Asking for a promotion can be tricky. Not to mention nerve wracking. It requires prior planning, identification of your next role, definition of that role, and the skills necessary to do that role. And then you need to ask. The hidden truth is, as daunting as putting yourself forward for a bigger role is, employers love team members who want to drive their career forward. Over achievers are always welcome in any business.
Identify the need
If you are ready to assume a more challenging role, first you need to identify what that is and how it fits into the agency. This could mean a greater responsibility for training others, attending events or contributing to internal blogs. Ideally you should have started assuming most of the responsibilities and qualities of the role you aspire to attain. For example, if you are looking to manage a team then mentoring new staff and coaching under-performers should be something you do regularly. There needs to be a vacancy of some description, or an area where you feel you can add more value and increase productivity and efficiency.
Make your case
Pitching yourself for a promotion is vital. You should not be asking, instead you need to make a case and present. In my experience, a well thought out proposal or presentation defining the role you desire, your skills, and how you meet the brief, can never fail to impress. Ensure you include examples of when you have performed above your current role and show how you think your new role will be positive for the business moving forward.
Asking for a promotion is like interviewing for a new job. You need to demonstrate skill, motivation and desire. If possible, before asking for the promotion try and speak to someone in your sector that is doing the role you aspire to. Therefore increasing your understanding of the role.
Role over money
Don’t make the mistake of pushing for a promotion if it is only the salary you are interested in. When it comes to discussing salary for your new role have a figure in mind but be prepared to negotiate on that. If you are pushing for the promotion ensure that uplift in your career is your primary focus.
Finally…. the don’ts….
Don’t apologise for asking for a meeting to discuss a potential promotion. Make sure when you ask for the meeting you avoid phrases such as: Do you have 5 minutes…? I know you are busy… I know there is not a budget but… Asking for a promotion should be a rewarding experience and framed as such. Ensure when you book the meeting you do so in a professional, positive manner.
Don’t ask for a promotion because your colleague was awarded one when they had served a similar time within the business as you. Keeping up with the Jones is not a reason to increase someone’s responsibility within a company.
Don’t ask for a promotion because you need the money. Your financial situation should not be the driving force. It should be all about your ambition and skill.
Please share with us any success stories from asking for a promotion, or any further questions, let us know.