How To Ask Your Boss For A Promotion

Alex Macksoud

Informational Interview

Image Credit: Job Interview from Bigstock

Asking for a promotion is a terrifying, nerve-wracking experience that everyone should do at least once in their career.

The mere thought of approaching an intimidating boss and asking them to give you more responsibility is enough to give any person goosebumps.

“What if my boss says no?”

“What if my boss fires me for asking?”

“What if my boss thinks less of me for asking?”

What if? What if? What if? You can think about hypothetical scenarios until you’re blue in the face, but you’ll never know what will really happen until you actually do it.

When you finally do gather the courage to take the next step, here are some helpful tips about asking your boss for a promotion:

Be Knowledgable

You can’t build the nerve to ask your boss for a promotion and then walk into their office without a plan — if you want a better job, you have to prove you’re ready to take it on.

Do some research on the job you’re looking to get and tell your boss why you think you’d be a better asset in that position. Know your previous accomplishments and the contributions you’ve made to better the company up until this point, and show you’ve done work that has gone beyond the tasks of your current position. Giving examples of how, in your current position, you’ve demonstrated the skills needed for the job you’re trying to be promoted to is a fantastic way to show your boss you’re the right person for the promotion.

And even though you shouldn’t be talking about negotiating salary until after you get offered the job, you should still research the pay you’re looking to get from websites such as Salary.com, lest the conversation should turn to that and you’re totally unprepared.

Set Up The Meeting Ahead Of Time

Many businesses have annual performance reviews where employees have the chance to talk about their future with the company, but if your company doesn’t offer one or you want to ask before that time comes, it’s best to set up a meeting with your boss in advance rather than ask them the question on a whim.

Setting up the meeting beforehand not only lets your boss properly prepare to talk with you about future opportunities, but also it shows you still respect their authority enough to not just barge in and blindside them.

When you do set up the meeting, either through your boss’ assistant or directly, make sure you’re transparent in your intentions so as not to catch them off guard — tell them you want to meet with them to discuss your role and potential with the company, or something along those lines.

Follow-Up

Even though you see your boss every day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still follow-up with her after the meeting. Treat your consideration for promotion just like any other job you have to interview for.

If you don’t get the promotion, tell your boss you’re still interested in the position, and ask if they have any advice for you. Make sure you don’t burn any bridges; in fact, use this opportunity to reinforce the ones you’ve already built. Now that you’ve shown initiative, your boss may be more inclined to give you more responsibility.

It may have just been you weren’t in their eyesight before, but now that they know you’re serious about progressing in the company, they’ll take more notice of your performance and consider you early on for the next promotion.

What tips do you recommend when asking your boss for a promotion?

Alex Macksoud

Alex Macksoud is a senior at Central Michigan University studying advertising with a minor in marketing. Aside from being a content creator trainee, Alex is also a social media trainee at Come Recommended. He has heaps of experience in advertising, social media, public relations, content creation, SEO, and marketing - mainly from internships and leadership roles in student organizations.