I bet you’re thinking that you’ve reached the height of your career.
You’re scared to try new roles because you believe companies prefer younger employees. No matter which way you look at it, there’s no room to progress or a promotion. The problem is, that with this mindset you cut all chances of ever getting a promotion.
But you’re not alone. A study from Robert and Half revealed that only 39% of employees asked for a promotion.
So what’s the solution? How to ask for a promotion?
To create a plan.
This is easier said than done. But, if you work on the right tasks I’m confident you’ll get the promotion you deserve.
Let’s look into how to ask for a promotion and move up the career ladder.
Table of Contents
- The Power of Goal Setting
- Setting Goals the Right Way
- 6 Steps for Career Advancement
- Do's and Don'ts When Asking For a Promotion
- When to Ask For a Promotion?
- How to Handle a No When Asking?
- Additional List of Quickfire Tips in Bullet List Form on Asking for Promotion
- Final Thoughts
- More Resources About Career Advancement
The Power of Goal Setting
Your perfect plan will consist of writing down clear and concise goals.
Goal setting is the most important skill you can master to achieve any type of success in your life. Take this Hardvard study for example, where MBA graduates took a survey on goal setting. 13% of students who had set goals with no concrete plans were twice as successful than the 86% who didn’t set any goals.
The interesting part is what happened to the 3% of students who’d set goals with concrete goals. These students were earning 10 times more than the 97% class combined.
You should be. Goal setting can make or break your chances of reaching the success you desire.
Setting Goals the Right Way
The first step to setting any goal is by defining what you’d like to do.
Since you want a promotion, write this goal down in a journal. Next, break this goal down into micro goals.
For example, ask yourself what’s required to land a promotion in your current role.
A great tool to break down your goals is Workflowy. For most of the goals you’re setting, you won’t have all the answers, but don’t let this stop you from making progress. If you’re ever stuck, make it your next step to find someone who can help you find the answers you’re looking for.
Finally, take time to reflect on your progress. In your journal, you’ll be able to view what’s accomplished and where you’re falling behind. I recommend you check your progress at the end of each week, month, and quarter.
This may seem exhaustive at first, but it’s intended to help you avoid heading in the wrong direction.
Here’s a summary of the goal-setting process:
- Clearly define what you want to do (i.e. Land a promotion in the next 12 months)
- Write your goal down in your journal
- Break your goal down into micro goals (i.e. take 1 hour of a specialized course in my field daily)
- Write down daily goals in your journal
- Review your progress each week, month and quarter to make necessary changes
6 Steps for Career Advancement
Hopefully, by now you know how important goal setting is. It’s time to start learning the tactics that will help you get that promotion you deserve.
Although I’ll share several tactics to landing your promotion, it’s best that you only focus on 1–2 at a time.
This will prevent you from getting exhausted and help you master each tactic. Start by focusing on the areas you’re the weakest in and move forward from there.
1. Start with a Promotion Request
Demanding anything sounds harsh, but here’s why it makes sense to do so in your career.
Being demanding will allow you to speak up for yourself and not feel guilty for asking for a promotion. As mentioned before, a study revealed that more than half of employees didn’t ask for a promotion. That’s why being demanding is your ticket to ensuring you’re heard by upper management.
You don’t have to come off as arrogant or rude, rather be someone who knows their value. The problem is, you’re your worst critic. And, because of this, it can sometimes be challenging to focus on your positive qualities.
Here’s a solution:
Start writing down your daily accomplishments in a separate spreadsheet. Have columns for the date, type of accomplishment, and how you overcame your challenge. It may feel weird at first, but you’ll be building a personal database of your accomplishments.
Make it a habit to review this spreadsheet each week to know what you’ve accomplished. You’ll quickly realize what value you bring to your team and the company. An added benefit for doing this is being prepared for your performance meetings.
2. Goof off in Your Free Time
Ever wondered why people who’ve worked the hardest sometimes don’t get promoted? It’s most likely because they’d failed to network with others in their workplace.
But don’t take my word for it. A Harvard study revealed that lawyers who networked the best earned the most money. These lawyers had a “promotion mindset”, while the others had a “prevention mindset”
People with a “promotion mindset” believe networking can bring them growth and advancement. And those in a “prevention mindset” believe that networking is a task they’re obligated to do. Even if you’re an introvert you can still be successful at networking.
So how can you improve your networking skills? By taking small action every single day. Network daily and don’t wait until you’re in need.
