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When is it Time to Ask for a Promotion at Work?

Oct 4, 2022
When is it Time to Ask for a Promotion at Work?

3 minutes - enough time to have that cup of tea and snack that you’ve been thinking about 🍪

Being promoted is something that all of us want to achieve in our professional careers. It indicates that you’re moving up in the organisation you work for, but it’s a confidence boost which demonstrates that your hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

But, why does the concept of asking for a promotion feel so taboo? 

Regardless of business size, leaders and managers can sometimes drop the ball and not have their finger on the pulse for promotions. 

Does this make them a bad employer? Absolutely not! However, a lot of onus is put on employers for promotions when in reality, employees can hold the keys to their own progression more often than not.

Your employer doesn’t see all the things you do behind the scenes, because it’s physically impossible!

You know how hard you work, and perhaps, your employer does too. But, do they see the granular things you do that would set you ahead of your colleagues? 

More often than not, these things can be glossed over due to the pace that an organisation or team is moving at, so it’s crucial to note these down so you can keep track of your progression as much as they are.

Confidence, persistence, and being proactive will get you that promotion!

As an employer, having proactive employees who want to further themselves in an organisation is a brilliant way to be; what more could you want?

So, when is it time to ask for that promotion at work?
#1 You have ticked off the promotion criteria (and can evidence it clearly)

People don’t just get promotions because they feel ready - they have genuinely got to a stage where they can move on up to the next step because they have hit a promotion criteria. 

Most businesses (well, all businesses) should have a career progression ladder or a set criterion for the next role in terms of seniority. Regardless of what this is and what it looks like, find the criteria and measure yourself against them. 

Are you hitting what you need to? Do you have sufficient evidence for this to show that you are capable?

#2 You feel ready to take on additional responsibility

A promotion is a technical responsibility, but it’s also an emotional one. A lot of people don’t factor this in when asking for a promotion - especially if the promotion evolves into people management or considerably more responsibility, for example, budget management or dealing with key accounts/clients who are critical to the success of the business. 

It’s crucial that you feel ready for the promotion. If not, what can you do to work on this before asking to be levelled up? An employer is well within their rights to refuse someone a promotion because they may not be emotionally or mentally ready to take on certain responsibilities. 

Work through this first before building a business case for promotion, because you will most definitely be asked about it!

#3 You have prepared a solid business case for your promotion

A promotion often comes with a pay rise, so before you enter a meeting to discuss a pay increase and a title change with additional responsibilities, it’s crucial to have a business case ready. 

Similar to step #1 - have your promotion criteria ready as well as what you’ve achieved to hit that promotion. 

Creating a brief presentation is often a great way to go or even a one-page document with clear bullet points which you can then elaborate on in a meeting. 

Ensure that you have the right decision-makers in your meeting too so you can deliver everything effectively.

Good luck!

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