I’d Like a Promotion Please!

Drive and ambition are essential in today’s commercial world and with the right strategy you can achieve your career goals.

But asking for promotion can be a stressful. In times of high pressure working environments, competitive markets and equally competitive internal and external candidates, how do you get the promotion and career development you want?

It can be easy to believe you deserve that promotion and that the work you’ve put in warrants it – but it’s time to step back and take a look at yourself.

Be honest and objective…….

Does your experience and performance warrant the promotion? Evaluate the role you want – are there skill gaps and if so, how could you address them?

Have you consistently achieved results and can you show clear examples?

Have you been in your current job long enough to demonstrate commitment? Tenure in your current role is important – commitment to your business and position is a valuable point of reference not a bargaining tool and being premature in your request for recognition may be overly ambitious.

Career development and the road to promotion ideally starts when you choose the business you work for and align yourself with a specific company culture. Wanting a promotion should not come as a shock to your boss or your peers provided you’ve performed well. However, remember that your organisation needs to be in a position to support your step up so timing is everything. Ask yourself, is the business performing, have you integrated into your team and are you adding value in your role? Is there a promotion opportunity you can see that the business can sustain?

Promotion doesn’t usually happen overnight so be careful not to set unrealistic expectations that don’t materialise otherwise you could end up feeling disheartened. Discuss what you want to achieve with your boss or HR. Talk about your long term goals and ask for their assistance in creating a plan in order to achieve them.

Whilst short-termism has its benefits, taking the longer-term view will gain you the respect and consideration you want. Set a time frame in which both parties can deliver realistic results and what promotion options are then available. Agree a regular review period to get feedback and make sure you’re on track.

Being open to feedback is crucial! Creating a promotion development plan with your manager can be daunting so be prepared to talk about areas that you may need to work on. The principle of development is about learning and naturally involves making mistakes – use this information constructively to improve your technical skills or work style where needed.

Team structures can often be flat and restrict the ability to move up so think about other opportunities that could help you in the longer term to be in a position where you can aim for a promotion outside your current employer. It could be a project or sharing management of team members or taking over from a colleague on long term leave. Anything that will either give you exposure to skill development areas or more responsibility. There is nothing wrong with thinking about moving company for a promotion. Any organisation with a flat structure should understand that.

Financial reward is often a sensitive subject though your value as an employee is not just about remuneration. Before you start discussing remuneration research your market value using the right tools such as salary surveys and industry comparisons but keep things in context. Don’t overshoot what is appropriate. If the actual cash isn’t available then consider suggesting other benefits that can be offset effectively by the business and would add to your work-life circumstances such as flexible working, salary sacrificing or lease options.