Networking involves building authentic relationships, so start by changing your mindset. Think of networking as building relationships first, and receiving help second. Make it a habit to improve your emotional intelligence daily.
As you focus more on providing value for others, you’ll begin to grow a strong supportive network.
3. Spend Money on Nice Clothes
Do you dress better outside of work or don’t really pay attention to what you wear in the office?
If so, you may be giving people the wrong impression. Research shows the clothes employees wear affect their chances of getting a promotion.
So what should you wear?
The choices will vary, but wearing something professional is always the safe bet.
For example, wearing a dress shirt with slacks, and dress shoes is appropriate. If you’re currently wearing jeans and a shirt to work, this can improve the way your boss and team perceives you. But if you’re already dressing business casual, wearing a tie can be the next upgrade you make.
Your goal is for others to view you as the perfect candidate for a promotion. You don’t need to wear a suit to work every day unless it makes sense.
Get into the habit of putting more thought into your wardrobe because everyone is watching.
4. Give Yourself a Promotion First
Before you receive any promotion, you have to promote yourself first.
Here’s what I mean:
Build a mindset that allows you to feel worthy of a promotion. If you don’t feel certain about getting a promotion, then why should anyone else?
Besides working hard to exceed your performance goals, prime your mindset with visualization.
Visualization is a technique psychologist have used for years. This technique has helped people reach their desired emotional states and life goals.
Start by visualizing the outcome of your promotion
You can visualize two types of stimulations, an outcome or process. Thinking of an outcome involves visualizing the end result of your goal. A process-based visualization involves visualizing the steps required to reach your goal.
For example, if you’re looking to get a promotion, imagine your boss congratulating you. Then visualize the steps you did to get there. This could be studying on the weekends to learn new material, or taking on extra to help your team.
As you’re visualizing, focus on feeling the experience to reap the most benefits. It can take some time getting used to, but the rewards will be worth it.
5. Work Less Than Most
Getting a promotion isn’t earned by working harder, it’s done by working smarter. By being productive, you’ll be more likely ot meet your work deadlines and manage stress better.
Productivity is a skill that most people put on their resume, yet fail to execute effectively.
Spend a lot of your time practicing productivity until you nail this skill down.
Learn how to prioritize your work and delegate tasks. For example, if you’re struggling with a presentation, ask your teammate for help. Don’t spend hours trying to figure out how to create a PowerPoint slide.
Also, look for ways to optimize your schedule. For example, if you have 5 meetings booked in one day, ask yourself if they’re necessary. Often times, it’s more efficient to communicate via email than waste time in a meeting.
If you want to boost your productivity, here’re 50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time.
6. Surround Yourself with Motivated People
“You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn
You tend to pick up habits from people you spend time with the most. So, surround yourself with with people who have productive habits and drive. Listen to productive podcasts and learn from experts who are achieving massive success.
These experts have the same amount of time you do. And, if they were able to achieve massive career success, so can you.
Do’s and Don’ts When Asking For a Promotion
DO: Examine the Present Performance
Make sure you’re surpassing expectations in terms of performance and that you have the expertise and credentials to support the desired promotion. Be honest with yourself about how you’re doing right now. Doing merely the job that is expected of you will not help you stand out; you must do exceptional work for management to notice you.
Maintain a good attitude even if you believe you are overqualified for your current employment. Continue to be engaged in what you’re doing and do it effectively to demonstrate that you’re serious about the firm and its potential for advancement.
DON’T: Go Under The Radar
While going above and above expectations is vital for standing out, don’t be hesitant to tell your immediate supervisor or other leadership team members about your achievements. It’s also crucial to provide regular updates that let people know what you’ve accomplished.
Consider taking on a high-profile project inside your department or as part of a cross-functional team. A project like this will allow you to develop new abilities, improve your network, and become more well-known inside your company.
DO: Maintain a Professional Demeanour
You’ve probably already imagined where you want to be in a few years, so start dressed, talking, and acting like it. Simple things like dressing for success might help you feel more confident and noticeable. Have a thorough awareness of your firm’s expectations, as they may differ based on your company or department in general.
DON’T: Be Afraid To Speak Up
Schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss this suggestion if you haven’t already been considered for a promotion. Many people consider asking for a promotion to be one of the most stressful aspects of their lives, yet it can also be one of the most crucial things you do for your career.
Prepare to communicate what you’ve accomplished and how it’s influenced the organization, as well as the exact position you’d like to land when you enter the conversation. During this chat, be receptive to feedback from your manager, as they may offer recommendations and suggestions for areas of development to aid in your advancement aspirations.
