10 ways to get a promotion at work

Want to ask for a promotion at work but don’t feel confident? Read 10 things you can do to increase your chances of landing the role you want.

When it comes to asking for pay rises and promotions, women are notoriously reluctant. A 2006 survey found that while 80% of women felt they were underpaid, two-thirds of us have never asked for more money. And those who did said it was one of the most stressful things they’d ever done.

To help you get over the fear of asking for more – and ensure that any request you do make has a greater chances of success, creative writer Laura Jonson from Assignment Masters has put together 10 ways to get a promotion at work.

10 ways to get a promotion at work

Here are 10 useful tips to help you pluck up the courage to ask for (and get!) a promotion at work.

1) Give examples to support your request

Unless it’s obviously long overdue, your employer may not automatically agree to your promotion – you may need to make a case for it. So before you book an appointment to discuss your promotion, make a list of all the reasons why you deserve it.

Have you carried out a successful project? Earned the company more money? If you’re well prepared with examples to support your request, you’re more likely to convince your employer that you deserve what you’re asking for.

2) Believe that you deserve it

How are you going to convince your employer that you deserve a promotion if deep down you don’t really believe it yourself? If you’re going to succeed in your request, you need to have faith in yourself, your abilities and talents. Successful people aren’t plagued with self-doubt but believe that they can get what they want.

So once you’ve made your list of reasons why you should be promoted, read it yourself and acknowledge and accept your achievements and capabilities.

3) Choose the right time

Ask for a meeting to discuss your promotion, rather than springing it on your employer suddenly. This ensures that you have time to prepare your argument, and that your employer’s mind won’t be on other issues.

Avoid times when you know your employer will be busy or otherwise occupied, as the chances are they’ll be stressed, less receptive, and will simply say no.

4) Look for opportunities

Is there a position or role that you have in mind for your promotion? Even if there isn’t currently an obvious position for you to advance to, can you see the opportunity to create a new post that will benefit your skills and experience?

If there is any merit in your argument for creating a new role or title for you, you may just create a promotion for yourself.

5) Anticipate objections

Don’t assume your employer will say yes immediately – or that a no is final. Instead, prepare answers to counteract any arguments against giving you promotion.

For instance, your employer may ask how you’ll handle the extra responsibility, or whether you can give enough time to the job well. If they comment on mistakes you’ve made, you can point out how you’ve learned from that.

If your employer isn’t comfortable promoting you right now, ask to review the situation in three or six months, and ask what you can do in that time to demonstrate your suitability. Ask for clear, measurable goals to work towards rather than intangible responses such as ‘work harder’.

6) Perform well

If you want a promotion it’s not enough just to do your job adequately; you need to impress with your capability and willingness.

Go that little bit further than your current job demands. Promotion will require that you go the extra mile when it’s needed, so be prepared to put in the extra time to finish important projects and come up with solutions for problems.

Remember too to keep a record of your achievements – increases in sales or profits, or emails from colleagues and managers commenting on your abilities.

7) Improve your skills

Look for opportunities to acquire new skills that will boost your chances of promotion. If a qualification will benefit your employer, they may even help with the cost and give you time off to study.

8) Take on additional responsibilities

With promotion comes responsibility, and if you’re not prepared to take on the burden of those extra duties then you won’t get very far.

So show a willingness now to undertake additional responsibilities. This will show your employer that you’re not afraid of the demands of higher positions, and can work behind the current parameters of your role.

9) Understand what’s required

If you just think that you deserve a promotion simply because you’ve been with the company for a certain length of time, you may well be disappointed when you put in your request.

Promotion comes from having the skills and attributes to handle the demands of a higher position. So make sure you understand what being promoted requires, and that you have what it takes. If you have your eye on a particular role, find out what the requirements and responsibilities are and prepare examples of how you fulfil them.

10) Be positive

If your promotion is turned down, don’t threaten to leave your company (unless you genuinely mean it). Not only will you come across as petulant and undeserving, but you could risk them calling your bluff and finding yourself out of a job altogether!

Instead, present your request in a positive light, by showing how promoting you could benefit the company. And if you are turned down, take the response graciously. If you wish, you could ask what you would need to do to earn a promotion and take the advice on board so that next time you make a request, you get the answer you want.

Need more career advice?

You’ll find more useful tips in these articles:

Laura is an experienced creative writer. She is a very regular writer for the Assignment Masters writing team where she enjoys writing essays on English literature. She is also a prolific blogger and is well known in the online community for her diligent passion for writing and English literature. She also has a growing social media presence.