Answer these questions to find out.
I am a strong believer in advocating for yourself, both in personal and professional settings. If you are struggling with how to be your own advocate, you can read my article here. It amazes myself how many people don’t ask for a promotion out of fear of retaliation. The truth is if you have quality work and the skill set to take on the role above you, you should ask for it.
Because I find fulfillment in helping others advocate for themselves, I coach my team and others within the department on this. It’s not something I walk around asking. It just organically happens. When people know you want them to succeed as much as they do, they often come to you for advice. Contributing to the growth of others is the best part of my job.
When asked for advice, I often ask what the person wants to do. Usually a person who is not successful in their role is just in the wrong role. With large companies, you have the flexibility of finding a good fit for the person. Everything is about fit. You need to be the right fit for the position as well as with the company culture. A good company will acknowledge that someone is in the wrong role and find a role that is better suited.
Suppose you are in the right role. In fact, you’re so much in the right role that you deserve a promotion. You know it. You know it so much that you wonder why no one else has realized it. Why doesn’t your manager come to you with a 5 star review and a new title?
It’d be nice if it worked that way but it doesn’t. I was never given a promotion without asking for it. This is why I am such a strong believer in asking for what you want.
So how do you know that your proposal will be considered? How do know that your boss won’t laugh you out the room? How do you know you won’t get fired on the spot?
You won’t. If you add value to the company, you will not get fired for asking for a promotion. Trust me. The worst that can happen is that you are told no. You can then ask what steps you need to take to be considered.
But how do you know you’re ready? How do you know you’re even considerable for a promotion? If you answer yes to the following questions, you’ll know.
Do people within your team, or within other departments often come to you with questions?
They come to you because you’ve shown your expertise. People gravitate towards those who are responsive and can provide guidance.
Does your manager divide the workload between you and your team evenly or is yours on the heavier side?
It’s a good sign if he knows you can manage a heavier workload than your peers.
Is your work accepted the first time it is shared, or are there multiple rounds of feedback?
If your work is well received when it is first completed, it shows your capability.
Are you capable of more work?
Promotions usually mean longer hours, support for other team members and more work. If you’re already stretched thin and couldn’t possibly take on anything else, you should consider it before asking.
If you answered positively to all of the questions above, discuss the promotion at your next one on one with your manager. If you come prepared with a plan, perhaps a trial period where you prove your capability, your manager will be more willing to listen.
The less decisions a busy person needs to make the better. If you present your promotion and have considered who will do your current role, the workload across the team and other pro’s of you taking on the higher role, you’ll have better success than if you come to the meeting asking for a promotion with no plan. Advocate for yourself by having a plan for your success. I guarantee it will be well received.