Promotions within the workplace should be relatively simple. Your boss would notice that you’re ready to advance to the next rung of the career ladder, identifying your potential, and finding a position suitable for your talents.
Unfortunately, in most cases, promotions are not quite so simple. You can work hard, do all you can to impress your boss, and hope that your quality of work will allow you to stand out from the crowd – but you’ve yet to be offered the promotion you want.
Exploring your next steps
Often, workers who find themselves waiting for an offer of a promotion begin to feel disheartened. They wait, and wait, and wait – and eventually, decide that their boss is never going to notice what they have to offer, so they begin to look for other jobs.
While there is a chance that starting a new job hunt and looking elsewhere is the right choice for you also, it’s worth considering whether your boss actually knows you are looking for a promotion. Have you explicitly stated that you’re hoping to advance? If not, then there’s a strong chance that your boss simply doesn’t know – which means you’re going to have to tell them.
Preparing to tell your boss you’re hoping for a promotion
Before we discuss how you can tell your boss, it’s helpful to take a moment to evaluate your resumé first and foremost – and, in particular, how different your resumé is compared to when your boss first gave you your job. In order to strengthen your request for promotion, ideally, your resumé now needs to be stronger; perhaps you’ve learned a new skill on the job, undertaken an online MBA accredited course, or awards you have won during your time with the company – whatever it is, this will become essential when discussing the possibility of promotion with your boss.
However, if you study your resumé and find very few differences, don’t worry – you are still fully entitled to ask for a promotion. Rather than focusing on new skills, you should look to discuss your work ethic and how you have utilized your pre-existing skills to perform well in your current role.
When you know whether you will be focusing on new skills, or focusing on how your pre-existing skills have allowed you to perform well in your current role, you can then request a one-to-one meeting with your boss.
Your strategy for the meeting
When the meeting day arrives, all you have to focus on is achieving two goals:
- Informing your boss that you are hoping for a promotion in future; simple, direct, and to the point
- Explaining to your boss why you feel you are ready for a promotion; this is where you can discuss skills you have gained since joining the company, or focus on your performance in your existing role
Really, that’s it, that’s all you need to say: “I’m hoping for a promotion, and here’s why.” These two statements cover everything your boss needs to know, so there’s no need to say more.
What happens next?
There’s really no way of knowing what will happen when you have said your piece, so the best advice is simply to manage your expectations. It may be nice to think that your boss will immediately offer you a promotion, or say they will look into it, but sometimes doing so is entirely out of their control – so it’s best to just settle for knowing that your boss is aware that you want a promotion, and why you deserve it. Even if there is no immediate offer forthcoming, your hopes are now out in the open, and you have done all you can to make a strong, convincing case for yourself.
Hopefully, following the above advice will result in the promotion you deserve, and allow you to advance your career to its next level – good luck!
By Robert Thompson, International Writer