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How To Ask For A Promotion: 11 Priceless Tips From Professionals

Deserved or not, pinning your boss and asking for a raise/promotion can prove to be a daunting and even slightly embarrassingly awkward encounter for some. However, nine times out of ten it is something that a loyal, efficient and valuable team member deserves and the initiative to put yourself out there will, if nothing else, win you the respect of your boss. Here are 11 priceless tips from leading experts in the field on the best course of action for asking your boss for a promotion.

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#1 Understanding The ‘When’

The 'when' is important and requires an understanding of both your company and your manager. For example, if your company went through layoffs recently or is missing its revenue targets it may not be the ideal time to ask for a raise.

Contributor: Mary Pharris from

#2 Know Your Manager

Understanding your manager is key. Your manager will use political capital to get you a raise, so you want to be aware of the best time to catch your manager when they'll be receptive. For example, if your manager isn't a morning person, don't schedule a meeting for first thing in the morning.

Contributor: Mary Pharris from

#4 Know Your Worth

Before you approach your boss about a raise or promotion, do your homework. Know what others are paid in similar positions throughout the market. Know what you're worth and how to communicate your value. Be prepared to articulate the specific value you bring. Think about your 'work wins' and make sure you can quantify your personal results. It can often be helpful to work with a career coach on a specific talk track for salary negotiations.

Contributor: Jennifer Way from

#6 Go The Extra Mile

Before you ask for a promotion, you should be able to demonstrate the contributions that you have made that are worthy of a promotion. These contributions should be more than your daily work duties. They should exhibit moments where you went the extra mile, took initiative without being asked, and volunteered to take on more responsibility that provided a significant amount of ROI back to the company and your overall department.

Contributor: Deborah Sweeney, CEO from

#7 Negotiations

Understand your end game. Good negotiation requires knowing the parameters of your argument and your outcomes if negotiations fail. Always know before starting what you could get if negotiations fail. The goal with negotiations is for both parties to get a better outcome than if they chose court, another job, a new relationship, etc.

Contributor: Justin Lavelle from

#9 Creativity and Alternative Approaches

Be creative and not afraid to share that creativity. For instance, if you are negotiating for a raise, is money the only option? Maybe not. Don’t be restricted to “usual” awards. Good negotiation requires “thinking outside the box”, so come up with alternatives to the goal. You might just stumble upon a better plan.

Contributor: Justin Lavelle from

#10 Take The Decision Well

If your manager indicates he cannot support your nomination, remain professional at all times. Don’t let resentment or disappointment show in your voice. Thank her for her candor. After all, you’d rather know than not know if she’s supporting you. Get on with your life and your career.

Contributor: Dr. Marlene Caroselli

#11 Skills of Visualisation

Great communicators know the power of visualization. Not always, but often, they’ll illustrate what they mean by grabbing a piece of paper or the back of an envelope and using simple sketches to illustrate their point.

Contributor: Dr. Marlene Caroselli

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Written by James Metcalfe

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