When to Ask For a Promotion?
As long as you believe you are deserving of a promotion, there is never a bad time to ask for one.
While this may appear to be an “easier said than done” issue, all you need to do now is summon the confidence to speak openly and honestly with your boss.
Speak Up When You Feel That You Are Ready For A Promotion
Unless you make your objectives known, no one will know that you are ready for a promotion or a pay boost. It doesn’t harm, to be honest, and ask how you might position yourself for a promotion or a pay boost.
Always inquire about your company’s professional advancement opportunities with your management. After a successful project launch or when your contributions start to influence the bottom line, it’s the greatest moment to ask for a promotion.
These are all signs that you’re ready to take on greater responsibility, such as taking on a new project or broadening your career to include new functions or markets.
Don’t Put Off a Performance Evaluation Until the End of the Year
While a performance appraisal may be the best opportunity to ask for a promotion or a pay raise, you can also discuss it at other times. Larger businesses are abandoning formal performance reviews in favour of regular check-ins with their employees.
This strategy illustrates the company’s ability to adapt to changing business conditions brought on by digitalization and changing client needs. Job scopes are updated regularly to reflect current work issues and possibilities better.
How to Handle a No When Asking?
It’s never easy to be rejected. It never becomes something we can just slough off without any bad sentiments, no matter how many times we have to deal with it. This is especially true when it comes to being passed over for a promotion at work.
Ask For Honest Feedback
Even if you want to leave the room as quickly as possible, stay and ask for feedback from your manager. This may add salt to an already swollen wound, but asking for input can demonstrate to your boss that you’re forward-thinking and willing to grow and work even more.
Make sure the feedback is specific and that you can create targets to address any issues. Push for more information if they say you need to ‘perform better work.’ What specific areas need additional attention? What are some examples of how you might be able to improve?
Give Yourself Some Appreciation
you’ve worked hard, and you’ve earned it. It took guts to ask for that promotion or raise, but you did it, and at the very least, you aren’t in the dark anymore. Instead, you’ve taken the time to examine your job and your performance, and you’ve devised a plan to assist you in achieving your objectives.
Try not to get too worked up over it. Sure, it could seem odd when you run into your boss at the coffee machine the next morning, but smile and tell them everything is good and that you’re moving on.
Finally, you must decide whether you should stay or leave. After being rejected for an internal promotion, consider all of your possibilities.
Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of your current position and employer, and compare them to the advantages and disadvantages of working for someone else. Before you jump ship, make sure you have a complete and accurate list. You don’t want to look back on your decision to leave your current employment because you were scorned and passed over. Don’t make hasty decisions!
Additional List of Quickfire Tips in Bullet List Form on Asking for Promotion
- Be Positive
- Make a persuasive argument for why you should be promoted
- Prepare a memo list that details your track record and includes solid measurements of your influence
- Request regular comments and suggestions from your employer on how to advance to the next level
- Your manager might be impressed by a nice PowerPoint presentation that summarises your performance and expertise
- Be Patient; they will see your potential and give you the promotion you deserve
Picture a Monday morning and feeling excited to start your day. These past few months have been exhausting but also rewarding. You now feel that there are many opportunities out there to help you advance in your career.
You’ve stepped out of your comfort zone, began networking, and now feel worthy of a promotion.
You’re a completely new person and are more confident than ever.
The best part is, your boss saying good things about you to everyone in the office. You know it’s only a matter of time before you get promoted.
Wouldn’t this be amazing?
This can be your reality if you’re willing to work hard to improve in the right areas. There’s no secret formula to achieving great things in life. It only takes hard work and determination.
You now have a mini blueprint on how to get a promotion and climb the corporate ladder. My guess is that most of the people reading this article won’t take action.
You’re not an average person. You’re an action taker. Now go get your promotion, it’s all yours.
More Resources About Career Advancement
- How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position
- What are the Real Reasons People Get Promoted and Others Don’t?
- Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion
- 14 Signs Of People Who Advance Rapidly In Their Careers
Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com
|||^||Robert Half: Starting Salary: Negotiable or Not?|
|||^||Harvard Study: Goals Research Summary|
|||^||Harvard Business Review: Learn to Love Networking|
|||^||Psychology Today: How to Use Your Emotions to Build Relationships that Work|
|||^||Robert Half: What You Wear To Work May Be Preventing You From Getting A Promotion|