Asking for a promotion, do’s and don’ts


Asking for a promotion is not always as easy as it seems and can be quite tricky depending on the role you want. Here are a few tips to guide you along the way and help you climb the ladder.


Be realistic.

Asking to be a manager if you have only worked some months in the company or don’t have enough experience is not really smart and can discredit you. Stay coherent and patient. If a role you like becomes available, ask yourself if you could handle the responsibilities and if you have the required skills to carry out the tasks. If you are a bit unsure whether or not you have enough experience, speak to your manager about it and ask him what he thinks. He will probably have a better overview of your capabilities and will be able to offer good advice. Whatever the outcome is, remember that building a successful career takes time and that it is better to progress slowly but surely than quickly and fail.


If you decide to go for it, be prepared.

Most of the time, asking for a promotion is like applying for a job. You will be interviewed to explain why you want the role, what you know about it and why you think you are the right fit for it. Already being an employee can give you an extra chance as you have insights, know the products and the processes. However, the recruiter might be more demanding and you need to be ready to show your motivation and convince him of your expertise. Read the job description very carefully and be able to describe each of the tasks you would carry out. It might be a good idea to go talk to someone who is doing this job in the company. Your colleague will probably give you some advice and information that can help you during the interview. You must also think of why you think you can do this role and how your skills and knowledge will enable you to handle it well.


Stay professional and be careful with what you say.

Keep in mind that you are asking for a promotion and not having an interview to work in a new company. Do not denigrate either the firm nor your manager and your colleagues. It might seem logical but any faux pas can cost you your job. Stay positive at all times and do not say that you don’t like what you do anymore. It might be true but in case they hire someone else, they will be worried you don’t do your job well enough anymore. Reasons for a promotion can be that you want to have more responsibilities, to be more involved in the company’s expansion or to develop new skills for instance. Explain how this new position fits into your career plan and why it is important for you to move up the ladder in this company.


Try not to get too excited about it.

You won’t get a promotion just because you asked for one. If the answer is negative, ask for feedback. If it’s because of the interview, you know that you have to prepare it better next time and what questions you have to work harder on. Being interviewed is always a good exercise, whatever the outcome is, as you learn how to sell yourself and how not to be destabilized by tricky questions. If it’s because they think that you are not the right person for it, try to know what aspect of your profile wasn’t strong enough (skills, knowledge, years of experience or traits of personality).

Don’t see it as a failure but as the opportunity to improve to get what you want. This will enable you to have a clearer idea of what is needed to get the role you want and how far from your goal you are.


Play fair and stay motivated.

Don’t criticize the colleague who got the job or neglect your daily tasks. In this situation, it’s important to put your pride aside and to keep showing your motivation.

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