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  • Amaka Uche

How to ask for a promotion

Promotion is desirable for individuals in their careers. However what I have learned over the years is just because you ask for a promotion at work doesn’t always mean you are ready or even deserving. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s useful to know that the world of work has changed a lot over the last few years.

Hard work does not mean automatic promotion and many of us already work in a team with other high achievers. Therefore the question shouldn’t always be focused on asking for a promotion, but making sure that you are ready for promotion – so that when an opportunity arises, you are immediately available to rise up to the next level.

Here are some steps to take when you are getting ready to ask for a promotion:

1) Be able to demonstrate ways that you have gone ‘above and beyond’ in your role. Can you confidently show that you have increased sales, helped bring in a new clients or enabled the team to be more efficient by cutting down unnecessary costs?

When it comes to asking for a promotion, be ready to give tangible objective results that can demonstrate your value to the team and the success that you have brought in. The key is demonstrating that you are a top performer, different from the other people in your team and you truly do deserve more!

Asking for a promotion also means that you have to be ready for the additional responsibilities that come with it. A promotion sounds really nice in theory, but you must objectively ask yourself if you are ready for it. A popular career mantra is “Do the job before you get the job’ which is another way for you to demonstrate ways that you have gone above and beyond your current job description.

2) Learn to display your achievements! You may think that your manager is supposed to be your biggest cheerleader. You may be lucky if this is the case, but in reality, no one is going to articulate your wins the way you do! If you are like me, you may have grown up in a household where modesty is valued. Boasting about your achievements was not something you were supposed to do. I assumed my manager will simply, by osmosis notice that I had done a great job! No – frankly this doesn’t always work. To do your best in securing a promotion, it’s important for as many people as possible (including key decision makers in your team) to know how amazing you are and the value that you bring!

3) Sometimes you have to diligently spot the gaps in your workplace by creating your own ideal position. Instead of seeking a position that already exists above you, come up with a new extension of your current role. There may not be a spot for promotion in your immediate team. In this case, I do not recommend sticking around until something comes up. However, you may notice where there could be different areas of the business that has been neglected where your skills and creativity could be needed. Always keep your eyes and ears open to what is going inside and outside of the organization for these opportunities. By spotting promotion outside of where you currently are, in most cases you allow yourself the chance to gain a much higher salary with more opportunities than where you currently are.

4) Simply ask! Ask your manager what is required of you to even be considered for a promotion. Please note you should already be a high performer already. When you are ready to have that conversation be calm and also confident in your approach! Don’t assume your manager knows or thinks you are ready for promotion because not all managers are forward thinking, or can see things for your career in the long term. So speak up! Ask for you what you want! If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Can you articulate and express the value you have brought to the company – what objectives and metrics can you demonstrate? Prepare in advance before having this conversation so that you can prove that you are ready and also deserving!

Preparing for and asking for a promotion, can be a bit nerve racking, but following the steps above can increase your chances of success. Focused preparation can help you feel ready to make the case about why you deserve a promotion. Remember you are responsible for building your own career, so take boldly steps to go after what you desire!

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