Posted on: August 30th, 2022

Four Questions to Ask Yourself First

It’s one thing to show up every day to work on time and do the work. It’s another thing to exceed expectations so you can get a promotion. If you think you are ready to ask for a promotion, first, start by asking yourself four main questions:

  1. Have I exceeded the job requirements?
  2. Have I been a good team member and coworker?
  3. Have I done the work without complaining?
  4. Have I demonstrated my performance and readiness for more responsibility?

If you can answer yes to these—and give detailed explanations of your success in each area—you may be ready to ask for a promotion.

But let’s say you’re not quite ready. Let’s say you’re starting out with a new company, and you have your eyes on a better position. Before you set your mind on getting a promotion, you might ask your boss what opportunities would be available for you down the road, and what would be needed to get there. That gives you a clearer picture of what you need to do to impress them and get promoted. Then, when you have excelled at some of those tasks, you can directly ask your boss if there are any positions available for a worker who has performed well at those tasks.

Being a Good Team Member and Coworker

To get a promotion, you must demonstrate your ability to work with others. Teamwork and communication are high on the list of things that make employees promotable. Good communication means making sure to let people know the status of your assignments and tasks. Teamwork means showing up for other people and for important projects. When a coworker has to be out of the office for a family emergency, pitch in to help cover their work. Do more of the kinds of things you’ll be doing if you get promoted, and do it with a smile.

Exceeding the Job Requirements

Volunteering for more than you are required to do can go a long way to getting noticed by your managers and supervisors. If you’re able to handle more than your normal responsibilities without sacrificing the quality of your other work, it’s time to step up and ask your boss for additional tasks or for ways you can contribute to special projects. To get started on this path, consider finding a more efficient way to do one of your tasks, so you’ll have more time available for other tasks or projects. Bosses appreciate when employees can fit more work into the week, so maximize your performance in every aspect of your current position before considering a request for a promotion.

Working Without Complaining

When it comes to asking for a promotion, professionalism can carry a lot of weight. One aspect of being professional at work means leaving your complaints elsewhere. Better yet, just don’t ever whine about heavy workloads, other coworkers not pulling their weight, long hours, etc. Flip the script on negativity and try to find the positive in each day’s work. Positive people are more promotable—and make better coworkers, supervisors and managers.

Demonstrating You’re Ready for More Responsibility

Top performers usually deliver their work when it is needed—or, they take responsibility for things that don’t go as planned. Be on time, accountable and ready to learn at all times. Improving your communication can also help supervisors see your potential for other positions in the company. Take the time to work on your written and verbal communication skills as you report on your tasks or participate in group projects.

Once you can show your boss examples and data supporting you as a good candidate for the promotion, it may be time to ask for the job you want. Set up a time to talk with him or her about it, and be ready to listen to any feedback they provide to you.


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