How to Effectively Ask for a Promotion

By LANDED Team • 19 March 2022 • 3 mins read

Asking for a promotion can be a challenging and, oftentimes, an intimidating task to take on. However, taking into account the following factors will prepare you in your approach.

It’s no secret that asking for a promotion can oftentimes be intimidating. In fact, The Muse mentions that asking for a promotion ranks high on the list of life’s most anxiety-inducing activities. You may wonder, why is it so anxiety-inducing? This is because you are asking for something that is out of your control. In other words, the decision is not yours to make. While you are not in complete control, it’s important to remember that you have control over certain factors that can have a great influence on the outcome. That’s why, throughout this piece, we will provide you tips that will improve your chances when approaching this important conversation.

Before diving deep, let’s start by asking yourself, are you ready for this next step of your career? It’s important to be confident that you’ve earned this promotion and are prepared for the extra responsibilities that come with the opportunity. If so, then you are ready to follow the next steps.

The Reflection

When asking for a promotion, Harvard Business Review suggests that you should think through what you want exactly. For example, answering questions like:

  • Why do you want this promotion?
  • Are you ready for more tasks?
  • Are you only in it for the raise?

Answering these questions will establish your goal and will bring clarity to what you really want from the promotion. Clarifying your goal and developing a strategy to achieve it will give you more confidence in approaching the situation. Once you have reflected, you are ready to start planning your promotion request.

The Planning

When planning your request, it’s important to identify all the things you have accomplished throughout your position and the time you’ve been with the company. Grabbing a notepad and developing a list might make this easier. Start by writing:

  • Contributions you’ve made that helped the company grow.
  • Future projects or new ideas you would plan in the new position. (Innovation is important!)
  • Your capability and experience as a leader managing a team or overcoming a problem.

Essentially, in this stage you are bragging about yourself. You need to sell your boss on your ideas because they need to feel secure that you are the right person for the new position. After writing down your accomplishments and rehearsing what you plan on saying, it’s time to set up a meeting. Requesting a meeting can be done in any form (email, phone, in-person), but the negotiation should happen in-person (if for any reason you can’t, ask your boss if video chat or over the phone would be fine). It’s important to be specific in what the meeting is for to ensure your boss is prepared to discuss these terms with you.

The Meeting

It’s the moment of truth. It’s time for you to shine and express yourself. During this moment, you might be thinking, how can I maximize my potential during this meeting? Ashley Stahl, Career Coach to the Millennial generation, points out that creating a professional identity will help you when approaching your boss. The goal is to be perceived and communicate as someone confident who knows what they are talking about. These communication tips can help:

  • Avoid filler words such as “um” or “like” that could distract from the main idea.
  • When stating your main idea, speak slowly and clearly.
  • Make eye contact to show that you are serious about the opportunity.

These communication cues may be minor, but have an immense influence on how you are perceived and the decision they will make on you. It’s important to note that you may not receive an answer right away, your boss may need time to tell you what they think or if they need more time to decide. During this moment it is essential to listen and pay close attention to their response. You need to show that you are present, empathic and open minded. Above all, they are the one deciding the best for you so if they give you feedback in any area be sure to take note and improve.

The Follow-Up

This is the moment where you can finally relax after the meeting you had with your boss. Now, it’s time to wait or follow-up. And don’t stress, remember that you gave your best. Having a positive mindset would make your wait a little bit easier. If your boss told you that they needed more time to decide, then wait about a week or so before sending a follow-up email.

If the answer was yes, congrats! The team at LANDED is very happy and enjoys helping others achieve new positions. It is your time to demonstrate how great and persistent you are with your goals and new position. If the answer was no, it’s very common to feel upset, but it’s important to hold your composure and be professional. If this is the case, you should definitely ask for feedback. Ask them how they came about their decision and what you can do to improve your chances of being selected in the future. The right opportunity will come!

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