Coleman Gailloreto

Get ready with these tips on how to ask for a promotion

Career development

Get ready with these tips on how to ask for a promotion

Artwork by: Alexandra Shevchenko

  • Research job openings to find the promotions you’re prepared for
  • Adapt your promotion request to fit workplace culture
  • How to ask for a promotion by email
  • When seeking promotions or raises, be prepared to play the long game
  • Key takeaways

Wondering how to advance your career at your current company? Follow these guidelines to talk with your boss about your goals, demonstrate your qualifications, and unlock opportunities for promotions or raises.

A lot of promotions these days go to workers who are open about their interest in new positions and show bosses they can tackle the additional responsibilities. With the guidelines and principles in this article, promotion-seekers can progress along their career paths and improve their chances of getting the promotions they desire and deserve. There are lots of reasons why a career employee might want to get promoted at their current business. For personal reasons, they may need the higher salary such a position offers. Alternatively, they may want more challenging, meaningful responsibilities they can tackle with transferable skills from their current position. Some promotion-seekers might even have grand ideas about how to help their company grow and need a managerial position to make their goals real.

There’s no universal checklist you can follow to get new positions or raises in a company. Still, with the guidelines listed below, you can craft your own strategy for winning the advancements you need and deserve.

In this blog, we’ll cover: 

  • Researching job openings to find a promotion opportunity

  • Adapting your promotion request to fit the workplace culture

  • How to write a promotion request email

Research job openings to find the promotions you’re prepared for

Before anything else, do some research on the job openings at your company and find the positions that best fit your career goals.  If you’re looking to become a manager, for instance, keep an eye on the management positions at your company and make a move the moment an opening appears.

Expert Tip

Timing is essential when you’re asking supervisors for a promotion. You’re more likely to attain a promotion or hike in salary if business is booming or the company’s expanding. Also, many managers will treat your promotion request more seriously if you’ve just completed a complex project, generated extra revenue, or surpassed expectations.

Once you’ve found the promotion you want, study its responsibilities and figure out whether your skills and experiences qualify you for them. Even if you don’t feel up for a position at present, you can always work hard and build up your business and financial acumen until you feel more qualified.

Adapt your promotion request to fit workplace culture

If you’re seeking out a promotion at your current workplace, make sure your queries don’t clash with the workplace’s culture. In many American businesses, for example, employees will request a direct meeting, impress employers with their soft skills or formal qualifications, and express interest in tackling this new position’s challenges. Working for businesses in countries like China, however, it’s usually better to modestly perform excellent work and forge connections with colleagues who can recommend you for promotion.

One way to test the waters is discreetly reaching out to recently promoted workplace associates and asking them how they made their case. Alternatively, arrange a meeting with your boss where you can talk about your career goals and ask for feedback about where they see you going next.

How to ask for a promotion by email

When crafting an email message to ask for a promotion, remember this: keep it concise, clear, and informative. In workplaces where employees are expected to argue for their own career advancements, emails are a common way to ask about job openings and potential pay raises. This holds doubly true when a boss doesn’t have the time to schedule one-on-one meetings with employees on short notice. 

Do

Don't

Keep the emails concise and to the point.

Use language that is needy or desperate.

Describe how you would fulfill the responsibilities of the position you’re seeking to be promoted to.

Pressure bosses into giving you a promotion by threatening to quit.

Thank your boss for taking the time to consider your query.

Compose text that rambles on for too long or discusses irrelevant topics.

Emails asking for promotion within the company often have structures like the formats of cover letters. The writer of the email introduces themselves, sums up their experiences/skills, and explains why they’d be a good fit for the position.

Copyable Example

Promotion Request Email Template



Dear [Supervisor Name Here]


I recently was made aware of the opening for [New Job Title Here] and wished to request a promotion to this position.

In my current role [Current Job Title Here], I’ve consistently demonstrated the ability to handle large workloads, prioritize essential tasks, and identify solutions to long-standing challenges, while also mastering the following skills:


[List 3 relevant skills here in bullet points.]


As [New Job Title Here], I would utilize my communication, relationship building, and leadership talents to diligently accomplish the goals of [Business Name Here] and ensure clients receive satisfying service. I would welcome the chance to meet in person and discuss this new opening in more detail.


Thanks for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,




[Name Here]

When seeking promotions or raises, be prepared to play the long game

All these promotion-seeking methods can take time to properly put into action. Asking a boss about promotions too often might turn them off on the idea of actually promoting you. More  periodic inquiries and follow-ups will feel much less pushy and still remind your boss that you’re a solid candidate for internal promotions.

Statistical Insight

According to a survey conducted by Joblist, a sample group of 1000 full-time workers expressed a strong preference for internal promotion rather than external manager hires. 71% of the sample group agreed with the statement that “hiring from within is better for scaling a business,” while 66% of them stated they preferred to work with managers promoted from inside the company.

In short, be patient when you’re seeking a new promotion or negotiating a raise. If co-workers keep getting promoted over you, it’s worth talking to your boss directly to see why you aren’t receiving the same opportunities. 

Key takeaways

  1. Search for promotion opportunities that fit your skill set, and craft your promotion requests to fit the culture and etiquette of your workplace.

  2. Network with co-workers to learn what kinds of promotion requests work, and build strong relationships with supervisors who can recommend you for promotion.

  3. Keep promotion requesting emails and other such messages clear and to the point.

  4. Be patient up to a point when seeking out new promotions and raises.

Coleman Gailloreto

A Chicago-based writer and freelance translator. Seeks to prepare his readers for the next renaissance or apocalypse, whichever comes first. Experienced at creating incisive feature articles, professional product reviews, informative interviews, and quality resumes/cover letters. Publishes long-form fiction on Inkshares.com and storytelling games on itch.io under the pseudonym Aldo Salt. Enjoys hobbies such as dog-walking, jogging, book-binding, and board games with friends.

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