Asking for a promotion is all about how you can sell yourself as the best brand. It can be a very stressful task at times. You might feel that it's time for a move in your career, but your boss might not have thought about it. So typically you need to go and have that conversation. And, we all agree it is not that easy to have that conversation. It puts you in a mist of what to say, when to say it, and most importantly how to convince your boss.
Quite different from other professional discussions you encounter is Asking for a promotion. You will need to look for the right timing, reinforce your confidence, look for how you can deliver your value in the right way, and look for reasons you might be told no. It's like preparing yourself for any possible questions and how you will deal with them. Many find it hard to do this “ask” part; what if your manager rejects straightaway or doubts your capabilities? You might feel judged.
But, as it is said, “if you don't ask, you don't get”. You will have to make that conversation. The key is to articulate and put your thoughts in such a way that it delivers your value and makes an impact on your manager.
Here, are a few strategies that can help you get through Promotion:
Think about what you want as a promotion
First and foremost, you need to reflect on what exactly it is that you want. Take a look at your career goals and ask yourself why you want this promotion. You need to have a clear picture of the ‘ask’ you are going to make. You need to concisely state what your goals are behind that ‘ask’. You need to see if it is the position that you want, the more money, the managerial responsibilities that it holds, or do you want to create some sort of new position. You can answer all these questions only if you have a clear understanding of your own goals. Sit and reflect on all these crucial aspects, before you go any further. Also, analyze your career progression plan and will this promotion can help you achieve your career goals or bring you closer to them.
You need to do your research on all the metrics that will help you build up that ask/conversation more effectively. Evaluate the position you want to be promoted to and how ready you are for it. Do thorough research about that position and all responsibilities it entails. With your capabilities demonstrate how your capabilities can contribute to that position and help the organization. You need to think about what competitive salary range will suit the level of knowledge you have. Do your research in such a way that if the conversation goes in a positive direction regarding the raise you have a number in your mind.
For this, you also need to assess your current skills and evaluate how they can contribute to the organization. To be strategic about salary negotiation, you need to have a number in your mind, before you walk in for that conversation. Be very clear about it. You need to play your best in the negotiation game. Research is the path that will help you the most to gain clarity in this area.
Impact of your promotion
Another important thing that you should consider is how your promotion will benefit the overall team and the organization as a whole. Align your promotion goals with the company’s success. Find out what your manager wants. It is of paramount importance to know where you sit because while presenting your ideas you need to talk about how you are adding to the success of the organization or saving their money. You can also talk about your weaknesses, and how you have tried to overcome them to help the organization improve and become more valuable to them. It's all about where you are expected to perform and where you are exactly performing. Talk about the impact of your leadership, and how it can allow you to manage a particular role or program. In short, it is all about displaying all the amazing things you will do if your manager promotes you.
Develop a career highlight presentation
A career highlight presentation is that one place where all your highlights, what you have done at the company, and your accomplishments are stated. Before approaching your manager, you need to evidence your work and skills. Create Evidence that will speak for your work and your strengths. You need to quantify the work you have done and the achievements you have made till now. Quantified work speaks for itself and makes a totally different impact. Talk about numbers, ratios, and percentages, related to your work.
In addition to that, The art is to represent your quantified work qualitatively. Represent your achievements, can convince your manager. When you can talk in tune and give them evidence about why you are doing it and what you are doing and tie it to your organization’s business, it becomes difficult for your manager to say no. The key is to position yourself such that your manager is compelled to give you a promotion and if not today, then for sure in the future.
If your company is keen enough to see you and your work, it will promote you but if it is not doing so, you need to speak up for it. Come with evidence to your manager and show them why you deserve this promotion.
Choose the Timing
Timing is of great essence. Choose the right time to ask for a promotion. Right time doesn't mean early in the morning or at a specific time, but rather the time when you feel you are ready to have that talk. Identify the development areas in your current job role and set progress bars. Whenever you see that your work has visibly helped make an impact on the business or you have taken an increased responsibility, it's the time. It could also be whenever you feel that you are ready to grow from your current managerial position or role.
These are just a few situations that sound reasonable. There is no right or wrong, or rigid time for when to ask. It all differs from person to person, job to job, and individual skills and goals. Ask whenever you feel that you are ready. You need to plan for your meeting with your manager. Make sure your manager knows why you want to have this meeting: the agenda should be clear. You need to mention to them that it is for discussing your potential and performance. Don’t plan on catching your manager off guard, this does not make a good impression. The manager won't be prepared for discussing this with you and your conversation might go in vain. With advance notice regarding the meeting, your manager will be ready with thoughts on your performance and a probable raise for your position or salary.
Frame the Conversation
After you have all set key aspects in place; with all the research, metrics, and evaluations, the last and most crucial step is to frame the conversation. You need to bolster all the confidence you have and be ready to answer any possible question. Knowing about yourself with a crystal clear understanding of your goals and the organization’s goal is the key to winning that conversation. Speak strategically and in the right tone. Convince your manager that you deserve this promotion and walk them through how it will help the organization immensely. Try to ignite the interest of your manager and make it a two-way conversation. Your communication skills can work like magic here.
Some Do’s and Don'ts :
- Don’t ever start with what they want. Start with what is in their interest.
- Don’t ever bring up the performance of other people while having a conversation.
- Keep track of your career highlights.
- Be very aware of what you bring to the table.
- Be clear with negotiations.
- Ask for more responsibility.
Additionally, No matter what company you are at, whenever you ask for a promotion you need to do it with confidence. The key is conviction, confidence, and being strategic about when and how you ask for a promotion. Be clear about your career goals with the manager. Also, The conversation does not end with just asking for a promotion. Rather, it is where the whole hard work starts from. Don’t forget to take continuous feedback, as they are very important. Most importantly if you get a NO, don't lose your confidence, rather ask why. Take feedback and ask them what they are looking for. It helps you identify areas where you can put effort to work and improve. Getting promoted is all about a holistic view of you as a person contributing to the company.
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