Do you want to get a promotion ? Here’s how…

Asking for a promotion can be super scary.

Why?

Because you will be making it very clear and very public that you are ambitious, have career goals and are prepared to go for them.

This can feel and be very exposing.

This is your opportunity to showcase your skills and lay the foundation for career progression at your current employer.

Got for it!

And, to help you go for it, here is my tried and very personally tested advice for getting that promotion time and time again!

Be Clear On Your Ask

  • Know which roles you are interested in
  • Know how much money you want in the form of salary and incentives
  • Know your why – why are you the right person to be promoted, what are your skills and what do you have to offer (have your sales pitch ready)
  • Know what you want to achieve in the new role for your company, business area and yourself
  • Know how you would achieve these things
  • Also, have a list of any working arrangements that you need considered and accomodated in the new role (i.e.: work from home, start times, limits on travel, if any etc)

Know Who To Ask

In I’m Ready Now! I wrote about how to identify and influence the key decision makers.
Make sure you know who can make decisions on promotion (this is not always your boss) and when they can make these decisions.

Know When to Ask

Ask for promotion when :

  1. You have already talked through your business case with your immediate boss and any key decision makers
  2. Achieved any action items that were asked for as part of your business case discussion
  3. Have held a discussion on the value you can bring to the new role
  4. You have spoken and gained advice from at least 30% of the leadership team you want to belong to, and
  5. Made your work visible to that leadership team

Other great times to ask are :

  • when you’ve delivered a big win for your company
  • when a new job becomes available due to a re-org
  • when someone departs a role unexpectedly

What will you do if you get a YES?

Have a celebration plan in place and, have a business plan in place that you can pick up and run with in your new role.

Always make sure to celebrate a promotion (even it feels like something that should have happened ages ago) and appreciate yourself for the increase wealth, autonomy and freedom a new role will bring you both professionally and personally.

What will you do if you get a NO?

Have a ‘No’ plan in place and a timeframe for getting to YES already determined.

Don’t stay too long in a role going no where.

Only you can determine how long is ‘too long’.

By having a plan in place BEFORE your discussion you won’t get sidetracked by the knock to confidence that a NO can have.

This plan will increase your chances of keeping your career on track and seeing knock backs as bumps a long the road not road blocks

Now I’d love to hear from you!
What is the best tip you’ve ever received for getting ahead and getting that promotion ?
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How to build a business case for your promotion

Know Your Value

Define a single sentence value statement for each of the following value types :

  • Business value
  • Strategic value
  • Financial value
  • Leadership value

Phrase the sentence as :

In the last [time period], I have led the team to deliver [value] by [1-3 steps to creating this value]. 

Example :

In the last 3 months, I have personally led account building activities which has led to a 50% increase in revenue by identifying key decision makers in resource acquisition in 4 leading companies,  developing bespoke sales strategies for each company as well as a series of business strategies which will help these companies increase profit over the immediate 3 month period.

Does your value = promotion ?

Meet with your boss and walk through your ideas on your value, give specific examples for each value.

Check-in with your boss and ask the following questions:

  1. Do these represent sufficient outcomes to be promoted?
  2. Do these items represent the value to the business that I have proposed? More/less
  3. What gaps are there for promotion?
  4. Do these outcomes represent sufficient skills to do well in the new role?
  5.  Adjust your value statements based on this feedback.

Develop a pitch, pitch it and then repeat it

Use the your value sentences to develop your very own sales-pitch. This should be something you can talk through with senior members of the leadership team.   You want to get your message out there so effectively that you start to hear your key words and phrases repeated back to you when other people talk to you about your own work.

When this happen, it means you are being effective in increasing your visibility and doing this in a way that you are leading that visibility.

Your word of mouth is not being defined by what other people are saying about you but by what you want them to say about you.

Aim to create an opportunity for talking through your pitch at least once a week to a senior manager and create a list of target senior managers to be getting in front of  to talk through your value.

Time it

This is a great activity to complete as a lead in to an ask for promotion.  I recommend getting your pitch ready and out there 3 months prior to directly asking for a promotion.

Remember to Listen

Whenever you are in pitch mode, keep your listening ears on.  This is not a speech, this an opportunity to be interactive, gain valuable feedback and test the waters to see if the senior manager agrees that you are (1) valuable and (2) promotable.  Pay attention to their body language, tone of voice and how responsive they are to your pitch.  Your pitch should receive a positive reaction and be received well.  If you find this isn’t happening, check-in with how you’re presenting the pitch, how much active listening you are using and if you are presenting yourself in a positive way.

Practice

Practice your pitch in front of your web cam or/and a trusted mentor.  Watching yourself back will help you adjust how you present your own value. Watch for facial expressions, tone of voice or hand gestures that detract from your pitch.

Make silence your best friend

Silence is a highly under rated tool. Silence allows people space to consider your words, consider their response and provide that response. Don’t take silence as a bad thing.  Provide space and structure in the way you communicate for thinking time – both for yourself and the senior manager.   Don’t fill pauses, let them linger.  You will find you get much more thoughtful and deeper responses if you allow this to happen.

Now, I’d love to hear from you – what are you top tips for building a business case for promotion ?  What has worked in the past and what will you try in future, to help get that promotion ?

 

 

Resources : 

Susan Colantuono is trail blazer in supporting women’s career progression. This ted talk neatly encapsulates a way of presenting your value to very senior levels of management. See : https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_colantuono_the_career_advice_you_probably_didn_t_get

 

Good Listening

See: https://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_5_ways_to_listen_better

Another, resource to improve your listening is through regular meditation. I recommend finding meditations on sounds (Gaia has some great 10 minute sessions) as this helps control the way you listen. I’ve found it super helpful in being less distracted by background noise in conversations.

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