You want a job promotion but are unsure how to approach it?
Everyone likes to be appreciated and rewarded for their achievements. Getting promoted and receiving a pay rise is the best form of public recognition in the workplace.
It is perfectly natural to feel unsure when you ask for a job promotion. Most people are nervous their request will be rejected and they will feel……..well I guess the best word is rejected! Especially if you have worked for a company for a long time and have put in your best effort.
After working in Human Resources for 17 years, I have lost count of the number of times I have been asked by an employee for a job promotion. The advice I am giving you is based on what the successful people did to get their job promotions. It does work, but, it also TAKES effort and preparation.
How To Prepare For A Job Promotion
Before you ask for a job promotion, you must be the top choice. To do this, the groundwork should be started months before you request that meeting.
If you plan to be promoted because of length of service, age, academic qualifications, or past work experience, think again. Getting promoted will happen when you are identified as a talented employee.
To be identified as talent, you need to achieve results; be leadership material and have a strong internal network that is aware of your capabilities.
Here are my top tips to set yourself up for a job promotion:
Tip One: Get Results!
If you do an OK job in your current role, why would you be promoted? You need to be excelling in your current position by achieving and exceeding targets and key performance indicators.
Achieving results is only part of the equation. Being a high performer is also HOW you achieve those results. If you are dishonest, compromise on quality or disregard process and policy; chances are you will never be considered for job promotion.
Tip Two: Practice Self Promotion.
No one likes to work with a big selfish ego. Or a team member who constantly big notes themselves at the expense of their colleagues. Self-promotion is not either of those things.
Self-promotion is subtly making sure your manager is aware of your small wins and big achievements.
A good way to do this is to keep your manager up to date with your activities. If you have a set scheduled catch-up with your manager, you can use part of this meeting to review your progress, achievements, and results. Otherwise, you can start sending periodic update emails to your manager. This email could be weekly, fortnightly, or monthly depending on your work environment and industry.
A top tip is to recognise your colleagues for their contribution. It also helps to highlight your areas for improvement and growth. This demonstrates self-awareness which is an essential part of leadership.
Tip Three: Take On Additional Responsibility.
I continually encounter people who expect to be promoted before they will take on additional responsibility.
They have the attitude: “unless you pay me more, I won’t do any more’.
The problem with this attitude is there are people who will take on the extra responsibility. These ‘go-getters’ are demonstrating that they are capable of a larger role. Very often, it is these people who will get the job promotion.
The moral of this story: you will not get a job promotion and a pay rise until you can demonstrate that the company needs to invest in you.
So; join project groups, ask for additional tasks and use your initiative to see where you can add extra value. Show your manager that you are capable of a larger role.
You will not get a job promotion and a pay rise until you can demonstrate that the company needs to invest in you…….
Tip Four: Socialise!
Work socialising is not spending your work day in the lunch room taking about the last nights reality TV show.
To get promoted you need to be noticed. So use work social events to network outside of your immediate team. Go to Friday afternoon drinks, join the office netball team and volunteer at work fund raisers.
Create a great impression at these events (this means avoid being the office drunk!).
Be friendly, attentive and interested in everyone you meet. Make sure your face and name is recognisable – in a positive way!
Tip Five: Get A Mentor And Be A Mentor.
The times I have experienced rapid growth in my career is when I am being mentored.
Find someone you aspire to be and ask them to mentor you. This is the best way to get direct feedback and continue to grow your knowledge and skills.
It is also beneficial to mentor someone who aspires to be in your role. By nurturing the up and coming talent in your organisation, you are actively demonstrating your leadership potential.
Tip Six: Understand The Role.
When you prepare for a job interview, you research the role in order to match you skills, knowledge and capabilities to the position.
Use this same principle when you ask for a job promotion. Identify which job you want and research the role. Ideally get hold of a position description or talk to someone who currently does the role.
Once you understand the position, you can begin to demonstrate the core competencies while in your current role. Make it easy to be promoted by showing you have the skills, knowledge, and capabilities to excel in the role you aspire to do.
Tip Seven: Demonstrate Leadership Capability.
• Be a thinker not just a doer (ie work smart not just hard)
• Listen and act on feedback you receive from managers and colleagues
• Challenge the status quo with new ideas and solutions to problems
• Be a forward thinker. Set goals and anticipate future challenges and opportunities
• Be aware of how you project yourself in the workplace
• Keep confidentiality. Don’t leak sensitive information
• Don’t gossip! Even if someone else is, don’t contribute to the conversation
Tip Eight: Share Your Career Plans.
Please do not blind side your manager with a job promotion request. They should already know your career plans well before you broach the subject.
At the very least, talk to your manager about your short and medium term career goals during your annual performance reviews.
Tip Nine: Be Drama-Free!
Have you ever worked with one of those people who is always complaining, is never satisfied, and always has an excuse for not getting things done?
Don’t be one of these people. If you jump on this bandwagon, your career will suffer.
In simple terms, don’t:
• Miss deadlines (even self-imposed ones)
• Cause trouble by ‘stirring the pot’
• Create tension in the workplace
• Forget to return phone calls or emails
• Dress inappropriately
• Blame others, tools, resources, or the dog for not delivering
• Be generally unreliable
• Break company policy or be unethical
• Lie! Always tell the truth even if it painful to do
Tip Ten: Have the Right Attitude.
One of the top pieces of advice I can give you is to be positive, happy, and helpful. There are the easiest people to promote.