When–and How–To Ask
Annual performance reviews are obvious times to request a promotion, but don’t wait–especially if your company isn’t known for timely reviews. Look for other good opportunities: when there’s an opening at the next level, at your anniversary, or whenever you feel prepared and confident.
Sit down with your supervisor and pull out your roadmap and list of accomplishments. “As you know,” you might begin, “I’ve been working hard to prepare myself for advancement. I’ve used this list of objectives as a guide, and I believe I’ve fulfilled what was set out for me.”
Hand the completed list to your boss saying, “Based on these items, is it realistic to expect a promotion any time in the near future?”
Once your boss has reviewed your materials, she’ll either agree and promote you on the spot or give you a more vague answer. If the latter occurs, ask for specifics–what precisely you need to do to merit the promotion you desire. Once you have a clear understanding of what it will take to earn a promotion, ask to make an appointment to discuss the matter again in three months.
If you fulfill the new set of requirements and still get put off, talk with the human resources department. Maybe there’s an opening at a higher level in another department. Maybe they have the ability to intercede on your behalf. Or maybe they know of another reason–a hiring freeze, a potential downsizing–that has inhibited your supervisor’s ability to promote you.
If after working diligently, you still haven’t received the promotion you feel you deserve, it may be time to investigate changing jobs.