Moving on up – How to ask for that promotion

Office & Culture

Have you been cooling your heels in the same job for a while now? Are you getting antsy with your lack of progression? Do you have more responsibilities than your current job description implies?

If so, then it’s probably time to take the next step in pursuing your dream job.

Here are five tips to steer you in the right direction when you finally decide to ask for that promotion.


1. Lay the groundwork

It’s not a good idea to ask for a promotion out of the blue. You need to do some groundwork first. Establish work objectives and goals with your employer. Working towards- and achieving- mutually agreed targets will mean that your employer knows exactly how valuable you are.

If things go well, it won’t be a surprise when you ask for a new title – and less of a shock to the bank account too.

2. Make yourself visible

Getting your employer to notice all your hard work doesn’t have to involve jumping up and down every time you achieve something small.

If you volunteer for a difficult project, your employer will take notice. You’ll come across as a team player and someone who is willing to put the company first. Additionally, you’re also more likely to interact with senior staff who may influence who receives promotions.

3. Own your mistakes

In an ideal world, laying the groundwork would go to plan. But, things can always go wrong.

If the project you volunteered for went over time and budget, or your work objectives didn’t go to plan, don’t give up and duck out of view. Stay visible. Everyone makes mistakes and often employers appreciate people who take responsibility for their actions and handle slip ups in a positive, calm and level-headed way.

The ability to handle difficult situations is always a plus when employers are looking at potential candidates for a promotion.

Explain what went wrong and how you will fix the situation. Employers want to hear about solutions, not problems.

4. Prepare for the conversation

You’ve done the groundwork, now it’s just a matter of asking for that promotion. This can be an awkward and tricky conversation to have, but don’t beat around the bush – arrange a meeting and prepare for it.

Know the position you want to fill and how you can influence the company’s bottom line in this role. After all, a manager makes decisions based on what’s best for business. So, make your pitch about the company, not about you.

The first thing you’ll probably be asked is why you deserve a promotion. Have legitmate reasons on the tip of your tongue. It’s not enough that you know you are going above and beyond in your role; to justify a promotion, you need to prove it.

Here, it’s important to be humble without undervaluing your contribution. Before the meeting, make a list of your key achievements, including any that fall outside of your official responsibilities. Where possible, back what you’re saying up with solid stats and figures. Explain how your contribution has increased sales by 10%, or improved customer feedback on evaluation forms.

Explain how your achievements would translate into your new role and the added impact that could have on the company.

5. Follow up

Your employer is unlikely to give you an answer on the spot. So, once you’ve made a case for yourself, allow some time for your request to be considered. But if you don’t hear back after a week or so, make sure to follow up.

Good managers want to see their employees grow, but they are busy too. Don’t let your request be put on the long finger.

Even if you don’t get the promotion you were hoping for, it’s important to know why their decision was made. That way you’ll know what you need to do to take that next step in future.

Biting the bullet and asking your employer for a promotion can be hard and, at times, uncomfortable. But the worst that can happen is that they say no. If that does happen, at least management will be aware of your ambitions.

Have you any tips about how to go about getting a promotion? Let us know @GlandoreNetwork.


Our serviced office spaces in Dublin and Belfast are sure to make you feel right at home, even if you’re hyping yourself up for that awkward promotion talk.

If you’d like to find out more about us and how we can help your business and your staff grow, get in touch for a chat or a tour here.

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