Ways to Ask for a Promotion

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Sometimes the solution to dissatisfaction with your job is a little smaller than quitting and finding a new one elsewhere. If you like the company you work at but are ready to move forward, it might be a better idea to ask for a promotion.

Making that leap can be one of the most anxiety-inducing things you ever do. Competition can be brutal, you may be intimidated by some of the people you need to convince, and the fear of what happens if they say no can hang over your head. Luckily, you can take a few solid steps to prepare for the process and better your chances of success.

Start with preparation. You’ll need to make a list of what you’ve contributed to your company, being as specific as possible and showing that you’re an exceptional employee. Just doing what your employer expects of you probably won’t be enough to earn you a promotion. You need to demonstrate that you deserve more than just the same projects you’re already getting. You also need to know exactly what you want, keeping in mind that asking for a more modest change is more likely to be successful than asking for too much.

Next, make sure your timing is good. The best time to ask for a promotion is during a regular review, when your manager expects to have a discussion with you about how things are going and where you want to head in your career. Moments of change within an organization also sometimes present opportunities to ask for a reevaluation of your role. When you’re ready, request a meeting with your boss, letting him or her know what you want to talk about and providing time for him or her to reflect on your contributions.

When you get to the meeting itself, be prepared but not entitled. You may not get the promotion you’re after, but you should at the very least be able to have a good conversation with your boss about your performance and the company and leave with some pointers on what you can do better. Even if you don’t get what you’re asking for, strive to make it a positive experience for everyone involved.

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