Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. She spent years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance but has since moved on to a career that helps others live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts.
After years of service with the same company, you are ready for a change. The trick is convincing both yourself and the boss that this means it’s time for a promotion. As with most changes at work, promotions don’t usually happen overnight. In order to work towards the final reward of a promotion, explore these tips to move in the right direction.
1. Update your skill set
Now is the time to take advantage of the training benefits your company offers. Many either offer training directly through work or do tuition reimbursement for education. Attend a training on new technology for work or to upgrade your management skills. The addition of training hours and new certificates shows your company you are open to learning and growing.
2. Cross train beyond your department
Managers and higher level employees are often called upon to collaborate or work with multiple departments. Being the type of employee that is a sales whiz but also understands how your product is made makes you a great candidate for management. Expand your knowledge beyond your current area of expertise to prepare for a move upward.
3. Research, research, research
Before you take that meeting with the boss to ask for the big promotion, do some research on what the position entails. Make sure you can demonstrate you not only understand what the job looks like but have examples of how you fit into the position. Gather specific examples of your work contributions and show them off.
Taking the time to do the background homework on the position also includes being careful to explore things like salaries for similar positions with different companies. This will help you understand your value and not be caught off guard if salary comes up in the talks. Be prepared to answer questions about why this is the best time for you to move up as well. You may need to demonstrate you are ready for more responsibility and have a track record of being able to handle leadership.
4. Timing is everything
After preparing yourself with an armload of great examples of why you are ready for that promotion and how you will be the best manager, the next step is making sure the timing of your request is well thought out. Asking for a promotion when you know the person currently in that role is retiring is a smart move while asking the day after a new hire starts probably isn’t.
Many assume the best time to ask for a promotion is during your annual review, but this may not work in your favour. Some departments bury the boss under a whole stack of yearly reviews and the meetings are scheduled back to back. A boss with a full schedule of 15-minute meetings to share company and employee results may not be open or available for a surprise conversation about your future with the company. Scheduling a meeting where your boss is available and engaged in the conversation is much better timing.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take your time in preparing for your next promotion. Taking the time to adequately prepare and support your request for a promotion with factual information shows your boss both dedication and maturity. An extra level of training adds to your efforts by showing you are open to ongoing improvements and value education. All of these traits combine to support your next step into your dream promotion.
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