Asking for a promotion – Top Ten
Blaire Palmer is an executive coach and author of “What’s Wrong with Work?”
Here are her top ten tips for asking for a promotion. The very idea of asking for a promotion or salary raise can be enough to put you in doing it. But, as they say, if you don’t ask you don’t get.
1. At your annual review or a formal meeting with you and your manager, ask what he or she would be looking for to qualify you for a promotion or salary raise. Ask for specifics such as targets you would need to achieve or projects you would need to complete. Get it in writing and then keep up your end of the bargain.
2. Maintain a record of everything you do above and beyond your job description. No one gets a pay rise or promotion for doing their job properly or for the length of service. You need to show you’ve performed a level or two higher than your current role.
3. Get expertise outside your functional area. If you are in marketing, spend some time in sales or customer service. Learn as much as you can about your organisation so you can show you think like a senior employee, not a junior staff member.
4. Work out your market value by researching the internet. And work out how much you are worth to your company. Are you a cost or do you make the company money? If you can show how you are being paid a fraction of what you are worth to the business, you will have a better case.
5. Only go for promotion if you want the job, not just the salary. No amount of extra cash is going to compensate you for a job you dislike. Your current role with a bigger salary might be a better option.
6. As it is a negotiation, you can ask for more than you expect to get. Don’t be excessive and do be willing to give a little. Only say “I’ll walk if I don’t get what I’ve asked for” if you are willing to go through with your threat.
7. Get live feedback on your performance. If you’ve been given vague feedback that you have to work on your leadership, or you need to “bed down” a little, someone might be trying to tell you something. Find out what the real problem is and then fix it.
8. Develop successors. Not only do you show that you are a good coach and mentor (which is valued at a more senior level) but your promotion won’t leave a hard-to-fill gap in the team. Sometimes talented people aren’t promoted because their company simply can’t afford to lose them. Make sure that’s not the trap you are in.
9. It’s all about timing. At the moment, many companies are delaying salary increases because they want to keep cash in the business. It isn’t necessarily a reflection of how much you are valued. Instead of asking for a pay rise today, talk to your manager about the company’s plans regarding pay-freezes. At what point will the company remove these? In the meantime, show how valuable you are, exceed expectations and adapt to feedback so when the time is right, you are first in line.
10. Ask. Many employees are uncomfortable having these conversations. But your company isn’t going to pay you more or consider you for promotion unless you make it known that you are in the market.
Blaire Palmer’s new book “What’s Wrong with Work? The five frustrations of work and how to fix them for good”, is published by John Wiley & Sons.