to further discuss giving you a promotion.

But if they didn’t, don’t worry about when they’ll get back to you just yet. The last thing you want to do is annoy your manager and nag them about when you’ll be hearing from them. Instead, play it cool and continue to do your work to the best of your ability.

More than likely, your manager will respond to you within a week. If it’s been more than a week and you haven’t heard anything, ask for a follow-up meeting to discuss how they feel about your promotion inquiry.

It’s important to approach this follow-up meeting with the same confidence you had during the first meeting. You want to look like you’re serious about this promotion because you want your manager to know nobody could do this job better than you can.

At the same time, while you’re trying to look confident and serious, it’s important not to come across as being pushy or intimidating toward your manager. You don’t want them to feel that you’re trying to be forceful with them.

Understanding how to ask for a promotion is the key to staying where you are in your career and advancing to the next level. Be brave and confident, and understand that the worst a manager can say is no.

Exactly Why You’re Not Being Promoted at Work

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How can you increase your income when you only have so much energy and time in your day? One of the best ways to do that is by getting promoted. But what do you do if you’re not being promoted?

I run across individuals all the time who are eager to get promoted. They have their eye on the next role and are always applying for open positions. But for some reason, they never get the job they want.

One fundamental concept at the core of your strategy is proving you’re ready. Here’s exactly why you’re not being promoted and what to do about it.

Strategies To Impress Your Boss and Finally Get Noticed

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Today’s workplace is competitive, and you’re likely striving to impress the higher-ups. Everyone’s hard at work trying to get recognized and promoted (including you!).

You don’t always need to be the first in and the last out to get your manager to notice the value of your work. There are dozens of other ways to do the exact same thing.

If you’re unsure how to impress your boss, these easy-to-implement tactics will get you noticed and propel your career forward.

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