There are many reasons women don’t go after career advancement opportunities or promotions. But one of the most prevalent is the fear of being viewed differently by their boss afterwards.
You might know that you’re ready and qualified for a promotion but fear that the conversation won’t go your way or thoughts of damaging your relationships keep you silent, working harder and harder, hoping you’ll be noticed soon.
And while there are wrong ways to go about it, there’s also a right way to ask for a promotion that strengthens the relationship and can accelerate your career! Let’s look at how you can go about it in your own workplace.
The Fear: What if it Goes Wrong?
Anytime there’s fear, you’ve got to ask: is it true?
In this case, the fear that you may ruin your employer-employee relationship may be true—but only if you go about it the wrong way! If you show up from a place of anger or disrespect, then yes, it could be a negative experience.
But if you learn how to ask for advancement in the correct way, you will not only earn yourself a deserved promotion but can strengthen your relationship with your boss. Don’t let fear hold you back but be willing to change your perception in order to change your life!
What Not to Do
There are some general strategies that are guaranteed to not work. Here’s what not to do when asking for a promotion or advancement:
- Threatening to quit or telling them you have another job offer.
- Using personal circumstances as a reason for promotion.
- Having a sense of entitlement to promotion.
Any of these may not only result in a “no” to your ask for advancement, but they can also damage your relationship. Emotional intelligence is one of the best skills to advance your career – hone it here and be wise about how you approach your boss.
How to Ask for Career Advancement
The common problem with any of the strategies listed above is that they are not grounded in the value you offer to the company. Your market value – what you bring to the company – should be the only thing relevant to whether you deserve a promotion.
Here’s how to ask for a promotion or raise:
- Compile information and data on your accomplishments and successes—the more quantitative the better.
- Research salaries and have a fair market value number in mind. This guide offers some resources on where to find reliable information on salaries.
- Write down your ideas so you know exactly what to say.
- Schedule time with your boss to have a conversation. Though there’s no hard rule, research suggests that “big asks” (i.e., for a raise!) should happen in the morning before the decision-maker starts suffering from decision fatigue.
- Be confident and clear with your ask, focusing on the value you offer.
- Share ideas for the future so they can see you as part of the company for the long-term.
This approach works because it focuses on the value you bring to the company. It also makes your boss feel you are partners, working towards a central goal. Instead of them shouldering all the work, they have you!
The key here is to have a plan. If you want to dive deeper and develop your own personal plan, check out My Promotion Plan. It’s designed to help women achieve career advancement by creating a plan for career advancement, boosting confidence, and initiating a conversation with a boss.