If it’s been a while since you’ve been able to advance your career, you may be due for a promotion. But how do you ask for a promotion? If you’re like many people in IT and Tech, advancing your career can be intimidating. That’s probably the main reason an estimated 40% of workers put off asking for an upgrade.
While pushing for and negotiating a promotion can be an art, you can get the promotion you deserve with just the right amount of assertiveness and diplomacy. And if not, we can also propose a solution for that (more on that later).
So, let’s dive in on how you can ask for a promotion and get your career moving in the right direction.
Research: Recap Your Track Record
You might think you’re ready for a promotion. In fact, you might be overdue for one. But does your boss know that?
The first thing you’ll want to have in order is the why. Why do you deserve a promotion? You’ll want to take some time to focus on your track record. Take stock of your accomplishments, especially those where you went above and beyond your regular duties and make a list.
Once you jog your memory, you might be surprised at what you find. Even briefly reviewing your track record may remind you of more notable progress you’ve made.
Highlight Progress & Upskilling
While reviewing your tenure in your current role, note the progress you have made since you began, especially regarding upskilling.
Gaining new skills and talents demonstrates that you’re not the kind of employee who checks the boxes and performs at the status quo. Instead, by building your skillset and capabilities, you’re living into the idea of going above and beyond. Your managers will love this because it shows you are resourceful and driven—two of the hardest things for managers to inspire in their employees.
Think of every additional skill you acquire as one more reason you are indispensable to your company.
As you’re making a list of your recently acquired skills, you should refrain from presenting them as if they were a list. Noting that you expanded your capabilities in Python development, for example, says little to nothing about how well you work in that program or the unique solutions you bring with your deeper understanding of the software.
Don’t be afraid to discuss what you learned along the way, any mistakes you made and how you learned from those mistakes. Describing what upskilling is like for you will help management understand your upskilling in a more nuanced and memorable way.
Timing Can Be Crucial
Were you recently hired? Or did you receive a promotion last week or even a couple of months ago? If so, slow your roll a bit.
Even the most talented of us need to spend a certain amount of time in our current role before we’re primed for an upgrade. There is good reason to take your time more than just being diplomatic. By too eagerly applying for a promotion, you could give the impression that you’re more concerned about getting ahead than the job at hand.
By taking your time, you’re communicating that your focus is on your work and the company’s overall goals. Conversely, applying for a promotion too soon gives the impression that your current role is merely a stepping stone in your own strategy for advancement.
How much time is enough? Again, it can be a gut check. This article from Indeed is a good reference point: at least 3-6 months of demonstrable progress and development of the skills you’ll need in your next role.
How Much to Ask For?
One important thing to remember is that a raise and a promotion are two different things. A raise is generally a merit increase and is often 3%-4% annually. But with a promotion, you leave one role and take on another.
With your new role comes more or, at least, a different set of responsibilities. Knowing how much to ask for could involve some research and variables to consider, such as:
- Your seniority at the company
- Your geographic location (roles for app developers start at different rates, depending on where you’re at)
- What the median wage is for the position you’re going for
- How long has it been since your last promotion
It can be challenging to gauge your value to the company. Sometimes the best you can do is take an educated guess. And this is where the research you’ve done per your track record will help build your case for a promotion.
Don’t hesitate to lean on any friends or advocates you may have in the office or your organization, especially if they have insider information on the role. They can provide some perspective on a ballpark figure for the salary you can expect and the level of responsibilities you’ll take on.
What Happens If You Don’t Get the Role?
Tech and IT talent have never been in higher demand. If your current employer doesn’t consider giving you a promotion, it may be time to change employers.
Promote yourself to a candidate, and work with WideNet Consulting to take your career where you want to go. Contact WideNet Consulting today.