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How to ask for a promotion

Have you been thinking that it’s time for a promotion?
Are you wondering how to broach this conversation with your boss?

This is a conversation that many people avoid as it can be stressful.

But remember, you are in charge of your career!

It is highly unlikely that your manager is spending their busy day plotting your career progression. They have too many things on their plate.

And this is okay.
It’s just reality.

So, be realistic and take control of your career.

ask your manager to discuss career progressionWhen you are ready to discuss this with your manager, give them some advanced notice.

For example, in your one-on-one this week, say “I would like to talk to you about my career aspirations and career progression. Is this something that we can discuss in our meeting next week?”

Now you can take some time to prepare for the conversation.

Here are three steps that you can take to start the promotion conversation:

1. Gather the facts 

Timing is everything. You need to consider when you got your last promotion. If it was just six months ago, your next promotion likely won’t be in the near future. However, you can still gather the facts. Research the new role you wish to move into. Find out what skills and behaviours are required. Assess yourself against those competencies.

2. Prepare your business case

In your meeting, be ready to clarify why you are interested in the new role. Then, share how you will add value to this role. Finally, be prepared to share facts and data to illustrate how you are currently going the extra mile. If you think you are already doing the job, provide facts to prove your perspective. You can also review all the positive feedback in your performance appraisal forms as an additional data point.

3. Be open-minded and listen

Remember that this is a conversation. While you are well prepared to present your business case, your manager will also have an opinion on this topic. Listen to their perspective with an open mind. Take notes. If they mention that you are not ready for the role, ask them for specific examples of your current gaps and what you need to do to close them.

The way you handle this conversation is very important. 

If you present yourself with grace and professionalism, your positive attitude will be noticed.

This type of meeting is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your leadership presence and emotional intelligence.

Regardless of the outcome of the meeting, you have now planted the seeds and are one step further to achieving your career goals.

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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