If you've been working at your current place of employment for some time now, and know that you work hard and diligently, you may feel its time to ask for a promotion.
Asking for a promotion is one of the most sensitive things you can do at your place of work, and it can easily go wrong. There are tactful ways as well as self-defeating ways to do it.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid when pitching a promotion:
Don’t make it about what you deserve
Yes, a promotion is about you, but there’s a difference between seeming or appearing entitled, and showing how an enhanced role for you can benefit the company.
If you find yourself making a lot of “I” statements, you’ve already made it too much about you. Instead, bridge from the past to the future. Focus on how you can build on your skills in the new position to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your department.
Don’t ask over email
You can set up a time to meet with your boss over email, but don't ask for the promotion over email.
That makes it seem more like a demand than a conversation or a negotiation. It’s also much easier to be turned down flat over email. Instead, carve out dedicated time to have an in-person, one-on-one conversation with your boss.
Don’t fail to anticipate follow-up questions
You should prep for a promotion pitch in the same way you approach a job interview: expect lots of questions.
Be prepared: bring your resume, research appropriate salaries, or even get references from others. Show your boss that you anticipate the challenges of a new role, and you’re prepared to meet them head on.
Don’t neglect to follow up
Asking for a promotion is rarely a straight-forward, one-time request. It takes time. While you wait patiently, you should also follow up for updates to make sure the issue is still in the mind of your boss.
However, don't follow up too many times in short-period of time, or else you'll risk appearing as if you're nagging, which can become annoying for the person who'll be giving you the promotion.
Don’t give up
If the answer turns out to be “no,” there are several possible reasons why you didn’t get a promotion this time. It could be the timing, the lack of room for growth in the company, or your experience and skills truly weren’t right for a promotion.
If you get turned down, use this as a learning opportunity for the next time. Instead of being defensive, request a meeting with your manager and take notes on what can be done differently in the future to help you gain that promotion.
Consider the first times you ask for a promotion not as the end, but just the start.