By Joanna Zambas —

Everyone’s career goal is to progress within their current company to achieve a higher status, but, the question is how do you get a promotion? Have you been in your current role for a few years and find yourself getting bored, you’re not challenged enough, and a pay-rise is something that you’ve been banking on? It’s one of the most nerve-wracking topics to speak about. But, there’s no need to fret, with our step by step guide you will now be able to move yourself up the career ladder.

How to Get a Promotion – Steps to Take

If you think getting a promotion is simply walking into your bosses office and asking for it; then you need to think again! You’ll immediately be shot down, and this will probably go against you as your boss will think you’re not serious about your job and the company. Preparation and dedication is the key when it comes to asking for more responsibility or a better title.


1. Go Above and Beyond

Being good at your job is a given, you were hired because you had the skill set and personality to do well in your current position. To truly get noticed by your boss you must go above and beyond. If you’ve completed a task, don’t just sit around waiting for a new one. Think of something that you can suggest to do to; use your initiative and find solutions to a problem. Employers love team-members who can work on their own two feet and do not need hand-holding.

2. Be a Team-Player

Volunteer to help with new projects in the office, or take on the awful tasks that nobody will put their hand up to do; even something simple like taking the minutes of the meeting or arranging the next social. If you see a colleague is in need of assistance, reach out and be their helping hand. If your boss notices this quality in you, you can bet that you’ll be a Team Leader sooner or later.

3. Don’t Slack

We all have our ‘off-days’ where we feel lethargic, tired and deflated, but, try to defeat the lazy-bug. If you turn up to work late, leave early and take an extra-long lunch break, you can kiss your opportunity for a promotion goodbye! Employers notice your participation and also take note of how many sick days you have had too. Unless you’re on your death bed, you should be present at work.

4. Dress to Impress

You’ve probably heard of the saying ‘dress for the role you want to have, not for the one you are in’. If you haven’t heard of it, now is your chance to learn it and memorise it. Employers pay attention to the way that you present yourself. If you are well-presented, you will have a higher chance of getting the next promotion. Employers would want to take you to important meetings with clients as you would be a good representation of your corporation. Think again before you throw on your creased shirt and unpolished shoes!

5. Network and Get Noticed

It comes to 5.30pm and all you want to do is go home, throw your PJs on and watch some trashy TV, but, there’s a work event going on – you usually opt for your comfies and the remote in a heartbeat. I hear you! But, now is the time to change this and seize your opportunity at getting to know your boss and colleagues from other departments, otherwise, Rachel whose face is well-known in the office will get promoted rather than you. If your social committee needs an extra pair of hands, be the one to offer your services and build bonds with those outside of your immediate work circle.

6. Adjust Your Attitude

No one likes a Debby-Downer – a negative, whiny attitude is bound to grate anyone after a while. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 62 percent of employers said that having a negative or pessimistic attitude hurt an employee’s chances for promotion. A teacher once told me “always leave your problems at the door before you enter the room” and this is something I have adopted and stood by until this day. Always ensure you’ve got a positive attitude and are grateful for the opportunity you have. If you have a frown, turn it upside down!

7. Further Develop Yourself

Are you at that point where you’re itching to learn more and feel like you need some additional skills to move into your dream job which is in another department? If so, find an online course that you can do in your spare time. It will keep your mind focused and will motivate you to work towards your dream position. Alternatively, you can find someone who is in that role and ask them to mentor you.

How to Ask for a Promotion

Now you know how to develop yourself further to be in the position for a promotion, but, how do you ask? When should you do it? Your heart races at just the idea of approaching your boss and asking for a promotion! Are you asking for too much? Are you good enough? You slowly start to doubt yourself and talk yourself out of actually asking.

Don’t panic! It’s not that scary, and, you have every right to be asking this all-important question. When done correctly it will also show your boss that you are dedicated to your company and she will only want to help you develop within your department. Follow these simple rules to learn the best practices when asking for a promotion.

1. Check Open Job Listings

Many companies post new vacancies on their website. Some positions may be open to internal candidates prior to being available for external applicants, so you’ll have a head start on the competition. Talk with the person that is leaving and find out why they are moving on and what the job involves. If you feel that it’s something that is suitable to your skills and personality, then apply. If the job is within another department, speak to your boss and let them know. It’s best if it comes from you instead of your Human Resources department.

2. Identify Trends and Look Out for New Opportunities

Have you been assisting your supervisor and discovered that there is a job role that should be created to better the company? For example, have you spent a lot of time helping your other team-members and feel that a trainer position should be created? If so, don’t be afraid to put your thoughts across and convince management to create this opportunity for you! Devise a well-developed plan; explain what the job role will be, your daily tasks and responsibilities, show how this would benefit the company and why you are the right person for this position.

3. Know Your Boss

Your boss is probably not the final decision maker, but having a good relationship with her will benefit you as she will probably be a bit more persuasive when talking to the decision maker. If you are on good terms with your boss you will also feel more comfortable when approaching this tricky topic. Your boss will also give you tips on ways to improve and what you should be aiming for next.

4. Be Prepared

Preparation is vital, it will help keep those nerves at bay and you will be more confident in delivering your reasons as to why you deserve that long-awaited promotion. You’ll need to prove what you’ve achieved in your current role so far and also how this can relate to your future responsibilities. Make a list of all your accomplishments and times where you have received good feedback and use this as your talking point. You’ll need physical examples of where you have gone above and beyond.

5. Plan the Timing

Timing is crucial when it comes to asking sensitive questions about a raise or a new title. If an account has just fallen through and your boss is in a bad mood, it’s not the best time to approach her. Always prepare your boss for the conversation; send an e-mail asking if you can meet to discuss your progression. This will give your boss time to reflect on your achievements before the meeting too. If she is caught off guard she will probably go into a defensive mode and your answer is likely to be no.

6. Know Your Numbers

One of the biggest career mistakes women make is not negotiating their salary. Although you shouldn’t discuss numbers until you’ve actually been offered a promotion, be prepared for when the conversation arises. Don’t sell yourself short, do your research and know what you’re worth, both within the company and outside of it. When you do have the discussion, it doesn’t hurt to ask for too much! An employer will only come down from what you ask, but will never offer you more. Don’t be kicking yourself when you walk out of the room because you were too shy to ask for what you really wanted.

7. Follow Up

If you haven’t heard back from your boss in a few days, don’t be scared to follow up and see if she has an answer or feedback on your request.  Obviously, don’t bombard her with an e-mail every day, but, allow enough time to go by before you show that you are still keen to progress.


What to Do If the Answer Is No

If the answer is no, it’s not the end of the world; do not let this demotivate you or your development. Instead, ask your manager to help you build a road map for future success. This can help give you a clearer vision of the role that you are working towards and will also give you a concrete plan to achieving your goals.

Be proud of yourself for starting the conversation and know that your boss will think of you when future promotions are available. Your manager will be glad that you’re looking to advance within the company and if you hadn’t have asked you’d only be hurting your chances to future success.

This article was previously posted at Career Addict on August 18, 2017.