How to ask for a Promotion without having a Panic Attack?

Vietnamese female entrepreneur talking to her coworker

Speaking to your boss about a promotion measures high on the charts as one of life’s most anxiety-producing moments.

Just thinking about it can make your voice shake, knees wobble, and send shivers down your spine.

How to ask for a promotion is one of the most intimidating and important things you’ll have to face on the job. But know you’re worth it.

You need to maintain eye contact with your manager and be assertive, then convince them why you’re the best employee for the job without breaking a sweat.

With all the other candidates in your company, you need to answer the question: why you?

The idea can cause a panic attack, but it doesn’t have to. If you’re serious about moving up the ladder in the company, you can take steps to ensure success.

Take these actions when asking for a promotion and you may be pleasantly surprised when your employer agrees you deserve the job. Here’s how to ask for a promotion.

How to Ask for a Promotion

Take this strategic approach when asking for a promotion. You’ll be glad you did your homework.

1. Prepare the Proof

The most essential task when asking for a promotion is preparing your argument in advance. You’ll need to offer specific proof that demonstrates you can handle the role.

Convey to your manager what you’ve achieved up to this point. Explain important details regarding your current contributions that can help strengthen your case in point for the job.

So how do you prepare?

List all your achievements up to date. Now note additional efforts you made, perhaps a side project you volunteered for and how this helped increase your company’s revenue.

For example, what specific results came about through your actions. Did you triple your sales goals or shorten the sales cycle for your employer that led to the result.

Just doing your job is never enough. But when you go above and beyond the call of duty to make the company’s objectives a reality and can say what steps you took to make this happen, you’ll have a feather in your cap.

2. Get Serious About Specifics

The next step is to list the job title you wish to obtain and then take notes about the skills and experience you hold that make you the right person for the role.

Know what qualities you currently possess that will make you successful in the new position.

If the promotion entails leadership responsibilities, provide examples of how you managed current projects and led groups of team members effectively.

Avoid being vague in your explanations. Be sure to mention concrete examples that will convince your boss that you’re the best candidate for the promotion.

3. When Is the Right Time to Ask?

While there is not just one ideal time to ask for a promotion, some times work better than others. For example, after a good performance review.

It provides an opportunity to discuss your role with your boss and your career plans with the company for the future.

A wrong time to ask is when your boss faces timely deadlines and is working under pressure. Asking for a promotion at this time can be the worst time to bring up the subject.

Other opportunities to bring up a promotion include when the company is going through a restructure or when others are moving up the ladder.

Don’t let a struggling economy hold you back. During these trying times, wise managers know that their employees are their most valuable assets.

They will still want to keep their best workers and reward staff who deserve the opportunity to move up.

While your salary might not increase during a tough economy, the added duties can make a good case for a monetary reward when the economy recovers.

4. Speak to People at Your Company Who Have Been Promoted

Find other people in the company who have risen up the ranks and ask them how they came to be promoted.

They can even be employees from other departments. So, if you don’t know many people in other departments at your company, speak to people who do.

A good idea is to have a conversation with a veteran employee who has worked for the company for many years. They might have started out in other departments before they worked with yours.

When you find someone, ask them if they have time for a talk. Perhaps treat them to lunch and pick their brain. Ask them what strategies they’ve used to climb the corporate ladder.

They might be able to offer some tips you may not have considered. Since many people like talking about their life and experiences, they will probably welcome the conversation (and the meal).

5. Demonstrate Team Leadership

Have you handled a project as a team leads? There are many factors to becoming an effective team leader or manager.

Find another staff member to recognize for their efforts. This shows your fortitude and how you recognize the people on your team for their contributions.

When it’s time for corporate awards, nominate someone from your team who showed initiative and increased their skills during the project.

Check out these options for corporate awards. Award plaques make an excellent way to show appreciation.

6. Schedule a Meeting

It’s important to plan ahead when asking for a meeting. Make a formal request to meet with your manager, so they know you have an important matter to discuss. Avoid being casual and asking your boss in passing.

You can email your manager with a request to meet to discuss something of value to both of you.

Never pop into your boss’s office because you might catch her off guard. By arranging the meeting in advance, she’ll have time to review your performance and gauge where you can fit into the company in your next role.

7. Follow Up

After you have the meeting, take some time to reflect. Your boss may have shared where she sees you fitting in the company in the near future.

If you’re offered a promotion, you’ve accomplished your goal. Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate the occasion.

If you’re not offered the promotion just yet due to company or department circumstances, have some patience and wait for the right time to become available.

If your boss feels you’re not ready,  accumulate the experience or skills you need to work on and revisit the conversation at a later date.

Final Words on How to Ask for a Promotion

Now you know how to ask for promotion without having a panic attack. Prepare well in advance. Gathering your proof with concrete examples.  You may be granted a promotion for your hard work.

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