By Morgan International Staff Writers
So you want a promotion? Asking your boss for a promotion can be a very daunting prospect and I would certainly advise anybody in this situation to consider a few things in advance of even approaching the subject.
- What do you want to be promoted to?
- Are you confident you have the skills, attributes and experience to be worthy for the promotion?
- Are there any organisational blockers to your promotion? Such as a temporary block on hiring and promotions.
- Do you think your boss is expecting this conversation? Have you primed them in advance?
- How will you feel if you don’t get the promotion and what will your follow up actions be?
Considering and answering all of these questions provides a good foundation for the conversation you are planning to have with your boss. It is not to say you will share all of this information, but you should have considered it. Interestingly the tips for asking for a promotion are not actually about the conversation itself, but rather they are the things you need to do before asking the question to increase your chances of success.
- Performance targets
As part of the performance management process, you should seek to understand the skill and/or experience gaps you have between your current role and the one you would be interested in being promoted to. First of all this will alert your boss to the fact you are actively seeking promotion, and you can agree clear attainment goals to achieve that promotion.
Ask for real time feedback on your performance. A good time to ask is in your regular one to ones. Do not wait for the periodic performance reviews as typically this will not allow you sufficient time to adjust your behaviours.
If you are invaluable, your boss may be wary about promoting you and leaving a skill gap. Consider if there is somebody more junior on the team who you could train/coach/mentor so that you have a natural successor to your role – or at least someone who can cover whilst a replacement is found.
I mentioned in the introduction that there may be times when companies have freezes on promotions and hiring. This of course would be an inappropriate time to ask the question. However if your company has a yearly cycle for promotions, asking just ahead of when you think the decisions are made would likely lead to a far more fruitful outcome.
In summary, whilst asking for a promotion may seem like a scary prospect, if you are sure of your value and worth, and you follow the preparation tips above, you should have a good chance of success. By working out your back up plan in advance, if you are not successful you will have the security of knowing you have alternative options to pursue.